Columbus East baseball coach Jon Gratz couldn’t have asked for a much better start from Cole Gilley.
Gilley, a freshman making his first career start for the Olympians, allowed only two runs on five hits in six innings Tuesday to lead East to a 7-2 win against Shelbyville.
“He has great composure for a freshman,” Gratz said. “He got in a little bit of trouble a couple of times, and it didn’t really seem to rattle him at all. That’s definitely what you want to see as a coach out of a young athlete.”
Drew Hasson pitched a hitless seventh to preserve the win for East (5-2).
Gilley settled down after allowing a run on three hits in the first. He struck out six and walked two, with both of the walks coming in his sixth and final inning of work.
“I wasn’t real nervous,” Gilley said. “(Pitching) coach (Andrew Golinvaux) really prepared us for the moment. He was with me before the game, and I was out there just competing for my teammates. I really need to cut down on my walks, but it was a good team win. We all worked hard this whole week, and every single day in practice are getting better and better.”
The Olympians tied the game with a run in the bottom of the first. Jonathan Foster led off with a single, stole second, took third on a groundout and scored on a one-out double by Luke Hostetler.
East took the lead for good with a pair of runs in the second. Charlie Burton led off with a walk, went to second on a one-out single by Jonah Wichman and took third on a wild pitch. After Josh Major walked, Foster singled in Burton and Julian Greenwell drove home Wichman with a sacrifice fly.
After the Golden Bears (1-3) cut the lead to 3-2 in the fourth, the Olympians got the run back in the fifth. Jon Crawford doubled with one out. After Harry Crider was hit by a pitch, Burton reached on an infield single to load the bases. Crawford then scored on a groundout by Eric McMullen.
East broke the game open with three in the sixth on RBI-singles by Greenwell, Hostetler and Crider.
Hostetler, Crider and Burton all went 2 for 3 for the Olympians, who totaled 11 hits. Foster finished 2 for 4.
“We’re starting to get going at the plate,” Gratz said. “We can potentially be a pretty good offensive team, and we’re starting to show that. We’re starting to get guys going that have been struggling a little bit. We ran the bases better than we’ve been running them, and I think we played a lot better defense today that we’ve been playing, also.”