Badin falls to St. Xavier in ‘big-league’ pitcher’s duel

CINCINNATI — The Great American Ball Park crowd got a big-league pitcher’s duel from a couple of high school hurlers.

St. Xavier’s Jack Ryan and Badin’s Beau Chaney put on performances that had hitters scrapping to reach base.

Ryan pitched a complete game one-hitter and struck out 10 as the Bombers knocked off the state’s eighth-ranked Rams 2-1 in the Reds Futures High School Showcase on Friday night.

“I think this is everything we could have asked for — playoff atmosphere in the best venue we could ever ask for,” Badin coach Brion Treadway said. “We faced a dude. Jack Ryan is a stud. He lives for moments like that. We’ve got to be able to beat guys like that if we want to do what we want to do.”

Ryan, a sophomore right-hander, walked Chandler Taylor right out of the gate before retiring the next 13 Badin hitters.

Chaney, on the flip side, walked Ryan to start the bottom of the first, and Ryan came around to score on a Dillon Brus single to put St. Xavier up 1-0.

It was nothing but defense until the fifth.

“I knew that Jack Ryan was going to come out and put up a good fight,” said Chaney, a sophomore righty. “I knew that it was going to be a pitching duel the whole game. It came down to it.

“I missed a few spots, and they just took advantage of it,” Chaney added. “They hit the ball. I walked a few first batters of the innings. That’s what hurt me.

“But I think we take out how far we’ve come since the first game until just now. Our energy the first few games wasn’t great. … That game right there, we were picking each other up. We were getting hyped for each other. It was electric. It was just a great vibe. It was fun.”

Chase Luebbe walked to begin the top of the fifth, Aidan Sullivan singled and Luebbe scored on a St. Xavier (8-18) error to knot it up at 1-1. Sullivan logged Badin’s only hit.

In the bottom half of the fifth, Chaney walked Tommy Jewell, who crossed the plate on Jack O’Malley’s single to give the Bombers a 2-1 lead that they’d keep.

Chaney pitched five innings, struck out four, walked four and only gave up two hits before Ryan Holderbach and Tyler Verdin came in for relief.

“We wanted to put Beau in this type of situation tonight to see how he handled that kind of pressure, and he handled it beautifully,” Treadway said. “That’s a big step for him and his progression. I liked everything I saw — except for the leadoff walk in the first. Other than that, he pitched a very clean game. He gave us an opportunity to win the game, and that’s all we can ask for.”

Treadway said a game like Friday helps his squad prep for rival Hamilton and clean up some mistakes before entering postseason play. 

The Rams (19-6) host the Big Blue tonight at 6 p.m. at Alumni Field and then face the winner of Mount Healthy and Shroder on Thursday in the Division II state tournament.

“I think there’s a lot to take away,” Treadway said. “Tonight was a great experience all around for everything that we want to do. We just didn’t come out on top.

“We’ve got to be able to put the ball in play. The strikeouts were unacceptable tonight at the plate. We’ve got to be able to put the ball in play and move the ball. We’ve got to put the pressure on the defense to make the play, and we didn’t do that. We made it easy. Strikeouts are easy, our hitters know that. We’ve got to be tougher outs.”

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