For seven innings watching Wauseon’s Connar Penrod and Evergreen’s Landen Vance was like watching Nolan Ryan against Greg Maddux.
The battle between Penrod and Vance was a stalemate but Wauseon won the war. A two-base throwing error led to an unearned run — without the benefit of a hit in the bottom of the seventh — as the Indians took a 1-0 win.
Wauseon is now in the top spot of the Northwest Ohio Athletic League title race at 4-0, while the Vikings dropped to 3-1.
It was Wauseon’s first baseball win over Evergreen since 2017.
“The way (Vance) pitched was great, and Connar was a bulldog out there,” veteran Indians’ coach Trent Thomas said postgame. “He was a little wild at times today. He was in trouble two or three times and got out of it to keep us in it.
“That’s a really good team we beat today. They are really young (the Vikings have nary a senior) and built for the future as well. That team is going to win a lot of games.”
Three times Evergreen got runners into scoring position with less than two outs.
Three times Penrod got out of trouble, twice striking out three straight Viking hitters to escape unscathed.
Meanwhile, Vance gave up just one hit and at one point, retired 15 straight Wauseon hitters while allowing just four baserunners all day.
Easton Delgado looped a two-out single and an ensuing base on balls put two Indians on base in the first, but Vance got a fly ball to get out of the only time the Indians put two runners on the sacks.
Penrod walked a hitter, then plunked another with a pitch leading off the second.
However, the hard-throwing righty blew away the next three Vikings on strikes to get out of trouble.
Vance led off the fourth with a ringing double, and two more walks around a pair of outs had the bases jacked full of Vikes with two down.
Again Penrod made a pitch to get out of a jam, getting a fly to center.
Evergreen’s last threat was in the sixth.
RJ Shunck doubled to deep right and Penrod mishandled a sacrifice bunt to put runners on first and third with no outs.
And one more time the BG commit struck out the next three batters to keep the game scoreless.
On the other side, Vance got hitter after hitter to roll out until the seventh.
That’s when a throwing error on Kolton DeGroff’s leadoff bouncer put a runner at second.
Sam Krasula bunted him to third where Clay Stump delivered a fly to deep center to mark the only run of the game.
“It means a lot having the experience we have,” stated Thomas of the fact he has 12 seniors on the roster. “These guys keep going; they never quit today.”
As far as the pitching duel, Penrod gave up three hits and walked four while striking out 11.
Vance walked just two to go with twirling a one-hitter. The Viking junior struck out three.
The Indians got a run in the bottom of the seventh for a 7-6 walkoff win over Whitmer Saturday. On Friday, Evergreen fell 7-0 to Blissfield out of Michigan.
Wauseon (9-4, 4-0 NWOAL) is at Swanton Monday and hosts Start on Tuesday. Evergreen (7-5, 3-1) hosts Bryan Monday and travels to Lake on Tuesday.