|Titans shut out Big Green in season-opener|
|Wednesday, April 03, 2013 11:22 AM|
The Titans of Ottawa-Glandorf played hosts to the Big Green of Ottoville in the season-opener for both squads.
The Titans came out strong early and got their first win on the year with a 8-0 shutout of the Big Green.
The Titans jumped out quickly as they scored three runs in their first turn at bat. Senior Cory Imm led off the bottom of the first with a base hit. Sophomore Brad Croy followed with a stinging line drive off the glove of Big Green third baseman Alex Horstman, putting runners on first and second. After Big Green starting pitcher Joel Beining retired the next two batters, up stepped junior Tyler Zender, who sent a rocket shot to deep center field, plating Imm and Croy and giving the Titans a 2-0 lead. With junior Tanner Schimmoeller batting, Zender broke for third on a ball that escaped Big Green catcher Luke Schimmoeller and his corresponding throw sailed into left field, allowing Zender to plate the Titans’ third run of the inning.
The Big Green came right back in the second inning with a 2-out rally behind sophomore Beining’s double to center field. However, O-G starting pitcher junior Matt Warnecke got Big Green senior Cory Fischer to pop up to first base, ending the threat.
The Titans increased their lead to 4-0 in the second behind a leadoff walk to senior Tyler Ellerbrock and a run-producing double by sophomore Ben Dietering. Dietering advanced to third on a 1-out groundout by junior Drew Schierloh and came home with the Titans’ fifth run of the game on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Imm.
The Big Green struggled at the plate and made some defensive mistakes that cost them throughout the game.
Big Green head coach Tony Castronova knew the first game could be a real challenge due to this year’s weather conditions: “It’s the first game of the year for everyone. Tonight was the second time all year that we were able to be on the baseball field and the first time to face live pitching outdoors. Overall, some good and bad things for the first game. I was disappointed in our inability to make some big plays to get us out of the first few innings but I thought we settled down and played defensively much better in the last three innings of the game. I’m happy with how Joel (Beining) pitched tonight and was very pleased with the three innings that senior Zach Weber gave us after not pitching for over four years.”
The Titans scored two more runs in the third with a 2-out rally that started with a walk to Zender, a stolen base and and an error by Big Green senior shortstop Bryan Hohlbein off of Schimmoeller’s bat, scoring Zender. Schimmoeller advanced to second on a wild pitch by Beining and scored the Titans’ seventh run on an RBI single by Ellerbrock.
The Big Green couldn’t get anything going over the last four innings as the Titans’ pitchers combined to only allow two hits, strike out 12 and not walk a Big Green batter. Warnecke pitched the first four innings and notched his first win of the year. Senior Jaylen Von Sossan and Tyson Yungman finished off the last three innings for the Titans.
The Titans finished off their win with an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth when senior Jason Karhoff reached first on another error by the Big Green and came home on a fly ball to right that eluded the gloves of the Big Green’s first and second baseman and right fielder, giving the Titans their final score on the evening and stretching the lead to 8-0.
The Big Green used two pitchers on the evening with Beining going the first three innings, allowing seven runs on six hits, walking two and striking out three. Weber finished the last three innings, allowing two hits, two Ks and a walk.
The Big Green are right back in action 5 p.m. today as they travel to Fort Jennings for a non-league game. The Titans will host Miller City 5 p.m. Friday.