The Washington Blue Lions were looking to start the season 2-0 when they hosted the Tigers of Circleville in the home-opener on a sunny, milder-than-the-day-before Tuesday evening.
Washington loaded the bases and scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh to take the 4-3 victory.
Sophomore Nick Barrett got his first varsity pitching victory for the Blue Lions. He pitched two scoreless innings (the sixth and seventh) with no hits, no walks and no strikeouts.
Junior Jarett Patton started and worked five innings with five hits, three runs (all earned), three walks and one strikeout.
Keaton took the loss for the Tigers, with one inning of work. He allowed one unearned run on three hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Patton led the Blue Lions with three hits, scoring one run.
Cole Massie was 2 for 3 with a run scored and Brian Wilson went 2 for 4 with 3 rbi.
Washington scored two in the bottom of the first and led by two runs until Circleville came to bat in the top of the third.
The Tigers scored two runs, tying the game for the time being.
Washington scored a run in the third to take a 3-2 lead, but, the tenacious Tigers tied the game in the top of the fourth.
The game remained tied through the fifth and sixth innings.
Finally, in the bottom of the seventh, the Blue Lions put together the game-winning rally.
Cluxton led off by dumping a single into shallow center field.
With Patton at the plate, Cluxton stole second.
Patton then had an infield single, putting runners at second and third.
The Tigers walked Massie intentionally, bringing up Wilson.
Wilson came up with an infield single in the hole between first and second, plating Cluxton with the game-winner.
“That was Nick’s first appearance in a varsity game,” Washington head coach Tyler Rhodus said. “He stayed level-headed, showed no emotion and got guys out. You can’t ask for much more of a young guy. The game was on the line and he did well.
“It was a nice team win,” Rhodus said. “I thought defensively, we made plays all night. We told our infielders yesterday, hey, you guys have to step it up and they responded. I was very pleased with my infield.
“Offensively, we had some timely hitting,” Rhodus said. “Everybody contibuted when called on. That was a good win against a very good Circleville team.”
The Blue Lions open SCOL play with a game at Clinton-Massie Wednesday.
Washington is at Paint Valley Thursday and at Chillicothe Friday.
The Blue Lions return home Monday to take on East Clinton at 5 p.m.
Offensively for Washington: Caden Cluxton 1-3, 2 runs, 1 bb, 1 sb; Jarett Patton, 3-4, 1 run; Cole Massie, 2-3, 1 run, 1 bb, 1 sb; Brian Wilson, 2-4, 3 rbi, 1 bb; Aaron Greer, 1-3, 1 rbi; Hayden Hufford, 1-3; Trevor Mustain, 1-3; Kyler Mount, 0-3.
C 002 100 0 — 3 5 2
W 201 000 1 — 4 11 2
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1