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East slugger delivers in clutch for Olympians

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When it comes to clutch moments for the Columbus East baseball team, Christian Wichman has been one to provide for the Olympians.

Friday night wasn’t any different.

After Mooresville tallied three runs to trail 6-5 in the bottom of the sixth, Wichman hit a two-run single into deep right field in the top of the seventh. East followed with another run off a wild pitch and an RBI-single from Peyton Gray to pull away for a 10-5 win in a game that ended about 10 minutes before midnight.

“He’s a clutch player,” East coach Jon Gratz said of Wichman. “We expect nothing less of him when he steps up to the plate. He likes being in those situations because he knows how to get that big play for us.”

Wichman finished 3 for 4 with two RBIs.

“I felt real comfortable at the plate,” Wichman said. “I knew after they had a big inning, we needed someone to step up, and I was happy to do that. Once I got those two runs in, our team was able to feel better about the lead.”

The Olympians (13-5) got their bats started in the first inning on a three-run homer from Nick Andrie.

“That hit felt great,” Andrie said. “He was throwing some pitches that I liked a lot, and I just put all of my power into my swing and was able to send it over the fence.”

“Nick has been making big plays for us all season,” Gratz said. “He got a big shot right off the bat and gave us the momentum we needed through much of the ballgame.”

East followed that with an RBI-single from Wichman and a two-run single from Kyle Weiss to post a 6-0 lead.

The Pioneers (7-10) scored runs of their own in the first, when Trey Ferrill hit a double to bring in Zach Grider. Kaleb Owens then hit a single to right to bring Ferrill home to trail 6-2.

“We knew that they were going to hit well,” Gratz said. “They can come right back at you at any moment in a game, and they did that. We were able to remain focused and produce some big hits in the end to get the win.”

Cam Curry allowed three hits and struck out six for the Olympians before Garrett Thrasher relieved him in the sixth. After allowing two quick hits and a run, William Anderson came in and allowed two runs, but finished with three strikeouts.

“It was a good win,” Gratz said. “We proved that we can change momentum with our hitting. Everyone is feeling more and more comfortable at the plate, and that’s something we like to see before conference.”

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