It took Wauseon until the bottom of the sixth inning to dent the scoreboard against Bryan starting pitcher Christian Pool, but the Golden Bears already had six runs of their own as they held on for the 6-2 victory to claim the NWOAL baseball title outright on Monday.
Bryan jumped on Wauseon starter Brady Rupp early, notching all of their runs over the first three frames.
In the top of the first, back-to-back doubles from Deylen Miley and Tyler Roushia scored the game’s first run. Miley would finish 3 for 3 with an RBI and a walk.
“He just didn’t execute pitches,” said Wauseon coach Trent Thomas of Rupp. “He was ahead in the count to their best hitter three times, and he gave up two doubles and a single that scored runs. Deylen Miley’s too good to throw a slider (and hang it). And Christian (Pool) threw a good game.”
Roushia stole third, Bleus Creek walked, and Roushia scored when Chris Whittler struck out for the first out but forced a throw to first after the ball went through the catcher’s glove and into the dirt.
Still with one out, Pool’s ground out plated another run which made it 3-0 after one.
Wauseon went down in order with three strikeouts in their first two at bats, however, the Bears added one in the away half of the second inning.
Knocking in the run was Miley who got a single, his second knock of the game to bring in Daniel Borland who doubled to lead off the inning. This put the score at 4-0.
Then, in Bryan’s at bat in the third, Roushia walked and Creek pegged an infield single to put the first two men on. Whittler’s RBI-single plated Roushia to make it 5-0, and after a walk issued to Pool, Creek scored on a wild pitch to push it to 6-0.
Wauseon got their first base runner in the next half inning as Brooks Gype reached on a base on balls with one out. Otherwise, Pool struck out the side to strand him at first.
The Indians also got their first hit in the bottom of the fourth when Rupp notched a two-out single. Brady Kinnersley followed with a walk but Jac Flory, who has seen limited at bats recently due to an injury, was struck out by Pool to end the threat.
The Indians kept the Golden Bear offense at bay in the fifth, but failed to dent the scoreboard in their half. Travis Smith, who like Flory has seen limited playing time because of injury, singled with two outs but was stranded.
“They have been getting an at bat every now and then,” said Thomas of Flory and Smith. “Travis (Smith) played Friday night, but he’s not full strength. He really kind of jammed his shoulder on the one single he had.
“Again, I couldn’t be more proud of our kids because of all the injuries. If you would have asked me what our starting lineup would have been in a league championship game it wouldn’t have been that. And unfortunately, we had a chance to play for it and we didn’t get it done.”
Wauseon got two hits and a walk to plate their only two runs of the game in the sixth. Kinnersley’s RBI-double and a blooper off the bat of CJ Moser did the damage.
“We just started hitting fastballs,” said Thomas about the inning. “We were looking for fastballs and he must have been spotting them pretty well. Tip your cap to them, they did a great job of jumping on Brady’s fastball. He got it up and was elevating it.”
Pool pitched 6 2/3 innings for the Bears to get the win, striking out 10 to just three walks. Rupp tossed four innings, allowing six runs on seven hits to get the loss.
Kinnersley paced the Indians at the plate as he went 1 for 2 with a walk and an RBI.
Max Householder can be reached at 419-335-2010