DEFIANCE – Archbold’s ACME baseball tournament run came up just short of another state championship. They fell to Bryan 3-0 in the championship game on Tuesday.
Bryan’s Connor Lemons scattered six hits over seven innings to shut out the Streaks. Archbold theatened in the seventh, but Lemons got out of the jam to secure the Bears’ first ACME state championship since 1996.
Jeron Williams got things going for the Bluestreaks with a one-out double in the seventh. After an out, Kade Kern walked to put the tying run at the plate. But Lemons got Mitch Grosjean to fly out to center, ending the game.
The Bears scored one in the fourth inning and then added two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. Connor Arthur started the sixth with a single before a pair of errors and a wild pitch helped Bryan score twice.
Rigo Ramos struck out seven and gave up just five hits, but took the loss on the mound for Archbold. He surrendered three runs, one earned.
“You have to tip your hat to Bryan,” said Archbold coach Kirk Weldy. “That’s a very talented team. We gave it our best shot and came up short. We left a lot of guys on base with two outs and couldn’t get that spark we needed.”
On Monday, the Bluestreaks advanced to the final with a 4-0 semifinal victory over Van Wert. T.J. Rice had a complete game shutout on mound, allowing six hits and striking out two.
“Overall, against Van Wert, we played well,” said Weldy. “T.J. Rice had a big game on the mound, going all seven, and once our hitters adjusted to the pitching, we started to hit.”
In the top of the third, Williams doubled and was singled home by Rice. Travis Ziegler doubled in the fifth and Williams drove in pinch runner Clay Nafziger for a 2-0 lead.
Archbold added two more runs in the top of the sixth inning. An RBI double by Mitch Grosjean and RBI single by Cory Erbskorn put the Streaks ahead 4-0.
Williams led the way offensively with two hits and an RBI.
“Overall, this summer was definitely a success. To see this team grow from the first game to the last was great momentum throughout the summer,” Weldy said. “We lost a great senior class, so had some new faces along with guys who had been around, so to see some of those guys step up was great. They set the bar for Archbold baseball and are excited about what is ahead for them.”