ELIDA – In what was a sloppy game on the mound for both teams’ pitching staffs, Columbus Academy took advantage of Archbold’s mistakes when it counted in the end. The Vikings tallied three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, the last on a single to right with the bases loaded from David Friedman, for a 4-3 walkoff win over the Bluestreaks in a Division III baseball regional semifinal at Elida’s Ed Sandy Field Thursday.
“We stranded too many guys early in the game and could have built a much better lead than we had,” said Archbold coach Dick Selgo after the loss. “That team wasn’t going to quit, you just knew that. Couldn’t get that last out.”
Free passes also came back to bite the Streaks in the end. Archbold pitching walked six batters and four reached on hit by pitches. Similarly, Columbus Academy walked nine and hit one batter.
Archbold starting pitcher Brandon Miller got a pop up to start off the home half of the seventh, but back-to-back walks put the tying runs on base. After going 6 1/3 innings, Miller was replaced by Rigo Ramos.
Ramos registered the second out of the inning when Hayden Compton grounded into a fielder’s choice to put out Ryan Mitchell at second. However, he issued a base on balls to Max Dreisbach which loaded the bases, then a walk to Evan Scott brought home Nick Rothmann and made it a 3-2 game.
With the bases full, Friedman, who was already 3 for 3 on the day, shot one just over the reach of Bluestreak second baseman Bryce Williams for the walkoff victory.
“We didn’t have any place to put him, the bases were loaded,” said the dejected Archbold coach. “We just couldn’t get that final out and get the thing over.”
It was an especially disappointing end for Archbold’s seniors, as they were looking to get to state after three straight trips to the regional. They fell in the regional semifinal in 2017 and 2018, and were regional runners-up in 2016.
“For a number of these seniors, it’s their third straight trip to the regionals,” said Selgo. “They sure would have liked to have gotten through here, but it didn’t work out that way. But they have really done a lot for Archbold baseball. We will miss them.”
Walks to Nic Rodriguez and Jeron Williams and two groundouts plated Rodriguez, giving the Streaks a one-run lead in the top of the first. They made it 2-0 in the top of the third thanks to Kade Kern’s RBI single.
That lead would hold until the home half of the fifth as a sacrifice fly from Dreisbach put the Vikings on the board.
The Vikings tried to even the score in their half of the sixth, but the Bluestreak defense flashed some leather. After Friedman singled to lead off the frame, Max Glass popped up a bunt that was caught by catcher Gabe Petersen who fired to first, doubling off Friedman to end the inning.
The Streaks turned a double play back in the fourth as well.
“If we give our defense a chance, they’re pretty good,” said Selgo. “Most of the time we’re gonna make the play. That’s a pretty good high school defense.”
Archbold scored their third run of the game with the help of some Viking miscues in the top of the seventh.
A hit by pitch to Bryce Williams started it, then Noah Glimcher was replaced on the mound with Matthew Snling after going six innings. Kern attempted to sacrifice him to second, but ended up making it safely on a throwing error. Bryce Williams continued to go to third, and he would score when the throw sailed over the bag.
Kern paced the Bluestreak offense, going 1 for 4 with a pair of runs batted in.
The Streaks finish the season 24-6.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010