BYRON — It wasn’t pretty, but Byron’s baseball team swept Ovid-Elsie 12-5 and 10-3 Monday to stay two games back of league-leading New Lothrop.
Byron coach Greg Goffee said the Eagles received two quality starts from pitchers Tyler Herman and Grayson Viener.
Herman, a right-hander, pitched the first five innings of Game 1, giving up four runs and just three hits. He struck out seven and walked three. Troy Bedell worked the final two innings and gave up just one run.
In Game 2, Viener, a left-hander, went all five innings, giving up three runs on three hits with four strikeouts and four walks.
“This one kept us in the league hunt,” Goffee said. “They both threw well and they both came to play. Herm was a last-second start and he stepped up big time.”
Byron improved to 4-2 in the Mid-Michigan Activities Conference. New Lothrop, which swept Chesaning Monday, is 6-0.
New Lothrop handed Byron its only two league defeats April 26.
Viener said he seemed to get more effective as the game wore on. He ignored the sprinkles throughout the afternoon.
“I really just found my groove,” Viener said. “Weather and everything like that is obviously going to throw you off a little bit. But once you find that groove, you can just cruise.”
Ovid-Elsie coach Luke Martin said his club paid the price for too many errors and walks. The Marauders fell to 3-4 in league play with one game unfinished — the Marauders were leading Montrose 6-3 last week when darkness prevented it from continuing.
“It’s tough to win baseball games when you don’t throw strikes and you make errors,” Martin said.
The Eagles needed just six hits in Game 1. Byron took advantage of nine walks, two hit-batters and three errors.
Nick Horman had two hits and drove in two runs for the winners. Trevor Ritter also lined two hits ,while Herman drove in two runs and singled.
Horman finished the day with three hits and three RBIs.
“I just pay attention to when the games are and I just show up and I play my hardest for my team and I just try to do the best I can,” Horman said.
Ian Hehrer was the losing pitcher, yielding seven runs on four hits over four innings. He struck out three and walked four.
Carson Gregory, Dylan Carman and Tyler Bancroft all had one hit for the Marauders. Bancroft had two RBIs.
In Game 2, Byron won in five innings as darkness prevented the game from going any longer. It was a very similiar story to the first game, as the Eagles had five hits, drew 10 walks and benefitted from three Ovid-Elsie errors.
Ovid-Elsie took a 2-0 lead in the second game when it broke through for two unearned runs in the top of the third. Braxton Stenger was ruled safe when his fly ball was dropped by two converging Byron outfielders. With one out, Jacob Tomasek singled and Gregory was safe on an infield error. Tyler Bancroft grounded to short, but the throw to first was mishandled, scoring two runs.
The Eagles, however, bounced back to take a 3-2 lead with three runs in the bottom of the third. Jay Harris singled, Glen L’Esperance drew a walk and Trevor Ritter singled. Caleb Joslin then sliced a two-run, line-drive single shot down the right field line. Jackson Wilcox pushed across the go-ahead run on a groundout to third.
Byron scored seven times in the fourth, thanks mostly to seven walks and an Ovid-Elsie error. Harris’ run-scoring single was the lone hit of the frame. He finished with two hits for Byron in the nightcap.
Tomasek had two hits for the Marauders in the second game. Gregory also had one hit.
Gregory walked the first batter of the game and hit the next two before striking out the side and keeping Byron scoreless for the first two innings. He worked 31/3 innings total, giving up nine runs and five hits. He was hurt by seven walks.