Wauseon ace Connar Penrod had himself a day, tossing five innings of shutout ball and only allowing four hits. But when the Indians had to dip into their bullpen Defiance took advantage. The Bulldogs tallied seven runs over the final two innings — including six in the top of the eighth — to pick up a 7-3 victory in eight innings over Wauseon in the baseball season opener Saturday.
The Indians scored a run in the bottom of the second inning and that lead would hold until the seventh. With the bases full, Jude Armstrong’s bloop single brought home Penrod for the 1-0 advantage.
The lead would disappear when Defiance’s Camden Roth, in leading off the top of the seventh, hit a shot that carried over the fence in left field for a home run off relief pitcher Brady Thomas.
However, Wauseon avoided further damage in the frame. After a Mark Butler single, they got a ground out, then on a sacrifice bunt attempt Simeon Sweeney was thrown out at home. That was followed by a runner getting caught stealing for the third out.
The Indians went down in order in their half of the seventh, sending the game to extra innings. The Bulldogs would take advantage off the Indians third pitcher of the day, Ryan Marks.
Defiance’s first two batters reached via the base on balls, then later after David Jimenez’ sacrifice bunt moved them up, Jacob Howard drove in both runs to give the visitors a 3-1 lead. Furthermore, after another walk, Roth singled in two more runs to extend the lead.
This forced Wauseon to turn to their fourth pitcher, Hunter Nofziger, who struck out Sweeney before Jayden Jerger got to him with a home run to left that made it a 7-1 margin.
The Indians were able to get a couple runs back in the bottom of the eighth but they ultimately fell short. With runners on second and third and nobody out, Nofziger’s ground out brought home Sam Krasula. Then Easton Delgado’s sacrifice fly to center field scored Clay Stump, getting them within 7-3.
Penrod followed with a single, but the Bulldogs drew a pop up from Maddux Chamberlin to end the inning and game.
Jimenez got the win in relief for Defiance, allowing two runs on two hits while striking out a pair over 3 1/3 innings. Howard went the first 4 2/3 innings for the Bulldogs, surrendering just one run on six hits with a pair of strikeouts as well.
Marks took the loss for the Indians. Penrod notched five strikeouts and zero walks in his five innings of work.
Kolton DeGroff and Penrod each finished 2 for 4 at the plate for Wauseon. Roth paced Defiance as he finished 3 for 4 with three runs batted in and a pair of runs scored.
Wauseon will be at Mercy Field in Toledo for a matchup with Central Catholic Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.