Wauseon’s offense continued to put more and more runs on the board as the game went on, the big blow being a five-run fourth inning for a 11-1 five-inning win at home over Swanton Monday in a makeup Northwest Ohio Athletic League baseball game.
However, Swanton did threaten to dent the scoreboard first in the top of the first inning. With two outs, Ryan O’Shea, Kaden Curtis and Drake Harris each singled to load the bases. But Wauseon pitcher Will Sherman then got John Heckert to pop up, halting the effort.
The Indians would score in their half of the first by manufacturing a run. First, Tyson Rodriguez reached with a one-out single. Rodriguez followed by stealing second base and also third, and when the throw to third in an attempt to catch him stealing went awry, he scored to give the Indians a 1-0 edge.
Swanton answered in the next half inning.
Hunter Gowing led off the frame with a base hit and stole second. Then, with two outs later in the inning, Garrett Swank flipped one to center field that was dropped, scoring Gowing and tying the game.
Little did anyone know, that would be the final run of the game for the Bulldogs.
In the home half of the second, the first two Wauseon batters in Reece Nation and Eli Delgado reached with base hits — Delgado putting both in scoring position thanks to a Bulldog error. That enabled Clay Stump’s groundout to equal an RBI plating Nation, then a Keaton Hartsock groundball scored Delgado for a 3-1 Wauseon advantage.
“We’re really doing a good job of putting the ball in play with two strikes,” said Wauseon Coach Trent Thomas.
The Indians added two more in the third by way of run-scoring hits from Delgado and Stump, forcing Swanton starter (O’Shea) off the mound in favor of Drew Smigelski.
Although they did not score anymore that inning, Wauseon blew the game open in the fourth.
Jude Armstrong led off with a single and proceeded to swipe second and third. A Rodriguez single brought home Armstrong, then he also stole second. Ryan Marks was next and recorded a base hit, advancing to second on a misplay by the Bulldog defense.
Wauseon’s aggressiveness on the base paths was a theme all game long.
“There in the middle of the year we weren’t stealing a lot of bases because we weren’t getting guys on base,” stated Thomas. “And then we were down by runs and we just couldn’t. We’ve seen some pretty good catchers. So we wanted to take advantage of that today, just be ultra-aggressive and make them throw us out. We’ve got some good speed and we took advantage of that today.”
After a strikeout made for the first out of the inning, Clymer flipped one to right field that was dropped scoring another run, putting the Indians up 7-1. The Dogs then made another pitching change, going with Gowing to relieve Smigelski.
Gowing would strike out Nation, however, a Delgado RBI single got the margin to 8-1. Stump walked, loading the bases, and Hartsock followed with a two-run single that extended the Indian lead at 10-1.
The Indians wasted no time ending the game in the fifth via the OHSAA run rule. Rodriguez doubled to lead it off and scored when Marks’ drive to left field went off the glove of the Swanton defender.
Wauseon traveled to Tinora on Tuesday where they fell by a 9-8 final. Leading them on offense was Marks who finished 2 for 4 with three runs batted in and a pair of runs scored.
Wauseon closes the league season at 4-3 while Swanton finishes 1-6.
Both teams will begin their tournament runs next week. For Wauseon, they are at Toledo Central Catholic on Wednesday, May 18 in a Division II sectional semifinal, with the winner getting Napoleon in the sectional final.
“We’ve seen everybody in our side except for Van Wert, Rossford, and Maumee. We usually scrimmage them (Maumee), we did not . We’ve seen everybody; we’ve seen Central. That’s not the same Central team (we’re going to play). We didn’t see their number one (pitcher) but they didn’t see our number one. It was 2-0 on a cold day. We’re looking forward to it. We just got an opportunity to keep winning. In tournament it’s just about winning one game at a time and moving on,” explained Thomas of his team’s tournament draw.
Swanton visits Evergreen for a sectional semifinal on May 18.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.