Mens Varsity Baseball
Game Summaries & Headlines.
Cathedral baseball came to Columbus East Tuesday night with an intimidating resume. The Irish were two years removed from an undefeated Class 4A state championship season and finished as the state runner-up last year.
None of that mattered to Julian Greenwell and his Olympian teammates.
Greenwell absolutely dominated the visitors from the mound, tossing a complete game shutout, striking out 15 and allowing just four hits in a 9-0 East victory.
“I worked hard to improve my velocity over the summer,” Greenwell said. “I thought I had good command tonight, and my curveball was working really well. I also thought (catcher) Dalton (Back) called a great game. Before the game, we talked and wanted to pitch backwards, where I started batters with offspeed pitches and then use my fastball later in the count.”
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East coach Jon Gratz was impressed, but admits he is spoiled when it comes to Greenwell.
“Honestly, with Julian, we have come to expect it. He has one of the better curveballs I’ve seen in high school baseball. He knows what he’s doing, so I just let him and Dalton work.”
This plan worked extremely well. The Irish (1-2) did not collect their first hit until fifth inning when designated hitter Sam Phillips singled. That was followed by a Cade Conlon double, putting runners at second and third with only one out. Greenwell then shut down the rally by striking out the next batter and inducing a groundout to end the inning and the only Cathedral threat of the night.
“I think Back called the best game he’s called for me. Even when they made contact, it wasn’t solid because the hitters were off-balance,” Greenwell stated.
Offensively, after being shut out in the opening frame, it was the lower half of the order that got the Olympians (3-0) on the board in the second. After a pair of strikeouts, Ben Major, the seventh place hitter, doubled over the center fielder’s head. Major was brought to the plate by T.J. Barkhimer’s double to get East on the board. A Clayton Taylor single then scored Barkhimer to put the Olympians up 2-0 after two innings.
“It’s our third game, so for me personally, I felt good about seeing the ball. I am getting more confident at the plate, and I think that 1-9 (hitters) are feeling the same way. Everyone in this lineup can hit, so it doesn’t really matter where we are in the lineup.”
The Olympians tacked on another run in the third, when Greenwell singled to open the inning. That was followed by a Cole Gilley stand-up triple, scoring Greenwell from first to extend the lead to 3-0. That score held until the floodgates opened for the home team in the sixth.
East opened the inning with three straight hits from Parker Harrison, Major and Barkhimer. Following a Taylor double-play ground ball that scored a run, the next five Olympians reached base, five via singles.
The Irish did not help their cause, committing two errors in the inning, allowing four unearned runs to score. In all, East plated six runs in the inning to bust the game open, heading into the final frame with a 9-0 lead.
Greenwell took it from there, as he had all game. Although he allowed two hits, he struck out the side to finish off the victory.
“Our sophomores woke up tonight,” Gratz said, speaking of Harrison, Major, Barkhimer, and Taylor. “Hitting is contagious, and they got us going. I thought we had good at bats tonight. It’s still early in the season, so we’ve had some trouble with offspeed stuff, but we will get more comfortable.”
Johan Wichman, Greenwell, Major and Barkhimer all had two hits for the Olympians. Barkhimer also had two RBIs.
Article re-printed from The Republic newspaper.
Pictures from Mike Wolanin - The Republic