Coming through when the chances came was the name of the game Thursday as Archbold scored eight of its 11 runs with two out in a 11-3 win at Memorial Park over Swanton in Northwest Ohio Athletic League baseball action.
The difference came in three innings where Archbold could produce. In the bottom of the third, T.J. Rice drew a walk, then advanced to second on a wild pitch after the first two outs of the inning had been recorded. Kade Kern followed with a single to drive in Rice.
After a second walk, Cory Erbskorn stepped to the plate and delivered the big hit, a two-run single.
“It’s so crucial to get hits instead of leaving those guys stranded,” Archbold coach Dick Selgo said of coming through offensively in the clutch. “It was just huge today.”
Holden Galvan smacked a two-out two-run single in the fifth that put Archbold ahead 6-2. The Steaks put the game out of reach with five runs – all scored with two outs – in the bottom of the sixth. Mitch Grosjean drew a bases-loaded walk, then scored on an error. Erbskorn again had the big hit, coming through with his second two-run single before scoring the final run in the game.
“I was very happy with some two-out hits,” explained Selgo on the clutch hitting. “We had a number of two-out hits with runners in scoring position. Those just mean a lot.”
Swanton had some chances, but settled for single runs. Archbold took a 1-0 lead in the first thanks to an error, but the Bulldogs were looking to strike in the top of the third. Hunter Mix worked his way around the bases after a lead-off walk and scored on a sac fly by Michael Lawniczak.
“I thought we came out and played hard,” admitted Swanton coach Tim McCarthy. “We just didn’t capitalize on some baserunners.”
The Bulldogs had a big chance in the top of the fifth. Mix doubled and scored, but Swanton was looking for more. Before the double, Tommy Chonko was out at the plate on a failed squeeze play. At the time, the run had cut the Archbold lead to 4-2.
“We’ve been struggling early on and I rolled the dice with the squeeze,” said the Swanton coach. “If we get that, we’re looking at a 4-3 game and in the sixth inning we put some more pressure on them. We just couldn’t get the big hit.”
Derek Floyd singled and scored for Swanton in the sixth, an inning where the Bulldogs left a runner – one of eight stranded on the night – at third.
“Swanton is a nice team,” Selgo said on the Bulldogs. “They were on the verge (of closing the gap) until that last inning.”
Aiden Warncke pitched into the sixth inning to get the win for Archbold. He allowed three runs – two earned – on four hits with four walks and five strikeouts.
“Aiden Warncke did a real nice job for us,” stated Selgo. “T.J. Rice came in and shut the door and I was happy with that.”
Erbskorn drove in four to lead the Archbold attack. Rice added a pair of singles.
Jayde Kruzel took the loss for the Bulldogs. He allowed six runs – four earned – on six hits in five innings with four walks and four strikeouts. Mix had a double and scored twice for Swanton.
Both teams picked up wins on Saturday. The Streaks blanked Perrysburg 11-0 at Fifth Third Field in Toledo while Swanton rallied for a 7-5 win over Rossford.
Archbold (9-1, 2-0 NWOAL) plays at Evergreen Monday in league action and heads to Bowling Green Tuesday. Swanton (9-2, 0-2) hosts Bryan Monday and visits Patrick Henry Thursday in NWOAL affairs.
Reach Randy Roberts at email@example.com