VANDALIA -When you think of intense baseball rivalries, the Yankees-Red Sox
come to mind. In Miami Valley high school circles, you have
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
"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."
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
Northmont coach Chuck Harlow paid Gordon a strong
"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
. "He threw strikes today and had some pop in his
Gordon will study mechanical engineering at the University of
Cincinnati and is considering walk-on status in baseball.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright, 2002, Cox Ohio Publishing. All rights reserved.
Copyright, 2002, Cox Ohio Publishing. All rights