TOLEDO – It took another one run game, the third in as many days, but Perrysburg eventually overcame Wauseon in the district III ACME tournament with a 3-2 victory in the championship game Monday night at Mercy Field in Toledo.
For the Indians, they got a great outing from starting pitcher CJ Moser who went 5 2/3 innings, exiting the contest with the game tied at two in the bottom of the fifth.
“Again a youngster gave us the opportunity on the mound. CJ Moser was pretty good there,” said Wauseon ACME coach Doug Rupp. “We had great pitching all weekend. When you get good pitching you are gonna be in all ball games. I don’t care how tough the competition is.”
After a base running error by Wauseon in the top of the first inning aided Perrysburg, the Yellow Jacket offense looked to strike early in the next half inning.
Dominic Disalle led off with a single to left field, advancing to second on Connor Meredith’s fielder’s choice. A fly out allowed him to tag up and get to third, while a single by Trevor Hafner scored him to put Perrysburg up 1-0.
Wauseon got its first hit in the top of the second, an infield single for Travis Smith with one out, but a fly out and ground out ended the threat.
However, the Indians were able to manufacture a run in their half of the third.
It all started with Moser who drew a one-out walk from Perrysburg starter Will Francis. Moser would get to third after a wild pitch. Josh Whitcomb’s bunt single pushed him to third, where JJ Kauffman’s sacrifice fly knotted the game at one apiece.
Each squad had singles in their next at bats, but neither could muster much more than that until Perrysburg’s half of the fourth.
Austin Mezinger got it going with an infield single. He was replaced with a pinch runner, Austin Retzloff, who advanced to third when a poor throw over from the pitcher sailed wide of its target. Retzloff then scored on a fielder’s choice as Casey Szczublewski made it safely to first on an error, putting the Yellow Jackets in front 2-1.
But it was the Indians who responded in the top of the fifth.
Back-to-back singles by Brooks Gype and Moser, along with another bunt from Whitcomb, this time of the sacrifice variety, put runners on second and third with only one out.
Kauffman answered the call with an RBI single, plating Gype to tie the game. However, Moser was thrown out at third on the play. Brady Kinnersley followed with a single to shallow right that looked deep enough to score Kauffman, but he was called out on a tag at the plate.
Perrysburg began the home half of the fifth with Disalle’s double to left center field, and even though the next two batters were put away, coach Rupp elected to replace Moser with Kinnersley.
With Hafner at the plate, a wild pitch was delivered that pushed Disalle to third. This made it decision time for the Indians as Rupp elected to intentionally walk Hafner.
However, Kleinfelter was also walked to load the bases, then a wild pitch forced in Disalle to make it 3-2 in favor of the Yellow Jackets.
“When we got to Hafner we had to make the change,” said Rupp on making the switch from Moser. “I told Brady Kinnersley just be careful, we got first base open. Then we had the passed ball and then we had the walk. That is baseball.”
In the top of the sixth, however, the Indian offense again threatened. With one out Smith singled to left, putting the tying run aboard. Jacob Raabe singled to right, then a wild pitch advanced Smith to third.
But the Indians were shut down with a ground out and Gype’s hard hit ball to left that was caught, retiring the side.
“Man, how many times did we hit it hard with runners in scoring position,” said Rupp. “That’s been all weekend against them. We couldn’t get that key hit, but we hit it hard.”
Wauseon was able to get the tying run into scoring position in the seventh as Kauffman walked and stole second before moving to third on a wild pitch, but once again they were unlucky. A soft grounder to second ended the contest, sending the Yellow Jackets home as district champs.
Kauffman paced the Indians on offense as he went 1 for 3 with a walk and a pair of RBIs. Hafner finished 2 for 2 with a walk and an RBI for the Yellow Jackets.
Max Householder can be reached at 419-335-2010