Baseball: Late hit lifts Houston over Lima Bath at Day Air Ballpark


Beaver hit with 2 outs drives in winning run in 8th inning

By Bryant Billing - [email protected]



Houston's 13 Lukey attempts to tag Lima Bath's Austin Williams at Day-Air Ballpark on Wednesday.

Houston's 13 Lukey attempts to tag Lima Bath's Austin Williams at Day-Air Ballpark on Wednesday.


Houston’s Jake Leist pitches during a nonconference game against Lima Bath on Wednesday in Dayton. Leist scored the game winning run and pitched three innings in relief, giving up one hit and three walks while striking out four batters.


Houston’s Jake Leist, center, celebrates with teammates after the squad scored a run in the bottom of the eighth to beat Lima Bath 3-2 at Day Air Ballpark on Wednesday in Dayton.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Houston's Jake Leist slides into second as Lima Bath's Joel Rason reaches for the throw at Day-Air Ballpark on Wednesday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

DAYTON — Houston has struggled to get hits in tight situations with runners on base, and that’s contributed to the squad losing six games by two runs or less this season.

The Wildcats came up with a key hit with two outs in the bottom of the eighth in a nonconference game at Day Air Ballpark on Wednesday, and coach Dan Barker says it’s a sign the team is peaking heading into postseason play.

Luke Beaver hit a line-drive single to center field with a 2-2 count to score Jake Leist from second and give Houston a 3-2 win over Lima Bath.

It’s the third close win Houston (10-12) has pulled out in two weeks. The squad beat Franklin-Monroe 3-2 on April 27 and Anna 3-1 on May 2.

“We’ve been struggling to get that two-out base hit,” Barker said. “We got beat by St. Henry 3-2, we got beat by Fort Recovery 3-2, both in extra innings. We’re finally starting to do that. I feel we’re starting to play our best ball right now, and it’s at the perfect time.”

Leist walked two batters with two outs in the top of the eighth but struck out Bath’s Hunter Hensley to end the inning.

He got Houston going in the bottom half with a one-out single to right field, then stole second with two outs when Beaver was at the plate.

He easily scored when Beaver hit the single to center.

Leist pitched three innings in relief and gave up one hit and three walks while striking out four batters. Beaver started and gave up one earned run on four hits and three walks while striking out three batters in five innings.

“Luke’s been our top pitcher all year long,” Barker said. “His ERA is less than 1.00. Jake came in and pitched well. He struggled earlier in the year finding the strike zone, but he’s been doing better. He did a terrific job on the mound tonight, absolutely terrific.”

Leist was 2 for 4. Houston had seven hits and committed one error, while Bath had five hits and committed three errors.

Houston took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Leist hit ground ball that was misplayed by Bath shortstop Joel Rasor, which allowed Zavier Ludwig to score from second.

Bath tied it in the top of the fourth after Beaver hit Rasor, who moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly.

Houston took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth when Ian Arnold singled on a bunt with one out, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a passed ball.

Bath quickly tied it in the top of the sixth. Carter Parlapiano hit a ground ball single to right, then moved to third on an error by Austin Cordonnier. Rasor then hit a single to center field to drive home Parlapiano and tie it 2-2.

Houston left runners stranded in the sixth and seventh, but Beaver came up with the single with two outs in the eighth to make sure Leist wasn’t stranded.

“It’s always been our hitting, and we’re starting to roll,” Barker said as players continued to celebrate the win around him on the minor-league field. “I’m excited for these kids. They deserve this. They’re a great group of kids. They absolutely deserve everything they’ve got. I’m having fun with them.”

Barker is hoping the fun can continue in the postseason.

Houston will face a difficult challenge quickly. If Houston beats Fairlawn (0-17) in a first-round game this Monday, they’ll advance to face No. 1 seed Fort Loramie (16-6) in a Division IV sectional final on Wednesday.

Fort Loramie beat Houston 5-0 and 9-1 in Shelby County Athletic League games in regular season.

“It doesn’t matter who we got in the draw,” Barker said. “We show up and play, we feel like we can compete with anybody.”

Houston was scheduled to host Lehman Catholic on Thursday and is scheduled to travel Botkins on Friday before facing the Jets in postseason play on Monday.

Houston’s 13 Lukey attempts to tag Lima Bath’s Austin Williams at Day-Air Ballpark on Wednesday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/05/web1_DSC_5471-2.jpgHouston’s 13 Lukey attempts to tag Lima Bath’s Austin Williams at Day-Air Ballpark on Wednesday.

Houston’s Jake Leist pitches during a nonconference game against Lima Bath on Wednesday in Dayton. Leist scored the game winning run and pitched three innings in relief, giving up one hit and three walks while striking out four batters.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/05/web1_DSC_5465-2.jpgHouston’s Jake Leist pitches during a nonconference game against Lima Bath on Wednesday in Dayton. Leist scored the game winning run and pitched three innings in relief, giving up one hit and three walks while striking out four batters.

Houston’s Jake Leist, center, celebrates with teammates after the squad scored a run in the bottom of the eighth to beat Lima Bath 3-2 at Day Air Ballpark on Wednesday in Dayton.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/05/web1_DSC_5525-2.jpgHouston’s Jake Leist, center, celebrates with teammates after the squad scored a run in the bottom of the eighth to beat Lima Bath 3-2 at Day Air Ballpark on Wednesday in Dayton. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Houston’s Jake Leist slides into second as Lima Bath’s Joel Rason reaches for the throw at Day-Air Ballpark on Wednesday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/05/web1_DSC_5497-2.jpgHouston’s Jake Leist slides into second as Lima Bath’s Joel Rason reaches for the throw at Day-Air Ballpark on Wednesday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News
Beaver hit with 2 outs drives in winning run in 8th inning

By Bryant Billing

[email protected]

Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.

Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.