Trailing by five runs with just two at bats remaining, the outcome looked bleak for Wauseon baseball Friday at home against Edon. But like they had done in Northwest Ohio Athletic League wins over Swanton and Delta, the Indians rallied for a walkoff win.
This time it came as they scored three in the bottom of the seventh for an 8-7 victory.
Wauseon coach Trent Thomas wasn’t necessarily pleased with the outing overall, but in the end his team found a way to win.
“We just give up little runs here and there in that game. It wasn’t a big inning,” said the skipper. “We made bad pitches (ahead) 0-2, and they took advantage of our mistakes. We had a two-out walk the one inning, and that inning they score two runs. And then a 0-2 hung fastball that got way too much of the plate and he hit it into the gap. We got to quit kicking ourselves a litte bit. But again, the kids, I can’t say enough about the fight in them. High school kids usually don’t do that every game. They’ve been ready to fight every game.”
The Indians cut it to 7-5 with a two-run single from Trent Armstrong and RBI single from Joey Shema in the home half of the sixth. Then, they stranded a pair of Bombers in scoring position in the top of the seventh.
Daryke Bass got Edon started with a single, then after a strikeout, Shane Zulch’s double put both him and Bass in scoring position. Sean Brock, who came on in relief of CJ Moser in the fifth and got the win, struck out Riley Manahan and drew a fly out from Dylan Mason to end the threat.
“Huge strikeout (of Manahan),” said Thomas. “We haven’t been getting a lot of strikeouts, swings and misses, and Sean got a big strikeout. Because we had the infield in, if they just put it in play it’s gonna be a tough play.”
Brock allowed three runs on three hits while striking out three to get the win. Moser went the first four innings, allowing four runs on four hits with seven strikeouts.
“Sean came in and I thought threw well. CJ threw OK, not his best stuff, but he threw OK,” said Thomas of the pitching tandem.
Edon’s starter, Bass, was one out away from victory before he was forced to watch it slip away on the bench. He got two quick outs in the bottom of the seventh, but his 130th and final pitch of the evening resulted in a base hit by Wauseon’s Justus Chapa.
Mason was inserted on the mound and he hit the first batter he faced.
Armstrong brought the Indians within one when his single scored Chapa to make it 7-6. Carter Stump was up next and despite getting two strikes on him, he continued to battle. The senior would rip a ball to the shortstop who bobbled it, and when his throw sailed over the first baseman, the winning runs came home.
“The guy bobbled it, so he’s probably safe without the throw,” said Thomas of the play. “And then, they throw it over the guy so it just works out that we score two runs on that rather than one. Just a fantastic at bat. I don’t care if it’s an error or a hit, it’s a fantastic at bat.”
Earlier in the game, the Bombers broke open a 2-2 tie in their half of the fourth.
Zulch got them started with a two-out walk, then Manahan belted a triple to right center to grab the lead. He wasn’t left standing there long, as Mason’s base hit scored Manahan for a 4-2 Bomber lead.
They completed their scoring with an RBI single from Connor Skiles in the top of the fifth, plus a sacrifice fly and Carson Brandt’s RBI single in the sixth.
Shema (3 for 4) and Armstrong (2 for 5) each drove in two runs to lead the Wauseon offense. Manahan went 2 for 4 with an RBI for the Bombers.
The Indians were back home Saturday where they fell to Napoleon 5-0.
Wauseon (7-9) is at Tinora Tuesday before traveling to Van Wert for a Division II sectional semifinal Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010