The Hillsboro Indians defeated the Chillicothe Cavaliers 8-2 in an FAC contest on Thursday evening. The Indians won the first meeting of the season between these two respective teams, and were able to complete the season sweep on their home diamond.
The first three innings went by in a flash with both pitchers throwing the ball with outstanding precision. Both ball clubs were able to get runners on base but could not cash in thanks to superb defensive play exhibited by both teams.
The bottom of the fourth began nicely for the Indians with a leadoff single by Ethan Watson. Indians pitcher Luke Magulac followed by reaching on an error by the Cavaliers shortstop and Jared Thompson reached on a base on balls to load the bases with just one away in the inning. The first run of the game finally occurred on a passed ball by the Cavaliers catcher, allowing Watson to score to stake the Indians to a 1-0 lead.
The Indians weren’t finished in the inning just yet. With runners on second and third, the Cavaliers attempted to cut down the runner at the plate but failed to do so, allowing the Indians to take a 2-0 lead. The Indians added another run in the frame thanks to some trickery. With runners on first and third, the Cavaliers pitcher attempted a pickoff move to first but as soon as he made his move, Thompson broke for the plate and slid into home without a throw.
Magulac faced his biggest threat of the game in the top of the fifth. After allowing a one-out single, the Indians pitcher plunked two batters in row to load the bases. The Cavaliers plated their first run of the game on a wild pitch, but stranded runners on second and third after a swinging bunt and a strikeout.
The Indians doubled their run total in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by Magulac and another single by Thompson that plated two more runs to stake the Indians to a 6-1 lead.
Magulac set down the side in order in the top of the sixth to continue his strong performance on the mound. Indians head coach Matt Garman had high praise for his pitcher saying, “Luke Magulac did what he’s done the last three or four starts. And he’s been virtually unhittable.”
The Indians plated two more insurance runs in the bottom half of the sixth to push the lead to 8-2 on a two-run RBI single by Watson. Unfortunately, Magulac couldn’t finish the complete game, turning the ball over to Watson to get the final two outs of the ballgame.
Magulac went 6 1/3 innings, allowing just two earned runs. Watson led the way at the plate, driving in four runs.
Spencer Michael is a stringer for The Times-Gazette.