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Ottoville rallies to beat Ft. Jennings in extra innings PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, May 01, 2013 1:07 AM


By Charlie Warnimont

Sentinel Sports Editor


OTTOVILLE — Twice Ottoville was down to their final outs in what was a key Putnam County League game for the Big Green.

Both times the Big Green offense responded. Their biggest comeback was in the tenth inning as Ottoville was down to their final out and down two runs. That’s when the Big Green put together a three run rally for a 6-5 PCL win that kept them in the thick of the league race.

The win moved Ottoville to 4-1 in the PCL, a half game back of undefeated Miller City (2-0), who the Big Green host next Tuesday afternoon. Ft. Jennings dropped to 4-9 on the season with the loss.

The win not only kept the Big Green alive in the PCL race, but was the 200th career coaching win for Ottoville coach Tony Castronova. The 200 wins come from his 17 years coaching at Ottoville and two seasons at Lordstown High School in Warren.

“It’s kind of an emotional time for me,” Castronova said. “I never said anything to the kids about it, my assistant coach knew, it’s kind of a personal thing. It’s never about the years I’ve been here or the numbers, it’s about every kid that I have coached in my 17 years here. It’s all the kids I’ve coached and when you see them over the holiday’s, that’s what is more important to me and these guys are a part of it and it’s something we will talk about. That’s the great part of it.”

The milestone nearly had to wait until another day as the Big Green missed out on two bases loaded scoring chances in the eighth and ninth, then found themselves down 5-3 after the Musketeers batted in the top of the tenth. In both bases loaded situations, the Big Green had just one out before the Ft. Jennings defense and pitchers made plays to keep the game going.

After Ottoville’s second missed opportunity, Ft. Jennings came up with two runs in the tenth inning as Kurt Warnecke and Jared Hoersten walked. Ryan Rau lined a single to left that scored a run to break the 3-3 tie. Fort Jennings loaded the bases when Bret Clay reached on an error at second base.

At that point, the Big Green changed pitchers as Joel Beining came on to pitch. Caleb Bankey greeted Beining with a long single down the left field line. Hoersten sored easily from third and Rau atttempted to score from second, but Turnwald was able to get to the ball quickly and fire a strike to catcher Luke Schimmoeller for an out. On the throw home, Bankey took off for second and Schimmoeller threw to second at which time Clay attempted to score from third. Bankey was safe at second, but the throw from the second base was in time to cut down Clay at the plate to keep the score at 5-3.

In the bottom of the inning, Rau got off to a good start as Warnecke made a nice running catch on a foulball for the first out. Alex Horstman followed with a single to right field to give Ottoville a base runner before Rau came within an out of the win with a strikeout.

Derek Schimmoeller gave the Big Green hope as he walked before Turnwald followed with a single up the middle that scored Horstman making it a 5-4 game. A wild pitch moved the base runners to second and third before Luke Schimmoeller singled to center to tie the game at 5-5 and leaving runners at first and third. Bryan Hohlbein followed with a sharp grounder to the right of Clay at shortstop. Clay made a bare handed grab of the ball and briefly bobbled it that allowed Hohlbein to reach and Turnwald to score the game winning run.

“This was a typical PCL game right there,” Castronova said. “We kept on battling back. We’ve been doing that quite a bit all year. We had those runners on base, bases loaded twice, and I was like here we go again, then we were down two. You want your meat of the order up and we did that. Senior Bryan Hohlbein hit the ball hard and forced them to make a play. Give our guys credit, they kept fighting and fighting. They never quit.”

“We had them on the ropes in the tenth, and in the seventh, and they found a way to battle back,” Ft. Jennings coach Eric Schaub said. “The kid were just making plays all over the place. It was one heck of a ball game. Our pitchers made some great pitches to get us out of jams in the eighth and ninth. They just dug down deep and made some plays.”

For five innings it looked like Ottoville’s pitching would lead them to the win as Derek Schimmoeller and Horstman combined on a no hitter. Schimmoeller went four innings not allowing a hit, while walking one. He left before the fifth started turning the mound over to Horstman.

Horstman continued the no-hitter into the sixth when Ft. Jennings’ Mark Metzger reached on a one out infield single. The single opened the door for the Musketeers as Alex Sealts, Alex Vetter (RBI) and Warnecke (RBI) all had singles. Hoersten reached on an error before a sacrifice fly by Rau had the Musketeers up 3-1.

“In baseball hitting is contagious,” Schaub said. “Once one guy does it, the next guy does it. We finally broke through in the sixth inning and had a 3-1 lead and couldn’t shut them out in the seventh. Give credit to my guys for not giving up or hanging up the shoes. Going into the sixth inning no-hit they could have easily gave up and not finished the game, but they kept battling and battling.”

While the Musketeers were no hit for five innings they finished the game with 11 hits, two each by Metzger, Vetter, Warnecke and Bankey.

Ft. Jennings had a chance to extend their lead in the top of the seventh as Bankey was on third base with one out. Horstman kept him there as he struck out the leadoff batter before getting a groundball to third.

Ottoville tied the game in the bottom of the seventh as Jarrod Fanning reached second on an error and scored on a sigle by Horstman. Horstman took second on a sacrifice and was balked to third before scoring on a fielder choice groundout by Derek Schimmoeller as the Musketeers attempted to cut down Horstman at the plate.

Derek Schimmoeller, Turnwald, Hohlbein, Brandon Boecker and Horstman all had two hits for Ottoville. Joel Beining picked up the win in relief as he worked two-thirds of an inning.

Rau took the loss as he went 2 2/3 innings. Warnecke worked seven full innings.

* * *

Fort Jennings 000 003 000 2 - 5 11 2

Ottoville 100 000 200 3 - 6 12 2

WP-Beining. LP-Rau.


Last Updated on Wednesday, May 01, 2013 8:03 AM

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