In what was more than a 10-degree difference temperature from their regular season win Thursday over Ottawa-Glandorf, Archbold opened tournament play with a 3-0 win over Lake in a Division III baseball sectional final Friday.
“Both teams were used to this weather that’s for sure, because we played a lot of games in this stuff,” said Archbold coach Dick Selgo of the cold weather, which was a common theme much of the season. “We had a fun two weeks playing in real baseball weather, and we got spoiled. Now we’re back to the old stuff. It’s the same for both teams, and you knew that runs were gonna be at a premium today with the soft ground and the wind blowing in. Fortunately, our guy on the mound, Brandon Miller, was good.”
To that point, Miller allowed just one hit and struck out 10 over seven innings to pick up the win on the mound for the Bluestreaks.
“He’s got enough velocity on his fastball, he’s got a very sharp breaking curve, and he’s throwing strikes,” said Selgo of Miller. “When he does that he’s effective.”
After putting away the Flyers in the top of the first, the first two batters reached for the Streaks in the bottom of the inning. A groundout from Bryce Williams moved both Nic Rodriguez and Jeron Williams into scoring position, then a sacrifice fly from Kade Kern plated Rodriguez for a 1-0 lead.
Things stayed quiet until the home half of the fifth when Archbold struck with two outs.
Rodriguez got them going with a one-out single, and after a flyout, Bryce Williams singled and went to second on the throw into third base. Kern followed with a two-run single to equal the final tally.
“Two-out runs are big anytime. Especially in a game like this,” explained Selgo. “Those guys (Kern and Bryce Williams) are clutch hitters, and they came through for us today when we really needed it.”
Lake did have opportunities in each of the last two frames, but could not come through with a big hit. A pair of walks started the top of the sixth for the Flyers, however, Miller retired the side with a groundout around two strikeouts.
Then in the seventh with the Flyers down to their final out, two walks, a wild pitch and passed ball, and another base on balls put runners on the corners. But, Miller would get a fly out to center to end it.
Kern finished 1 for 2 at the plate and drove in all three Archbold runs, while Bryce Williams went 2 for 3.
Lake pitcher Jacob Boelkins went all six innings, surrendering four hits while striking out three.
Archbold (22-4) is onto the district tournament Thursday at Defiance. The Streaks will face Genoa in the second semifinal beginning at approximately 4 p.m. Swanton faces Eastwood in the first semifinal after topping Tinora 4-3 to advance.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010