SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — Lima Central Catholic baseball coach John Schnieders has been waiting for his team to put all three phases of the game together on the same night.
In Thursday’s Division III sectional final at Shawnee, LCC pitcher Colin Stolly pitched all seven innings and his team gave him enough support at the plate, as the Thunderbirds defeated Coldwater 5-1, to advance to district action next week at the University of Northwestern Ohio.
LCC (16-12) will play Ottawa-Glandorf at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at UNOH in a district semifinal.
Stolly scattered six hits, while striking out five and walking two. The junior right-hander threw a total of 106 pitches in his complete-game effort.
Stolly found ways to work out of jams against Coldwater (22-5).
In six of the seven innings, the Cavaliers left at least one baserunner stranded, as Stolly was touched for just one run. For the game, Coldwater left seven baserunners stranded.
“I actually felt better late in the game,” Stolly said. “I got here (at the game) kind of late, went through stretching kind of fast. But, I started feeling really good. The arm was feeling really good.”
Schnieders said Thursday’s performance from his team was something he had been waiting to see for quite some time.
“Our guys played a complete ball game — in all three phases,” Schnieders said. “We talked about it before the game; that we needed all three phases to win. And gosh darn, I’ve waited for my guys to play this type of game for a couple weeks now. And I’m just really proud of them.”
Christian Schramm started on the mound for Coldwater. Schramm worked just two-plus innings before being lifted in the third. Schramm was tabbed with the loss. He gave up three runs on three hits, while striking out one, walking one and hitting a batter.
Matt Selhorst came in for Schramm and went just one inning. Brody Hoying worked the final four innings for the Cavaliers. Hoying gave up two runs, while striking out three and walking three.
Coldwater led 1-0 after the first inning. Mitch Heyne had an RBI single that scored lead-off hitter Hoying, who started the home half of the first with a walk.
LCC scored a run in the top of the second on a fielder’s choice by Jacob Judy. Judy’s grounder to the right side of the infield scored Connor Dee from third base. Dee led off the second with an infield hit and then advanced to second on a single by Corey O’Dowd, and then went to third on a passed ball.
The Thunderbirds scored two more in the third on just one hit. Ethan O’Connor was hit by a pitch. Stolly followed with a single. Then, Sam Huffman got on with a throwing error on his bunt. Nick Watkins, the next batter, was hit with a pitch that scored a run. Then, Dee hit a fly ball to left that plated one more.
LCC added one more run in both the fourth and seventh innings. Stolly had a sacrifice-fly RBI in the fourth. In the seventh, pinch-hitter Tom Judy came through with an RBI single.
“We’ve played Coldwater enough to know that if Coldwater scores, then it can snowball,” Schnieders said. “So, if you can keep the snowballing from happening, then you’re good. The one thing you can do to try to stop that is to keep adding runs. …You can’t be satisfied being up a couple runs. We got bunts down, we ran the bases smart. They didn’t get any cheap outs on pick (pick-off) plays. Our guys played a complete ballgame.”
Coldwater had opportunities but left seven runners stranded.
“They’re a good team,” Coldwater coach Brian Harlamert said. “We knew Colin was going to throw well. …He threw strikes and pounded the zone. I think, for the most part, both teams were equal in hitting. But, unfortunately, a few of theirs fell in and a few of ours didn’t. But tip your hat to Colin and coach Schnieders’ team. …They played well.”
Coldwater vs. LCC