HUBER HEIGHTS – Wayne picked up its first tournament victory in eight seasons with a 7-4 victory Tuesday over Xenia.
The Warriors advance to play Centerville at Centerville on Thursday at 5 p.m.
Wayne starting pitcher Tyler Wynkoop gave the Warriors six solid innings on the mound despite a shaky start. Wynkoop issued a walk to Xenia leadoff hitter Logan Bilbrey and Evan Adkins hit a ground ball to shortstop Layne Riley who stepped on second for a force out. Adkins reached base when Riley made an off line throw that was dropped by first baseman Jacob Reedy on an attempted double play. Ryan Day got beaned by Wynkoop who quickly regained his composure to end the inning on a pop-up and ground out to first.
The Warriors took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st. Riley led off with a single and one out later Dylan Donchez singled but Riley got caught in a rundown between second and third for the second out. Wynkoop singled to score Donchez for a 1-0 lead.
Wynkoop struck out the first two Xenia hitters he faced, then issued a walk and struck out the fourth hitter in the 2nd inning.
Wayne had a huge home half of the 2nd to generate five runs to take a 6-0 lead. Nick Miller led off with a double and James Ganion reached first on a bunt and stole second. Dylan Borns singled to score Miller and Cole Kehl laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Ganion and Borns. Riley singled to drive-in Ganion and Kevin Baugh singled to right to score Borns. Dylan Donchez legged out an infield hit to load the bases and Wynkoop reached on a bunt to drive-in his second run of the game.
Xenia pitcher Ryan Day ended the inning on a ground out and a strikeout, but the damage was done.
“We blew a couple of bunt coverages and in high school baseball you can’t do that,” said Xenia Coach Barry Claus. “When teams try to give you some outs and you don’t take them it will haunt you, and they did. We also gave up an unearned run in the fifth, which was kind of big.”
Xenia cut the deficit in half in the top of the 3rd inning. Adkins led off with a single to right and Robert DeLong drew a walk. With one out T.J. Oliver drilled a towering three run home run to left field to make it a 6-3 ballgame. Wynkoop ended the threat by getting Jared Robinson to hit a pop-up and Wade Ferrence to hit into a 5-3 ground out.
“We battled back and got a big home run from T.J. Oliver, our first home run of the year that got us back in the game,” Claus added. “I thought Wynkoop got better as the game went on. I thought he was sharp early but I felt we could have drawn more walks off him, but he kind of got his rhythm. The second inning was the tale of the game when Wayne got five runs. I don’t know how many were earned but I know we blew a couple of bunt coverages and that was the ballgame.”
Wayne added an insurance run in the 4th when Riley reached on an error and later scored on an RBI single by Wynkoop. The inning could have been a disaster but Xenia first baseman Robert DeLong made two big plays to throw Wayne runners out at home with the bases loaded.
Wynkoop struck out six and helped his own cause by getting four hits and driving in three runs. Dylan Donchez had three hits, Layne Riley two hits, Kevin Baugh two hits and Nick Miller hit a double.
“It’s good to get that monkey off our back and win a tournament game,” said Wayne Coach Joe Yount. “We’ve had some heartbreakers here the last couple of years. Tyler Wynkoop definitely had it in his mind that he was going to personally take that monkey off our back. We got hits when we needed them and we are just happy to move on and play Centerville on Thursday.”
The Warriors will play a regular season makeup game Wednesday at Northmont. Yount plans to use a pitching by committee approach to give a lot of players “live bullpen” work and then focus on putting everything on the line Thursday against the Elks.
XEN 003 000 1 – 4 04 1
WAY 150 100 x – 7 15 1
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind