The complexity of baseball can be so simplified by two very basic factors — you throw the ball; you catch the ball.
For Evergreen, they couldn’t make those two basic components work as five Viking defensive errors, combined with a pair of fifth inning rally-killing defensive plays by Archbold, led to a 5-0 Archbold win in a Division III baseball sectional title game at Evergreen Friday.
“They made some miscues and we were able to take advantage of them,” Archbold Coach Dick Selgo said after. “It was a big, big part of the game, no question about it.”
Archbold got to the title game with a 13-3 win over Northwood the previous day as Jayden Seiler scored the complete game win.
After falling behind 1-0 to Swanton, Evergreen rang up nine third inning runs and seven more in the fourth to vanquish the Bulldogs 16-2.
Nick Smithmyer got the victory on the mound while every Viking starter had a hit and scored a run.
Brady Kanneman knocked in four runs, Ashton Sayers three, while Layne and Landen Vance each drove home two.
That offensive output didn’t happen the next day against Archbold’s DJ Newman.
For two innings Evergreen’s RJ Shunck and Newman threw BBs, each striking out four opposing hitters.
However in the third, two Viking errors put Archbold ahead.
Jack Hurst beat out a chopper to third and when the throw to first got away, Hurst took second.
Carson Dominique’s bunt went right to Shunck who got Hurst hung up between the bags, but the throw to third which had Hurst by 20 feet went wild and the Streaks took a 1-0 lead.
Twice Evergreen had first and second with no one out as Landen Vance and Shunck reached on walks in the second, then on base hits in the fourth. But the Vikings got nothing when first they couldn’t execute the sacrifice, then Newman retired three straight.
Archbold opened the game up in the fifth, again Evergreen mistakes aiding the Streaks cause.
Two walks and Seiler’s infield hit ended the day for Shunck. Vance struck out Newman but didn’t get the call on a 3-2 pitch to Devon Morris to force in the second Archbold run.
Then a throwing error on Brian Burrowes grounder to short chalked up two more.
Evergreen put together a rally in the bottom of the inning.
Alex Peete reached when strike three turned into a wild pitch, and another wild pitch, a stolen base on Brock Hudik’s walk put Vikings on first and third with no one down.
However, Layne Vance’s liner was snagged by Seiler at second and he doubled Hudik off first.
After a walk, Landen Vance made a bid for extra bases but Krayton Kern raced deep into the left center field gap to haul in Vance’s drive to end the inning.
“It wasn’t pretty but we made a couple plays when we had to,” expressed Selgo. “The play Kern made was big going that far to get that one.
“Their guy hits a line drive and it’s right at our second baseman, that was a big play at that time of the game too.”
Archbold picked up an earned run in the sixth on Hurst’s base hit, a sacrifice and Seiler’s run-scoring single.
Newman went the first six innings, allowing four hits, four walks and striking out 12.
“DJ Newman just gutted his way through that one,” Selgo said of his senior superstar. “He wasn’t always at his best, he was on fumes, but he gutted it out at the end.”
Shunck pitched four innings, giving up two hits, issuing three walks and whiffed nine Streaks.
Vance went the final three allowing three runs — one earned — on three hits, two walks and struck out five.
Evergreen ends the season at 16-8.
Archbold advances to play Tinora in the opening round of the Defiance District Thursday at 2 p.m.