KALIDA ‚?? Ottoville‚??s baseball team pounded out 12 hits and Luke Schimmoeller threw a two-hitter as the Big Green knocked off Kalida 15-0 in five innings in Putnam County League action Thursday night at Holy Name Ballpark in Kalida.
The lopsided game, however, did not dampen the spirits of the nearly 100 fans who came out to honor Kalida coach Jim McBride.
McBride, coaching his last regular-season home game, began coaching the Wildcats‚?? baseball team in 1981. During his career, McBride recorded 350 wins, 10 Putnam County League titles, 12 district appearances, five regional appearances and two final four trips.
‚??It‚??s tough to sum up 30-plus years and 350 wins,‚?Ě McBride said after the game. ‚??It‚??s a tribute to teenagers giving up their time and effort.‚?Ě
As is the tradition at Kalida, after their last home game, seniors each take one final strut around the bases where they are greeted by the underclassmen as they round third and head for home. After all of the seniors took their turns Thursday, many of McBride‚??s former players gathered around the infield and the retiring coach took his final strut around the bases. Players from his 1981 team through the current group came out to support McBride.
Even the Ottoville players and coaches stayed to applaud.
‚??I‚??ve been here 17 years,‚?Ě Ottoville coach Tony Castronova said. ‚??Jim and I are kind of the longevity in the PCL. He‚??s a good coach and we are real good friends. We golf together. He‚??s going to be missed. He‚??s a good man and he‚??s had a good career.‚?Ě
When asked which games stick out McBride said, ‚??There are the obvious games, but it‚??s the faceless players that win a tournament game ‚?Ľ a tournament game you weren‚??t supposed to win, but you do. The memories are seeing guys become All-Americans at Ohio State or Wrigley Field.‚?Ě
As for the game, Ottoville‚??s Derek Schimmoeller set the tone leading off the game with a triple. A single by Luke Schimmoeller and an RBI-flyout by Jarred Fanning made it 2-0 after one inning.
Bryan Hohlbein doubled to lead off the second and Cory Fischer‚??s RBI sacrifice to left field scored him. Number-nine hitter Craig Odenweller scored on an error to make it 4-0 after two.
Ottoville sent 10 batters to the plate in the third inning and plated five runs. Brandon Boecker reached on an error to lead off the third. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases. Hohlbein drove in two runs with a single. A single by Derek Schimmoeller followed by a groundout from Jacob Turnwald and an RBI single by Luke Schimmoeller made it 10-0.
‚??We got real aggressive right from the start,‚?Ě Castronova said. ‚??Hitting is contagious. Hopefully this gets us going for the tournament on Wednesday.‚?Ě
Five more runs in the top of the fourth inning made it 15-0, but the end of the game was the beginning of the celebration for Kalida.
‚??I‚??ve got a new granddaughter,‚?Ě McBride said. ‚??I love my wife to death and I owe it to her. It‚??s time for my family, for me to be a father and a grandfather.‚?Ě
Kalida vs. Ottoville