ARCHBOLD – Earlier this summer, pitcher Sam Petersen of the Archbold Blue Streaks tossed an impressive one-hit complete game in a 5-0 shutout of Ayersville in an ACME regular season game. On Tuesday night at Archbold’s Memorial Park, the two teams squared off again in an ACME district elimination battle, again with Petersen on the mound for the Streaks.
Based on their previous experience, the Pilots had every reason to be concerned about facing his pitching for the second time. But as it turned out, they should have been worried about his hitting as well. Petersen drilled a two run triple and an RBI double to erase an early deficit, leading Archbold past Ayersville, 7-5, to keep their hopes alive for a spot in the ACME State Tournament.
“I saw it when I was pitching to him in warm ups in the batting cages that he was going to have a good night. I just had a feeling,” said Archbold coach Ben Bucklew. “He stepped up for us. It was a good time for him.”
Early in the game it appeared the fans would be witnessing a pitcher’s duel between Petersen and Ayersville’s Jacob Kahle as both had easy first innings.
In the top of the second, however, the Pilots tagged Petersen with a run to take a 1-0 lead. Tyler Brown singled, was sacrificed to second and, after a groundout, came home on an Eric Engle single.
Petersen worked out of a bases loaded jam in the third but allowed another run in the fourth, staking Ayersville to a 2-0 lead going into the bottom of the inning.
Meanwhile, Kahle was holding the Streaks hitless through the first three innings, but at the same time, was having control issues and throwing a lot of pitches, walking three and going deep in the count on several other batters. In the bottom of the fourth it finally caught up with him.
Derek Walker led off the bottom of the inning with a single to right, went to second on a wild pitch and came home on Ian Radabaugh’s run producing double, cutting Ayersville’s lead in half. Isaac Petersen walked and stole second to bring up his brother Sam with two runners in scoring position and no one out.
With the go ahead run at second, Sam crushed a fastball deep to left center for a triple and gave the Streaks their first lead of the night. Bryce Williams later singled to drive in Petersen and Archbold had a 4-2 lead after four innings.
“I told the team to battle every pitch, the entire at bat. They did that for the first three innings,” explained coach Bucklew. “I told them to stay in it and we would score some runs.”
The Streaks added three more runs in the bottom of the fifth off of Kahle as the Pilot pitcher became noticeably more fatigued. Ben Bucklew and Derek Walker singled to start the inning and Radabaugh reached on an error by the third baseman, allowing Bucklew to score.
Isaac Petersen struck out but a dropped third strike and a bad throw from the catcher scored another. Sam Petersen then doubled onto the warning track in center for the inning’s third run and a 7-2 Archbold lead.
The Pilots did not throw in the towel and scored three times in the top of the sixth, taking advantage of three Streak errors and two singles to pull back within two runs.
The Streaks went quietly in the bottom of the inning and Petersen went back out to the mound and set the Ayersville batters down in order for a complete game 7-5 victory. He may not have duplicated his previous effort against the Pilots, giving up five runs on eight hits, but his performance at the plate more than made up for it.
“I changed my bat to a 33 (ounce). I used a 32 in the first half of the year. It’s longer too and I just hit the ball,” said Petersen explaining his offensive production of two extra base hits and three RBIs.
Derek Walker had two hits and two runs scored and Isaac Petersen also scored twice. Kahle took the loss for Ayersville and Brown had two hits and a walk for the Pilots.
Archbold will face Miller City tonight at 5:30 p.m. for a right to face Kalida in the championship game. Look for results of those games in next Tuesday’s edition of the Expositor.
Bill O’Connell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org