SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — So far this season, Shawnee has been solid at the plate. And it hasn’t been just the top half of the batting order that’s been coming through, either.
In Thursday’s Western Buckeye League baseball game with visiting Ottawa-Glandorf, the Indians recorded 10 base hits in its 4-2 victory over the Titans.
However, the hit that turned the tide for the Indians, and gave them the only lead of the game, was a two-out, two-run single by No. 9 hitter Andrew Bryan in the sixth inning. The two-run hit broke a 2-2 tie.
The hit by Bryan in the sixth was his only one of the game. But, the senior made the hit count in a big way.
“When I went up to bat, I knew I just had to get these guys in because we had two outs and runners on second and third,” Bryan said. “So when it was late in the count, I thought I just had to get contact and put it somewhere, so I could get those runs in.”
Bryan is not viewed as a typical No. 9 hitter by the Shawnee coaching staff.
“Andrew has been doing that all year,” Shawnee coach Scott Newman said. “He’ll look somewhat bad at the plate on a swing and then, for whatever reason, he’ll square a ball up and come through.
“I think he’s batting close to .500 this year. So, he’s really been stroking the ball well for us. … (He’s been doing it) so much, that I had to find a place for him to play.”
Cory Wilder, Zach Bailey and William Kleffner all had two hits each for Shawnee (9-7, 5-0 WBL).
Bailey, who came into Thursday’s game with three home runs in the previous two games, added one more to his weekly total when he lined the first pitch from O-G pitcher Jaylen Von Sossan over the left-field fence in the fourth inning. That homer was Bailey’s fifth of the season.
However, O-G (8-4, 1-4) actually out-hit Shawnee for the game, 11-10.
Brad Croy, Tyler Zender, Jake Hashberger and Von Sossan had two hits each for the Titans.
Tyler Anderson started on the mound for Shawnee. Anderson worked six innings before giving way to Casey Mulcahy in the seventh.
Anderson gave up the two runs on 10 hits, while striking out three and walking two. He threw 102 pitches.
Von Sossan went the distance for the Titans. He struck out two and walked two, tossing 87 pitches.
O-G got its first run of the game in the first inning. A ground ball by Cody Bockrath scored Croy, who got on base with a single earlier in the inning.
The Titans added their second run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Drew Schierloch that drove in Ben Dietering. Dietering got on with a double and then went to third on a passed ball.
Shawnee finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth when Bailey smacked his solo homer over the 345-foot sign in left.
In the fifth, Wilder lined a shot to deep center for a double, which plated Jake Sevitz. Sevitz had a single and then stole second before Wilder delivered the two-base hit.
“We’re blessed with some good senior leadership,” Newman said. “They’ve been there. They’re just starting to figure out how to win the close games. And I think that’s really going to help us down the stretch.”
For the game, O-G left a total of nine baserunners stranded. Shawnee left four runners on base.
“Early in the game, we had runners (in) every inning,” O-G coach Nick Miller said. “But their pitcher made pitches to get out of the inning. We talked about it (after the game). We needed someone to step up and give us a hit when we really needed it.
“But, that was a hard-fought game. Both pitchers threw pretty well. We didn’t get a break when we needed it and they did.”
Shawnee's Zach Bailey