In the end, putting the ball in play was enough. After losing the lead to Delta, Wauseon was able to produce a pair of runs on groundouts in the top of the sixth inning to defeat Delta 8-6 in Northwest Ohio Athletic League baseball Monday at Jim Harmon Field in Delta.
Wauseon had a 5-0 lead, only to see the Panthers come back and take a one-run lead. The Indians tied the game at six in the top of the fifth on a RBI double by Easton Delgado, then pushed across a pair of runs in the next frame to take the lead.
Connar Penrod opened the inning with a double and swiped third. Jameson Gray worked a walk, and he took second with no throw to put runners on second and third with nobody out.
With the Delta infield still playing back, both Sam Krasula and Sean Brock rolled balls to the left side of the infield for outs. The runners were able to move up and score on each play to put the Indians on top 8-6.
“They stayed back and we were just trying to put the ball in play,” admitted Wauseon coach Trent Thomas. “We had two groundouts that scored two runs to win the game. That (is) unselfish play and our kids are starting to learn that.”
Wauseon struck for three runs in the top of the second inning. Back-to-back errors put two runners on, and Delgado and Levi Krasula each brought home a run. Krasula scored the third run of the inning on a single by Gray.
A sac fly by Joey Shema and run-scoring single by Brady Thomas upped the Wauseon lead to 5-0 in the next inning.
Delta answered after a controversial reversal of a play by the umpires in the bottom of the third. With one run already in, Chase Stickley lined the ball to second base. The base umpire ruled Levi Krasula caught the ball on a line, and called the play an out. Chase Cooper, who was on second base at the time, was caught off the base when Krasula threw the ball to first.
After getting what looked to be an inning-ending twin killing, the umpires came together and ruled the ball was not caught, but on the throw to first Stickley was ruled out. Cooper was sent back to the base, where he eventually scored.
“Where I was standing, the kid trapped it,” Delta coach Damon Mattimore said of the play. “It went to a discussion and it was overturned. It’s a funny thing about baseball. We got a couple bunts down and our kids were believing when we took the lead. We just have to learn how to close games out.”
The Panthers took the lead with a four-run fourth. Tristen Saeger did the most damage, sending a two-run shot over the barrier in left field for a 6-5 lead.
“Our kids came back,” said Mattimore. “That was a big blast by Tristen Saeger.”
In the seventh, Delta loaded the bases but Penrod was able to close the door with a pair of strikeouts to preserve the win for the Indians.
“He did that for us on Saturday,” coach Thomas said of Penrod earning the save. “We haven’t been closing (out) games very well. His time to start a game isn’t coming up until Thursday so he can go an inning here or there to stay sharp.”
Gray had a pair of singles, drove in a run and scored a run for Wauseon. Levi Krasula added a pair of singles with a run and RBI as well. Saeger hit the home run and a single, driving in three for Delta. Cooper added a pair of singles, scored twice and drove in a run.
Thomas pitched an inning of relief to get the win for the Indians. Hunter Hamilton went the final four innings for the Panthers and took the loss.
Both teams were involved in shutout losses Tuesday. Wauseon was blanked 10-0 at Perrysburg and Delta fell 11-0 at Lake.
Wauseon (7-7, 2-1 NWOAL) visits Bryan Thursday. Delta (2-12, 0-3) hosts Archbold the same day.
Reach Randy Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org