DEFIANCE – After inclement weather pushed the start of the 2018 ACME Baseball State Tournament back 24 hours, the rain from the day before did not cool off the Archbold Bluestreaks as they shut out Perrysburg in the opening game Sunday, 5-0.
“We put the ball in play,” said Archbold ACME coach Kirk Weldy after the game. “We leaned on Rigo (Ramos) to get us to a hot start. Again, I think we (the offense) followed behind him. We got in a situation where we kind of took advantage and took a little bit of risk. Overall, we are happy where we’re at right now.”
With the aid of a pair of Yellow Jacket errors, the Streaks put up three runs in the top of the first inning.
Jeron Williams doubled to left center to lead off the game, then after an out, Kade Kern reached on a fielding error which put runners on the corners for Mitch Grosjean. He would belt a triple to bring home two runs.
The next Bluestreak hitter struck out, but Cory Erbskorn made it to second on a dropped fly ball, scoring Grosjean for a 3-0 Archbold lead.
The Streaks then added a run in the top of the fourth.
Chase Kohler got them started with a one-out bloop single to right. He advanced two bases on multiple balls in the dirt, and scored on a Williams groundout to put them up 4-0.
Archbold starting pitcher Rigo Ramos pitched into the fourth inning where he was pulled after recording the second out, keeping him under the 50-pitch plateau and making him available for a potential state title game on Tuesday.
“Those guys (Perrysburg) can put up a five-spot in a heart beat,” explained Weldy. “And that’s where I got really nervous making that call with Rigo. I had in the back of my mind maybe (leaving) him in. Perrysburg, when they catch fire they’re gonna catch fire.”
But, the move proved to be smart as relief pitchers T.J. Rice and Jeron Williams held the Yellow Jackets hitless. Their lone hit was a one-out single from Daniel Krueger off Ramos in the fourth.
“Our pitchers, overall, got on top of hitters and made our defense play. We’ve been leaning on our defense all summer long. So nothing to change,” said Weldy on the performance of his team’s pitching and defense.
Archbold added a final insurance run in the top of the seventh, leaving nothing to chance. Erbskorn’s two-out RBI single made the final line 5-0.
The Bluestreaks outhit the Yellow Jackets 11-1, while Perrysburg committed four miscues defensively. Leading the Archbold attack was Grosjean who finished 2 for 4 with a pair of runs batted in. Williams went 2 for 4 with an RBI.
Ramos got the win, allowing just one hit while striking out six over 3 2/3 innings. Bryan Mitchell suffered the loss for Perrysburg.
Archbold is scheduled to take on Van Wert when the tournament resumes Monday evening. That contest will begin at 5:30 p.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010