Varsity baseball defeats Loveland Tigers 9-1

     Senior DJ Fluker takes a swing against Loveland. The Comets won 9-1 over the visiting Tigers. Photo by Jacob Fulton.

Jacob Fulton | Staff Writer

On April 18, the Mason baseball team defeated the Loveland Tigers 9-1 in a match up of two of the top teams in southwest Ohio.  Loveland sits atop the Eastern Cincinnati Conference while the Comets are among the top three teams in the Greater Miami Conference.

The Tigers struck first, scoring one run in the first inning, but would fail to retain that momentum throughout the rest of the game. The Comets answered in the second inning with three runs and never looked back.

The third inning remained scoreless, but Mason scored four runs in the fourth and one in both the fifth and sixth innings. The Comets held the high-powered Loveland offense scoreless for six straight innings. Head Coach Curt Bly attributed the Comet success to a combination of excellent pitching and a stout defense.

“We were emotionally invested from the beginning – they jumped out and got the first run of the game, but then Rollie (Sheriff), our starting pitcher, settled in and was able to do a really good job on the mound,” Bly said. “Loveland is a really strong team with a good offense, so it was amazing that we were able to just keep on adding runs.”

Starting pitcher junior Rollie Sheriff said that the defense and offense both took roles in the Comets’ win.

“Loveland is a good team; we were able to beat them because our defense was strong, Coach (Joe) Maloney was calling great pitches, and our offense was on their game tonight,” Sheriff said. “Our middle was particularly strong, with some key plays from Joe (Powell) and Ben (Kraus) keeping us going.”

Sheriff picked up his first varsity win against an offense loaded with some of the best hitters in Cincinnati. Bly said that Sheriff was able to succeed as a pitcher against a difficult team, which was instrumental for the victory.

“Rollie was great on the mound from start to finish,” Bly said. “It starts with your starting pitcher, and he was able to come out and succeed against one of the toughest teams in the city.”

Bly said that though the team had a strong showing, he hopes they will grow throughout the rest of the season.

“We’re still a work in progress,” Bly said. “We’ve got a lot of young kids, and we’re still figuring things out, but this is the kind of game that we want to play. In all facets, we were solid.”

Sheriff said that he hoped the team’s performance during the game would translate to the rest of the season.

“It’s a great step towards the tournament and what we can do there,” Sheriff said. “We faced their best pitcher, got on top early, and just stayed on top the entire game, so I think we can have a great rest of the season.”