With three games already under their belt this week and two more games coming up Saturday, Columbus East baseball coach Jon Gratz decided to throw a couple of freshman at Madison on Thursday.
Parker Harrison and Kaden Wise weren’t perfect, but the way the Olympians hit the ball, they didn’t need to be. East scored at least two runs in each of the first five innings on its way to a 14-9 victory.
“They’re kind of getting their feet wet,” Gratz said. “We just have to play defense behind them. We have to give them support, especially when you have a freshman on the mound.”
The Cubs (2-2) loaded the bases in the first, but Harrison got out of the jam with only one run allowed. The Olympians (5-2) then plated five runs in the bottom of the inning, sparked by a two-run triple by Drew Hasson.
East looked as if it would roll to an easy win after scoring three in the second, highlighted by a two-run homer from Julian Greenwell, to take a 6-1 lead. But Madison took advantage of two errors to score four unearned runs in the third, chasing Harrison from his first start.
The Olympians got two runs back in the bottom of the third to take an 8-5 lead, but the Cubs scored three times in the fourth to tie it. East took the lead for good on Greenwell’s second RBI-sacrifice fly in as many innings and added an unearned run to take a 10-8 lead after four.
The Olympians pulled away with four runs on five hits in the fifth. Jonah Wichman and Josh Major had RBI-triples in the inning.
Madison plated a run in the sixth, but Wichman came on to retire the Cubs in the seventh to preserve the victory.
Major finished 4 for 4 with a double and a triple, and Greenwell went 2 for 2 with five RBIs to lead East’s 13-hit attack. Klayton Brummett went 2 for 2, and Wichman had two RBIs.
“We’ve been finally getting to play some games, and we’re getting in the groove at the plate,” Gratz said. “I feel very comfortable with the 11 or 12 guys we can put in the lineup.”