BATH TOWNSHIP – Experts say good pitching wins baseball games.
Monday’s ACME sectional was a prime example.
Elida received a complete-game pitching effort from Justin Moore, en route to a 4-1 victory over Lima Central Catholic in Monday’s winners’ bracket matchup.
Moore scattered eight base hits, while striking out five, walking two and hitting a batter. He threw 101 pitches in his seven innings of work.
Moore pitched himself out of several jams Monday night, forcing LCC to strand nine baserunners.
With the victory in the double-elimination tournament, Elida (13-4) wins the sectional and advances to district action, which starts Saturday at Elida.
“Justin Moore is 4-0 this summer,” Elida coach Jared Blymyer said. “His ERA is about .60. He’s had four complete games, too. He had a no-hitter against Kenton earlier this summer. So, he’s been ‘Mr. Consistent’.”
With the loss, LCC (10-5) will take on Shawnee Wednesday at Bath at 6 p.m., for the right to advance to the district tournament as the No. 2 seed.
In Monday’s losers’ bracket game, Shawnee scored two runs in the first inning and went on to record a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Bath.
In the fourth inning of Monday’s opener, Elida’s Luke Burger lined a double to left field, that drove in three runs. Burger was stellar at the plate for Elida, going 2-for-4 and driving in all four runs.
“Luke Burger, he’s our No. 4 hitter,” Blymyer said. “They walked him (T.J. Whipple) to get bases loaded (in the fourth inning). Walking to get to Luke was big for us, because Luke’s probably our best hitter on the team. And he proved it right there with that gapper to score three runs. I think Luke’s hitting almost .400. So, he’s been very impressive this summer.”
Moore helped his own cause by going 2-for-3 at the plate.
LCC pitcher Brendan Stolly worked the first four innings, before giving way to Dominic Riepenhoff. Stolly was tabbed for three runs on three hits, while striking out four, walking eight and hitting two batters.
Moore did not give up the lone run, until the fifth. An infield single by Shaun Thomas, brought Dominic Riepenhoff around to score. Riepenhoff led off the inning with a single to right.
Thomas led the T-Birds at the plate, going 3-for-4.
“We were getting them on, but we just couldn’t get the right hit at the right time,” LCC coach Neil Ribley said. “But, you have to give them credit. Their boy
(Moore) threw a good game at us. He made the pitches when he needed to. I don’t think we played a bad game. I just don’t think things fell for us at the right time. We’re going to regroup and we’ll be ready on Wednesday.”
Blymyer liked the way his team worked its way out of trouble against LCC.
“We got into a little jam, here and there, but Justin would throw strikes and the defense behind him made some key defensive plays. It’s a good group of kids. It’s been a lot of fun this year,” Blymyer said.
Blymyer was pleased to get a complete-game pitching performance from Moore.
“It was big. Now we have almost five days to rest everyone up. So, we will be ready to go,” he said.
SHAWNEE 2, BATH 0
Two runs in the first inning proved to be enough for Shawnee Monday night.
A.J. Brown (3-for-3, 2 RBI) had a two-out double to plate both runs.
Shawnee’s J.T. Thomas pitched all seven innings for the win. The left-handed Thomas scattered seven hits, struck out six, walked two and hit a batter.
Bath’s Isaiah Bolon pitched all seven innings for the loss. Bolon scattered seven hits, while striking out two and walking three.
With the win, Shawnee will face LCC Wednesday, with the winner advancing to the Elida district on Saturday.
“He (Thomas) really didn’t mow them down, but there were a number of times they had a guy on third base and he came through with a very clutch out, with either a strikeout or a ground ball,” Shawnee coach Brodey Williams said. “It’s a very good team. We got lucky and put up two (runs) in the first inning. Who would have thought, seven innings later, that would win the game?”