The Ashland Grizzlies went to Arizona in search of sunny skies and tough competition.
The Ashland Grizzlies went to Arizona in search of sunny skies and tough competition. Through two days, they've seen plenty of both.
Ashland dropped its second game in the three-day Greenway Festival on Friday as North Canyon rode a pair of grand slams to a 13-1 rout at Phoenix, Ariz.
The loss was Ashland's second in as many days after it fell to host Greenway 9-6 in a much more competitive game Thursday.
"Anybody you play down here, if you don't play your best they take advantage of mistakes," said Ashland head coach Don Senestraro, whose team fell to 2-3. "But even today, we learned some things."
For example: stay away from Tayton Deiters. The North Canyon slugger was 2-for-2 with two home runs, including a grand slam in the first inning that helped the Rattlers jump out to a quick 6-0 lead. Connor Bowen and Andrew Rogitz also added homers. Bowen's bomb, another grand slam in the fifth, ended the game early by the 10-run mercy rule.
Ashland starting pitcher Billy Hansen picked up the loss after giving up six runs on five hits in his one inning of work. His replacement, Nick Hall, allowed one earned run in two innings, and Evan Westhelle gave up five runs on three hits in the last 12/3.
Ashland, already shorthanded in the pitching department with Ethan Schlecht unable to make the trip, saved its top two pitchers, Ian Kendall and Lucas Stone, for today's Greenway Festival finale against Thunderbird. That left pitching duties to Hansen, Hall and Westhelle — three pitchers Senestraro said will not see much action once the Southern Sky Conference season begins.
"We'll be back at full strength and we'll play differently (today)," Senestraro said. "(Kendall) wanted to throw and (Stone) wanted to throw, but I've already worked them too hard. It jeopardizes their health. I'm going to need those guys in May. March is not the time to blow arms out."
North Canyon's Coley Bruns pitched a one-hitter through four innings to pick up the win. He had seven strikeouts and one walk.
Ashland's Brady Thomas drove in Ashland's lone run with a double in the fifth.
Ashland put up a fight against Greenway on Thursday, tying the game in the top of the sixth before the Demons scored four runs in the bottom of the inning to put the Grizzlies away.
Ashland starter Max Anderson gave up five runs on seven hits in three innings.
Hall led Ashland at the plate, going 2-for-5 with a double. Wes Hitchko was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Stone was 1-for-1 with an RBI and three walks.
Charlie Wagner pitched the first 4 1/3 innings for Greenway to pick up the win, and also went 2-for-2 at the plate with a two-run homer off Kendall in the sixth.
Ashland 000 01 — 1 3 0
North Canyon 620 05 — 13 11 0
Hansen, Hall (2), Westhelle (4) and Scarminach. Bruns, Hamilton (5) and Spiesman. W — Bruns. L — Hansen (0-1). 2B — A: Thomas; NC: Spiesman 2. HR — NC: Deiters 2, Rogitz, Bowen.
Ashland 120 011 1 — 6 8 0
Greenway 320 004 x — 9 11 2
Anderson, Thomas (4), Kendall (6) and Scarminach; Shiley, Wagner (2), Harper (7) and Rogers, Williams. W — Wagner. L — Thomas (1-1). 2B — A: Hall, Stone, Hitchko; G: Ozuna, Harper, Wagner, Percell. HR — G: Squier, Wagner.