Defiance marked all the runs it needed in the first two innings as Wauseon saw its baseball season come to an end with an 8-2 loss to the top-seeded Bulldogs in a Division II district semifinal Thursday in Archbold.
The Bulldogs’ pitcher Jayden Jerger was able to shut down the Wauseon offense after the first two innings. He tossed a complete game, surrendering two runs on five hits with five strikeouts to just one walk.
“We hit him hard. He was good. I’m not gonna (take anything away from him). Wind killed a few hits we had,” said Wauseon coach Trent Thomas of Jerger. “Those two runs in the first were costly. Obviously they scored five in the first two — kind of unexpected. It is what it is. I’m proud of our guys. Guys that have battled through; we were 0-3 and we came back and won 19 games. Won a league championship and a sectional championship. I’m proud of our guys. Tip your cap to Defiance they did a good job today.
The Indians grabbed the lead first in the top of the first thanks to Kolton DeGroff’s two-out RBI single scoring Jude Armstrong. But, in the home half of the inning, Defiance’s David Jiminez put his team ahead with a two-run single to right field.
Each team scored in their half of the second, it’s just that Defiance scored three to Wauseon’s one.
Three straight hits from the Indians, the last an RBI single off the bat Armstrong knotted the score 2-2 midway through the second.
In the bottom of the inning, Jerger’s leadoff hit plus a pair of walks and a strikeout loaded the bases with one out. A Jack Mortier groundout scored Jerger, then Bradyn Shaw singled in a pair to make it a 5-2 difference.
For Wauseon offensively, they stranded five base runners. And, on the other side, they walked eight batters leading to more opportunity for Defiance.
Three of those walks came in the bottom of the sixth, as part of a three-run inning for the Dogs.
Mortier and Shaw each drove in runs to push the lead to 7-2. Then, following Camden Roth’s walk which loaded the bases and a strikeout, Wade Liffick’s base on balls brought in another for an 8-2 Bulldog advantage.
“We had chances we just didn’t come through,” explained Thomas. “No excuses, we just didn’t throw enough strikes today. And again, they are a good team. They are gonna beat you if you make mistakes.”
Maddux Chamberlin had relieved Wauseon starter Connar Penrod on the mound after the walk to Roth in the sixth. Penrod went 5 1/3 innings for the Indians, allowing all eight runs on nine hits with seven strikeouts.
“I’m not gonna make an excuse, but he (Penrod) burned his finger on Sunday cooking eggs. It was right on his middle finger of his throwing hand and we’ve been dealing with that all week. I don’t think he had his best curveball. So it was hard, we were throwing a lot of fastballs. But they did a good job. I’m not gonna say they wouldn’t have got him without that. But, that didn’t help I’ll say that.”
Wauseon ends the season at 19-7.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.