|Blue Jays get 1st win of season at Kalida|
|Tuesday, April 15, 2014 8:09 PM|
BY LARRY HEIING
KALIDA — The clock struck 8 on the St. Michael’s bell tower as Kalida’s Brady Laudick came to bat with two outs and the bases loaded in the last inning at the historic Holy Name Ball Park in Kalida.
The baseball game was played for over three hours in a light mist all evening as the temperature continued to fall under the lights Monday.
On the mound for St. John’s in this pressure situation was freshman relief pitcher Josh Warnecke throwing to classmate Buddy Jackson. With a 3-2 count and the runners in motion, Warnecke came through like a seasoned veteran with a huge strikeout to give the Blue Jays their first victory of the season, 10-8 over the Wildcats.
The game started quietly as Kalida’s starting pitcher Drew Hovest and T.J. Hoersten for St. John’s breezed through the first inning without giving up a run.
J.R.Keirns led off the second inning with a walk and moved to second on a sac bunt by Gage Seffernick. Kyle Pohlman and Jesse Ditto also received free passes to load the bases with only one out. Senior Andy May drove in the first run of the game with a walk and Ben Wrasman scored Pohlman with another walk. Kalida head coach Joe Recker called in Trent Gerding for relief and he retired the next two batters to limit the damage after the Jays scored two runs without a hit.
Recker said that “we gave up too many free passes tonight. We are a very young team this season with some players that went from Pony League last year to the varsity level. We are better than our 1-6 record indicates — good teams take advantage of our mistakes. But with experience, we are playing better — we just need to execute.”
Kalida loaded the bases in the bottom of the second inning but Hoersten also retired the last two batters in the frame to maintain the 2-0 lead.
The Blue Jays finally got a hit in the third inning as Seffernick singled to right field, advancing Keirns to second. The Jays showed their patience at the plate as Pohlman, Ditto and May all walked to take a 4-0 lead. Trent Siebeneck became the third Wildcat pitcher and promptly walked Wrasman to score Pohlman. Hoersten’s sacrifice fly to center delivered Ditto and the Jays led 6-0.
The Wildcats got on the scoreboard with back-to-back hits from Brent Hovest and Colton Farrell to start the third. Walks to Randy Zeller and Jeff Knueve scored Hovest. After a visit to the mound by Coach Warnecke, the Wildcats cut the lead in half in plating two runs on a wild pitch. Hoersten settled down with a strikeout and Pohlman made a shoe-string catch at second to get out of the jam.
The Jays kept scoring in the fourth as Keirns and Seffernick led off with singles to chase Siebeneck and Noah Lambert entered the game. Pohlman walked to load the bases and May walked for the third time to drive in Keirns. Lambert appeared to get the third out but Wrasman’s grounder to short resulted in an error to plate Seffernick as the Jays took an 8-3 lead.
The Achilles’ Heel for the Jays this season has been the fifth inning as a close game quickly becomes a blowout. This trend was about to continue as Kalida scored three runs off reliever Jorden Boone with only one out. Josh Warnecke replaced Boone and was saved by the Jays’ defense on a play at the plate for the final out of the inning after a hit by Zeller.
St. John’s got some need insurance runs in the top of the sixth inning as May’s perfect night at the plate continued with a single to right. Wrasman’s rocket to center send the speedy senior all the way around to third, also scoring May. Zeller became the fifth Wildcat pitcher and Hoersten scorched a liner to short to score Wrasman as the Jays led 10-7.
Kalida seemed ready to take control of the battle after Knueve walked and Trevor Maag reached on an error. Laudick hit a liner up the middle that was grabbed on a diving catch by Seffernick, who then tossed from his belly to second to double up the runner. Lambert nailed a drive to the gap in left center that was caught on the run by Heiing for the final out of the inning.
Warnecke then pitched out of the seventh-inning jam to give the Jays their first victory of the season after five straight losses to start the year.
“It was a rollercoaster kind of a game for us,” said Coach Warnecke. “We had seven costly errors but also had some great defensive efforts. Our defense definitely bailed us out tonight. And our batters were patient at the plate and that generated some clutch hitting leading to some much-needed offense.”
May sparked the Jays with three walks and a single and Seffernick had three hits.
The next action for the Jays is today at Fort Jennings.
For the Wildcats, it will be a PCL contest versus Fort Jennings Thursday.
St. John’s (10)
Ben Wrasman cf 3-1-1-3, T.J. Hoersten p 3-0-1-2, Austin Heiing lf 5-0-0-0, Buddy Jackson c 3-0-0-0, J.R.Keirns 3b 4-3-1-0, Gaige Seffernick ss 4-2-3-0, Kyle Pohlman 2b 0-2-0-0, Jesse Ditto 1b 3-1-0-0, Andy May rf 1-1-1-3, Josh Warnecke p 2-0-0-0. Totals: 27-10-7-9.
Noah Lambert 3b 4-1-0-1, Austin Swift cf 2-0-0-1, Brent Hovest dh 4-1-1-1, Colton Farrell 1b 4-1-2-0, Randy Zeller ss 3-1-1-2, Jeff Knueve c 2-0-1-1, Trevor Maag lf 3-1-0-1, Brady Laudick 4-2-1-0, Trent Gerding 2b 0-1-0-0, Trent Siebeneck p 0-0-0-0. Totals: 26-7-6-6.
Score By Innings:
St. John’s 0-2-4-2-0-2-0 (10)
Kalida 0-0-3-0-4-0-1 (8)
LOB: St. John’s 9, Kalida 15; Sac: Seffernick; SF: Hoersten; SB: May; 3B: Wrasman.
IP H R BB SO
Hoersten 4.0 5 3 4 4
Boone 0.1 0 4 4 0
Warnecke (W) 2.2 1 1 3 3
Hovest 1.1 0 2 6 1
Gerding 0.2 2 4 4 1
Siebeneck (L) 1.0 2 2 1 1
Lambert 2.1 1 1 3 4
Zeller 2.0 1 0 0 2
BB: SJ — May 3, Pohlman 3, Ditto 2, Wrasman 2, Jackson 2, Hoersten, Keirns; Kalida - Gerding 3, Zeller 2, Knueve 2, Siebeneck, Laudick, Lambert, Swift. HBP: Swift (by Hoersten), Knuev (by Boone), Hovest (by Boone), Maag (by Warnecke).