(June 8th, 2015) – AYERSVILLE: Matching up against a strong Ayersville team, the Cadets of Hilltop struggled to keep pace with the Defiance-based squad. Despite limiting the explosive Pilot offense for most of the game, the boys from West Unity couldn’t produce enough offense to hold the advantage beyond the first inning of the ACME contest.
Hilltop took the loss to Ayersville on the road, 6-2.
It was the Cadets who struck first, thanks to an RBI single which drove fellow rising junior Quinn Smith home in the top of the first. That run was swiftly answered with a retaliatory score by the hometown Pilots, knotting the game 1-1. Following a scoreless second inning, the bottom of the third saw Ayersville strike in full force, racking up 3 more runs to gain a 4-1 lead.
The Hilltop defense tightened in the fourth , refusing to give up a run after the Pilot assault in the previous frame. Sophomore-to-be Tyler Suboski built off of that momentum, hitting a sacrifice to allow Ben Routhier a trip to home plate. Chipping away at their deficit, the Cadet boys went into the bottom half of the inning down just 4-2.
That was when the home team pulled away, however. A 2 run effort on the part of the Pilots not only restored, but expanded upon their previous lead. With the sixth and seventh innings silent, the 4 run differential stood, giving Hilltop a tough loss against a high quality opponent.
Smith earned his way on base twice for the Cadets, hitting a pair of singles on a 2 for 3 day in the batter’s box. Hilltop senior Nic Schieber also hit for a single in his only at bat in the contest. Pinch running for the squad, Routhier lit up the base paths, stealing a base before finding his way home.
Schieber also managed things from the mound for the Cadets, pitching for 4 innings of work. In that span, the incoming senior allowed but a single earned run off of 4 hits. He also struck out 4 batters, walking 3 more. Kohl Collins finished out the last three innings for Hilltop, giving up 2 earned runs from 2 hits, while striking out 3 Pilot, and walking just 1.