Ayersville High School Ohio Grubs Ate the Baseball Infield and Delayed Home Opener

Ayersville High School’s (Defiance County, Ohio) baseball team has been bugged since the start of their 2011 season — by grubs.

What Is A Baseball Grub?

Grubs are not above ground insects, irritating the dickens out of baseball players competing under the lights during a steamy, heated night game.

They are not exactly a worm, like an earthworm that continuously fertilizes the dirt of the earth and encourages plant growth.

So what is a grub, and why have these small button-sized pests jeopardized Ayersville’s spring baseball schedule?

According to the Random House Dictionary, a grub is “a thick-bodied, sluggish larva, as of a beetle”. The word “grub” has seven additional meanings, one of which gives a description thusly: “to clear of roots, etc.”

Thereby lives the tale of the Pilots’ fly-by of their varsity baseball diamond in favor of the junior varsity field and other available facilities at Ayersville High School.

The Grubs of Ayersville Ohio

Grubs spent the winter months feasting on the tender roots of Ayersville, Ohio, grass, inconveniencing the Ayersville High School diamond season by discovering their favorite delicacy under the varsity baseball field and ruining 50 percent of the topside infield greenery.

The Pilots remain on takeoff delay, as far as playing on their home varsity field is concerned, until at least April 19, when neighboring conference foe Holgate is scheduled for landing.

Ayersville’s grubby, tiny beetle-like visitors are hard to discourage as a nation. Conversely, grass roots are difficult to encourage in a re-rooting program.

To Sod or To Re-Seed

Sodding the Ayersville diamond, or jumping on a re-seeding alternative were the best options presented to school officials to return the varsity infield to a playable surface. Spring rains and cold weather presented negatives in either cure, but Ayersville’s administration decided to try re-seeding because sodding takes six to eight weeks to root itself.

“When they (grubs) eat the (grass) roots, there’s nothing there to come back out,” Ayersville athletic director Doug Johnston was quoted in Lynn Groll’s article “Grubs Cause Problem” that appeared in the Defiance Crescent-News (Sports Section) April 7, 2011.

Johnston said the infield’s grubby, unwanted guests were chemically repelled, then drill re-seeding finished several times over while the Pilots wait patiently to reclaim their cowhide playground.

Counting the Positives

Pilots’ coach Chad Donsbach counted his team’s lucky stars. Scheduling of 2011 games had included a majority of away contests in the beginning of the season, other than an early double-header that was switched from Ayersville’s home field to Lima Bath.

The game of baseball presents “a lot of things you can’t control,” added Coach Donsbach. And so do grubs. Donsbach’s Pilots will be happy to see the bug-be-gone evidence. “When we get the go-ahead…we’ll get back on it (field)”, the coach said.

If that becomes impossible before Ayersville is due to welcome opponents in May for the area’s Division IV sectional tournament, nearby Napoleon High School in Henry County is on standby to host that event.

In the meantime, it’s Baseball Grubs, 1 — Ayersville Pilots, 0.


Random House Dictionary, 1980, Ballantime Books, New York.
Crescent-News, Defiance, Ohio, April 7, 2011.