|Wildcats double up Thunderbirds in baseball|
|Thursday, April 10, 2014 8:19 PM|
By JIM METCALFE
LIMA — Jefferson baseball coach Doug Geary felt pitching and defense would be the mainstays of his unit in 2014 and so far they have.
He figured how much his offense could manufacture runs would be crucial in its success.
The Wildcats did just that at Players’ Field at Lima Central Catholic High School on a windy Thursday afternoon/evening, grabbing a 4-2 non-league victory.
“We had a number of chances to score more runs but we came up with a couple of clutch hits. That’s going to be the key for our offense this year; timely hits,” Geary explained. “We got off to a good start and that forced them to bring in their Number 1, a very good pitcher. As we saw more pitches from him, we eventually timed him up and got the winning runs in the sixth inning.”
On the other hand, Thunderbird (3-4) coach John Schneiders wasn’t very happy with his crew this night.
“You aren’t going to be a quality team like Jefferson with three hits and five errors; it’s that simple,” Schneiders added. “We had been playing much better to win our last three games after losing our first three but we took a step back tonight. We have to learn to be ready to play every game from the start; we need to be focused every time out. Hopefully, we will get that lesson.”
Tied at 2-2 heading into the top of the sixth frame, Jefferson (4-2) put together a 2 spot against relief pitcher Colin Stolly (0-3; 5 innings pitched, 3 hits, 2 runs, 1 earned, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts). Number 9 hitter Ryan Bullinger — switching from batting righty to lefty — laid down a perfect bunt that traveled just far enough that catcher Brad Stolly couldn’t field it in time to nab Bullinger at first. He stole second. Two outs later, Ross Thompson was intentionally passed. Austin Jettinghoff sliced a liner to left that plated Bullinger; an error on the way moved the runners up a base. Third baseman Jake Williams fell down fielding Hunter Binkley’s slow roller, allowing Thompson to score for a 4-2 edge.
Southpaw Bullinger (1-0; 4 IPs, 4 Ks), who came on in relief to start the LCC fourth for starter Tyler Rice (3 IPs, 3 hits, 2 ERs, 1 B, 1 K), shut down the Thunderbirds 1-2-3 in both the sixth and seventh frames.
Pinch-hitter Jordan Herron got aboard leading off the Wildcat seventh on an error but re-entering Nick Fitch was gunned down trying to steal second by B. Stolly.
The Red and White went up 2-0 in the top of the first against LCC starter Liam Stolly (2 IPs, 2 hits, 2 runs, 1 earned, 2 BBs). Leadoff hitter Jace Stockwell was plunked and Rice sacrificed. Thompson was also hit by a pitch. Jettinghoff’s infield single off the pitcher loaded the bases; a throwing error on the play allowed Stockwell to score and put runners at second and third. Binkley hit a roller to then-third baseman Ethan O’Connor, who tried to get Thompson off third but was too late, loading the bases. Gage Mercer flied out deep enough to left to get Thompson home for a 2-0 edge; the runners advanced on the throw home. Fitch was hit by a pitch to load the bases but Josh Teman flied out to end the threat.
The T-Birds got one back in the home half on a leadoff double to the fence in right center by C. Stolly, a Jacob Judy groundout and a Williams sacrifice fly to right for a 2-1 edge.
Delphos had a 2-out rally in the second as Rice walked and an error on Thompson’s grounder put runners at second and third. The visitors failed to add to their 2-1 lead.
LCC tried to at least tie it in the second on as 1-out single (B. Stolly) and free pass (O’Connor) but could not do so.
Binkley walked and Mercer singled to commence the third frame, bringing C. Stolly to the mound. With one down, Teman walked but the ’Cats left the bases juiced.
LCC tied it in the home half of the third. C. Stolly was hit by a pitch, stole second with one gone, took third on a Williams grounder and scored on a Luke Baumgartner single to the left-field corner for a 2-2 scoreboard.
Thompson got aboard on a 1-out error in the Delphos fourth and gained second on a Jettinghoff groundout but remained there.
Jefferson had its only 1-2-3 inning in the top of the fifth.
LCC had its last rebellion in the home fifth as Alex Krumel led off by getting aboard on an error but was eliminated on C. Stolly’s grounder. He stole second but remained stranded.
Jefferson visits Paulding tonight in a game moved up from April 17.
“We have a lot of games in the next six or seven days, so we’re going to need everybody we can throw out there to step up. Tonight, it was Ryan,” Geary added. “We wanted to limit Tyler’s pitch count to about 50 because he will start Monday against Lincolnview. We’ve seen how Ryan can throw in the gym; we wanted to give them an off-speed look and he did a great job.”
LCC takes on Arlington Saturday.
Jace Stockwell ss 3-1-0-0, Tyler Rice p/rf 2-0-0-0, Ross Thompson 3b 2-2-0-0, Austin Jettinghoff 2b 4-0-2-1, Hunter Binkley lf 3-0-1-1, Gage Mercer 1b 3-0-1-1, Nick Fitch c 2-0-0-0, Jordan Herron ph 1-0-0-0, Josh Teman cf 3-0-0-0, Ryan Bullinger rf/p 4-1-1-1. Totals 27-4-5-3.
LIMA CENTRAL CATHOLIC (2)
Colin Stolly ss/p 2-2-1-0, Jacob Judy lf/cf 3-0-0-0, Jake Williams cf/3b 2-0-0-1, Luke Baumgartner dh 3-0-1-1, Trevor Hoff 1b 0-0-0-0, Jamal Hairston lf 0-0-0-0, Drew Jennings 2b 3-0-0-0, Brad Stolly c 3-0-1-0, Ethan O’Connor 3b/ss 2-0-0-0, Liam Stolly p/1b 3-0-0-0, Alex Krumel rf 3-0-0-0. Totals 24-2-3-2.
Score by Innings:
Jefferson 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 - 4
Lima CC 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 - 2
E: E. O’Connor 2, Fitch, Jennings, L. Stolly, Hairston; LOB: Jefferson 11, Lima Central Catholic 4; 2B: C. Stolly; SB: C. Stolly 2, Binkley, Bullinger; CS: Fitch (by B. Stolly); Sac: Rice; SF: Mercer, Williams.
IP H R ER BB SO
Rice 3.0 3 2 2 1 1
Bullinger (W, 1-0) 4.0 0 0 0 0 4
LIMA CENTRAL CATHOLIC
L. Stolly 2.0 2 2 1 2 0
C. Stolly (L, 0-3) 5.0 3 2 1 2 5
L. Stolly pitched to 2 batters in 3rd
HBP: Stockwell (by Rice), Stockwell (by L. Stolly), Thompson (by L. Stolly), Fitch (by L. Stolly).