BARBERTON — Facing a steep climb, the Wadsworth baseball team refused to back down.
Behind pitcher Chase Diosy and first baseman Jake Peebles, the Grizzlies mounted a convincing comeback Thursday to defeat Barberton 19-9 in non-league play and open the season with four wins in as many days.
Diosy came on in relief in with two outs in the third inning after his team fell behind 9-5. The junior quickly forced Magics (0-3) shortstop Nick Plucinski to ground out to shortstop Carl Pennington.
“Walking into the game, I just have to lock in,” Diosy said. “No matter when Coach (Greg Pickard) calls my name, I have to be ready. I just was trying to throw strikes.”
Diosy (1-0), who earned the save against Highland on Wednesday, stifled Barberton’s previously hot bats with a combination of fastballs and curveballs over 3⅓ shutout innings. He had four strikeouts and allowed three hits before turning over the game to Pennington for the seventh inning.
“Unbelievable job (by Diosy),” Pickard said. “Chase came in and finished the game for us (Wednesday) — really as a first-time varsity pitcher — and did an excellent job. Tonight, he came in and gave us what we needed and more.”
The right-hander bought the Grizzlies time to heat up their bats, and they exploded in the sixth inning.
With Wadsworth trailing 9-6, the Magics hit a batter, walked two and surrendered a hit to Pennington to bring up catcher Matt Moore. The senior ripped a double deep to center field that plated Pennington and right fielder Brock Snowball to tie the game 9-9.
Peebles followed with a single up the middle that brought home Nick Lallathin and Moore to put the Grizzlies ahead for good.
The two-run single was the highlight of a sterling game for Peebles, who had two hits and three RBIs in the 12-run sixth inning that put Wadsworth ahead 18-9. The junior finished 4-for-4 with two doubles, five RBIs and three runs.
“He’s been hitting the ball all year,” Pickard said. “We had him in the leadoff spot but moved him back a little bit, and I think he’s a little more comfortable in the middle of the lineup and we’ll probably keep him there.”
The Grizzlies brought 17 batters to the plate in the inning. Peebles, Pennington, Snowball, Lallathin, Carroll and senior Connor Hallas all reached safely twice.
“For us, we capitalize as much as we can,” Peebles said. “I feel like if we get one (mistake) on the other side, we instantly take advantage. Us stringing hits together, we have very high potential when that comes into play.”
Wadsworth jumped to a 5-2 lead in the top of the third inning on a two-run double by Peebles.
Barberton answered with seven runs in the bottom of the inning, led by junior Billy Goble’s double, single, two RBIs and run scored in the inning.
Goble went 4-for-4 but took the loss in relief.
Wadsworth 19, Barberton 9
WADSWORTH 023 01(12) 1 — 19 13 0
BARBERTON 027 000 0 — 9 14 3
WP — Chase Diosy (1-0) 3⅓ innings, 0 runs, 3 hits, 4 strikeouts. LP — Billy Goble ⅓ inning, 7 runs, 6 earned, 3 hits, 3 walks. Wadsworth (4-0) — Carl Pennington 2 singles, 2 runs; Brock Snowball 2 walks, 2 runs, RBI; Nick Lallathin 3 walks, 3 runs, 2 RBI; Matt Moore double, hit by pitch, 2 RBI, run; Jake Peebles 2 doubles, 2 singles, 5 RBIs, 3 runs; Connor Hallas 2 singles, walk, hit by pitch, 3 runs; Conner Stewart 2 runs; Ben Carroll 2 singles, double, 2 runs, 2 RBI. Barberton (0-3) — Goble 3 singles, double 2 RBI, run; Gavin Krska double, triple, 2 runs, RBI; Alex Stevenson 3 singles, 2 RBI, run; Griffin Brown single, 2 walks, run, RBI.