Big Walnut Roundup: Golden Eagles baseball team hopes to make postseason run

Scott Gerfen
ThisWeek
Cameron Drake and Big Walnut open the Division I district tournament May 17 against visiting Groveport. The winner visits Westerville Central on May 19.

The Big Walnut baseball team’s past has coach Jack Schone wondering what excitement might be in store for this year’s Division I district tournament.

“Over the past few years, we’ve surprised a lot of people,” said Schone, whose 11th-seeded team in 2018 reached a district semifinal before losing to sixth-seeded New Albany 6-5.

Seeded eighth in 2017, the Golden Eagles advanced to a regional semifinal, where they fell 11-0 to Gahanna, which was seeded 11th in the district.

Big Walnut is seeded 28th of 47 teams this year and plays host to 36th-seeded Groveport in the first round May 17. The winner plays at 10th-seeded Westerville Central in a second-round game May 19.

“We are a blue-collar-type team,” Schone said. “We are learning how to be resilient in pressure situations. We have nothing special, no trick plays or anything like that. (We’re) just keeping it simple from one play to the next.”

The Golden Eagles were 9-7 overall and 6-3 in the OCC-Capital Division after a 7-6 win over Dublin Scioto on May 10 and a 6-2 loss to Canal Winchester on May 11. They were 6-3 over their last nine games.

Starter Cameron Drake pitched four innings against Scioto, allowing four earned runs and seven hits. Noah Clawson and Frank Tackett pitched in relief, with Tackett getting the victory while collecting three strikeouts.

Offensively, Carter Imertreijs and Cam Gladden each had two hits.

“I think one of the big things for us is we’ve left a lot of guys on base,” said senior pitcher Drew Beckner, who has committed to the University of Charleston and is one of the team’s top hitters. “Our run production hasn’t been there in some games.”

Beckner said he expects to start against Central if Big Walnut beats Groveport.

“We’re going into this tournament looking to beat whoever’s in our way,” he said.

Softball team 

falls in tourney

The 34th-seeded softball team fell behind 7-0 in the first inning of its first-round Division I district tournament game at 24th-seeded Dublin Coffman on May 10 and never recovered.

Big Walnut dropped to 7-14 with the 13-3 loss to the Shamrocks.

“The last two or three games we had five, six or seven errors a game,” said coach Jerry Hatfield, whose team committed six errors against Coffman. “I don’t know what it is.”

Cassady Joseph led Big Walnut with two hits.

The Golden Eagles expected to close out the season with OCC-Capital games against Scioto on May 12 and Westerville North on May 14.

Lacrosse teams 

set for postseason

The seventh-seeded girls lacrosse team plays host to 10th-seeded Granville in the first round of the Division II, Region 7 tournament May 20. The winner plays second-seeded Worthington Kilbourne or 15th-seeded Delaware in a regional quarterfinal May 22.

Big Walnut had a four-game winning streak snapped and was 11-5 after losing to Olentangy 16-13 on May 11.

The 11th-seeded boys team plays sixth-seeded Granville on May 17 in the second round of the Division II, Region 7 tournament. The winner plays second-seeded Columbus Academy, 13th-seeded Dayton Carroll or 16th-seeded Kettering Alter in a regional quarterfinal May 20.

Big Walnut defeated Alter 15-5 on May 8 to close the regular season at 7-9.

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