LIMA – Looking to repeat as state champions, Archbold defeated Anthony Wayne 4-1 to open play at the State ACME Baseball Tournament Saturday at Lima Shawnee High School.
“A great game both sides,” said Archbold mentor Kirk Weldy on his team’s win. “At this point it’s gonna be the first team that gets on the board or throw(s) a couple (of runs) out there. We rely on our pitching all summer long. We put some hits together and made it happen.”
Archbold held a commanding 9-0 lead over Lima Shawnee heading into the seventh inning of Sunday’s semifinal before storms halted play. Although the game could not be finished, the win was awarded to the Blue Streaks, sending them to the state championship.
Pitching propelled the Streaks versus Anthony Wayne, as starter Trevor Rupp went all seven innings, allowing five hits while striking out a pair.
“Trevor is one of those guys, especially being a senior, I was putting everything on his shoulders and being comfortable with it,” commented Weldy. “There is nothing more we can ask out of him. He went out there, did a great job, and our defense, same way.”
Archbold scored all of their runs prior to the Generals making a dent on the scoreboard. In the bottom of the first with runners at the corners, Gabe Petersen got the defense thinking when he attempted to steal second which allowed Bryce Williams to score from third for a 1-0 lead.
Anthony Wayne had runners on second and third with one out in the next half inning but failed to score. Rupp would fan both Cameron Kottenbrock and Brycen Bais to end the threat.
Jeron Williams doubled down the left field line to lead off the bottom of the third for the Streaks. After a ground out, Petersen followed with a single, but Jeron Williams was held up at third.
A Kade Kern pop out resulted in the second out of the frame, leaving it up to Holden Galvan. The soon-to-be junior got a base hit to bring home Jeron Williams.
Archbold put together consecutive two-out RBI hits in their half of the fourth to make it 4-0. First Jeron Williams singled home Brandon Miller who led off the inning with a single and moved up on a sacrifice bunt, then Bryce Williams’ double scored his brother.
“Baseball’s a funny sport so any runs you can (add on), we’ve got to get it,” said Weldy. “And we’ve got to take advantage of anything we can. Our hitting’s been one of our biggest assets all summer long. Again, we told the seniors to step up and they sure did.”
The Generals trimmed the lead at 4-1 on Hogan Heck’s fielder’s choice that scored Brady Theis in the top of the sixth. They would get no closer the rest of the day.
Outside of Galvan, Jeron Williams, and Bryce Williams who each drove in runs, Miller went 3 for 3 to pace the Blue Streak offense.
Taking the loss on the mound for the Generals was Steve Haugh who went 3 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits with just one punchout. Michael Faber finished off the final 2 1/3 innings, allowing two more Archbold hits.
Archbold plays Defiance at the Bulldogs’ home field in the state championship game Monday at 7 p.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010