America's Newspapers
Paper: Dayton Daily News (OH)
Title: OH MERCY! BUTLER BLASTS NORTHMONT - Thunderbolts' ace Snyder ill, misses game
Date: April 25, 2002

VANDALIA -When you think of intense baseball rivalries, the Yankees-Red Sox come to mind. In Miami Valley high school circles, you have Butler-Northmont.

Unfortunately, Wednesday's game turned into a mismatch before 300 fans at the Butler High School field. The Aviators scored five runs in the first and four in the second en route to a 12-1 mercy-rule win halted after 4 1/2 innings. Skillful left-handed pitcher Andy Gordon hurled a one-hitter.

"I get really pumped up playing Northmont, whether it's football or baseball," said Gordon, who was an all-league linebacker. "It's an intense and respectful rivalry. Rarely does it turn nasty. It's always one of the biggest games of the year. Last year, we beat their best (Chad) Borek, and we were looking forward to facing their ace Chris Snyder today."

The Wright State-bound Snyder, one of the area's hottest pitchers, sat out because of an illness. He produced superb outings against Greenville (seven strikeouts), Xenia (nine strikeouts) and Ashland, Ky. (10 K's). Snyder's replacement Eric Olson (2-2) found the going rough.

In the first inning, the aggressive-hitting Aviators sent nine batters to the plate and five scored. Senior Ryan Bechtel highlighted the attack with a three-run homer. Adam Adrian blasted a two-run homer in the second to plate Brad Flohre. Josh Stewart, Karl Hemmelgarn and Ryan Radominski added RBI singles. Northmont reliever J.R. Doolos couldn't stop the bleeding, either.

Northmont coach Chuck Harlow paid Gordon a strong compliment.

"With a nine-run lead, Gordon could have gotten too fine or cute with his pitches, but he kept battling us," said Harlow, whose team suffered its first Greater Western Ohio Conference loss. "He's a very smart pitcher and located his pitches. He didn't get deep in the count. His defense gloved it all day." Gordon (5-1) is pretty crafty on the mound and unleashed a nasty breaking ball against the Thunderbolts. The Aviators, one of the area's most successful programs with six straight league titles, improved to 9-6 and 6-2 in the GWOC West Division.

"Andy is a smart kid (4.1 GPA) and a solid pitcher who brings the right demeanor to the mound," said Aviators coach Trent Dues. "He threw strikes today and had some pop in his fastball."

Gordon will study mechanical engineering at the University of Cincinnati and is considering walk-on status in baseball.

Northmont remains atop the West Division at 10-6 and 4-1. Its lone hit was a solo home run by Vince Baldasare. Butler plays Mid-Miami League stalwart Miamisburg at Nischwitz Stadium at 7 p.m. tonight.

"We're a Jekyll-Hyde team that is still searching for some consistency," Dues said.

* Contact Ron Jackson at (513) 932-6785 or ron_jackson@coxohio.com

Copyright, 2002, Cox Ohio Publishing. All rights reserved.

Author: Ron Jackson Dayton Daily News
Section: SPORTS
Page: 3D
Copyright, 2002, Cox Ohio Publishing. All rights reserved.