TROY — The ball bounced hard into the middle of the infield off Dalton Martz’s bat, and Sidney’s shortstop thought he had a shot at an inning-ending double play.
And he may have, if only he had kept the ball in his glove.
That error resulted in the first run of the evening for Lima, who went on to win it’s district tournament consolation game 7-1 on Wednesday and eliminate Sidney from the postseason. Lima Post 96 will play the loser of the Piqua-Troy matchup at 7 p.m. today at Duke Park in Troy.
The aforementioned error was just the first half of a disastrous play for Sidney’s defense. Lima trailed 1-0, and had runners at first and second with one out in the third inning with one of its premier RBI threats in Martz at the plate. Martz hit a bouncer toward the middle that the shortstop bobbled, allowing all three runners to be safe. When Colin Stolly broke for home to try to score from second, the shortstop attempted to throw him out and made a second costly error by overthrowing the catcher.
That overthrow not only allowed the run to score, but allowed the trail runners to advance to second and third. Colin Gossard then smacked an RBI single, which Zach Bailey followed with a sacrifice fly to center field. Lima left the inning with a three-run lead.
Post 96 tallied another three runs in the fourth inning, thanks in large part to a two-run double by Doug Sanders.
“It’s single elimination for us now, and I think that puts a lot of drive into our guys to go out and do things right,” Sanders said. “We’ve been stressing all year that execution is key. When the guys in front of you are producing, it almost feels natural to be at the plate in that big situation.”
The big lead was more than enough room for Lima starting pitcher Tyler Anderson. Anderson earned the win for Post 96, pitching six innings and allowing just one run on five hits. Anderson walked three batters and struck out six.
“The adjustments I made during the game were the difference,” Anderson said. “I was just trying to make my pitches work, and once I started to get ahead of guys, I really started to settle in. I was a little nervous before the game started, but if you’re not nervous, you’re not loving the game.”
Sanders led Post 96 at the plate with a 2-for-4 performance that included a double, two RBIs and two runs scored. Cam Jenkins went 1-for-3 with an RBI triple, while Stolly scored two runs despite an 0-for-3 night at the plate.
“We put the ball in play on the ground,” Lima coach Doug Waddle said. “If you do that, you force the other team to make plays. We forced a couple of errors out of them, and then got the big hit. Our backs are against the wall, and we need to compete on every pitch. We did that tonight.”