Indians blank Blackbirds in ACME

Wauseon scored a pair of runs in the top of the first inning and held off Pettisville for a 3-0 shutout win on the road in ACME play Thursday.

“It was hard to produce (runs) only because we are battling with injuries,” said Austin Tuckerman, who was filling in for Doug Rupp as Wauseon’s ACME coach. “Don’t have as many guys as we’d like but (I’m) really happy with the team. They are just plugging away.”

A pair of walks relinquished to Wauseon’s Josh Whitcomb and JJ Kauffman by Pettisville starter Christian Barhite helped to get the Indian offense going. First Whitcomb walked and stole second, then Kauffman followed by doing the same thing to put both runners in scoring position.

A sacrifice fly by Carter Bzovi scored Whitcomb which made it 1-0 in favor of the Indians. Coming next was a grounder to Barhite off the bat of Jacob Raabe as Barhite threw to third where Kauffman was eventually caught in a rundown.

However, Jac Flory came through with two outs, drilling a double to left field which brought home Raabe for the second Wauseon run of the inning.

Barhite then got a strikeout from the next Wauseon hitter to retire the side.

CJ Moser was a cool customer on the mound for Wauseon. He got a strikeout to open the home half of the first, then forced a pop up and ground out to set the Blackbirds down in order.

Moser also reached base with a walk in the top of the second, but Barhite bared down and notched a pair of punch outs and a ground out to strand the base runner.

“It wasn’t the best game he has pitched but as far as the number of hits he gave up it was a pretty good game,” said Pettisville coach Paul Bishop of Barhite. “And they didn’t have a lot of hard hit outs either.”

“He walked at least one batter in the first four innings but none in the last two innings so he got sharper as the game wore on.”

In the bottom of the second Dillon King got the first Blackbird hit, drilling a single to left and making it to second when the ball was misplayed in the outfield. However, that runner was erased as Moser forced a ground out, followed by an Austin Horning pop up to end the threat.

“He was really able to position his fastball well. He was able to start off and get ahead in the count,” said Tuckerman of Moser’s dominating performance.

The Indians could only muster a two-out walk from Raabe in their half of the third as again Barhite managed to stay out of trouble. Pettisville’s Eli Knorr led off the next half inning with a walk, but was doubled off after Evan Warner popped up to the catcher.

“The defense was ready,” explained Tuckerman. “Normally they might be a little tired later in the evening, but they were really ready to get anything and scrap for outs.”

Moser would get a strikeout for the final out of the third.

Wauseon did draw walks by Tyler Lange and Kris Moebs in the top of the fourth, but those came with two out and a ground out ended the inning.

Pettisville got some offense going in their half as Preston Stevens led off with a walk, followed by Landon Roth’s sacrifice bunt.

A single and steal by Barhite put runners on second and third with only one out. But the Indians escaped damage as Justin Rupp struck out and King flied out to right.

Neither squad could manage much offense in the fifth, but in the sixth Wauseon added on to its lead.

Brooks Gype led off with a single, then Moser drew a base on balls and Lange’s sacrifice bunt moved up the runners. Gype scored on a wild pitch during Moebs’ at bat to put the score at 3-0, Indians.

The Indians closed out Pettisville as Moser pitched the final two innings, striking out five of the six batters he faced. He finished by allowing just three hits and striking out 10.

Barhite went six innings for Pettisville, giving up three hits as well and striking out six batters.

Flory paced the Indians on offense as he was 1 for 3 with an RBI. King, Barhite and Horning each had singles for Pettisville.