BATH TOWNSHIP — It was tune-up Saturday.
With the sectional baseball tournament closing in, Coldwater and Bath both were both looking to gobble up positives.
When the day was over, there was plenty of good pitching to build on.
Bath won the first game, 4-1, before Coldwater knocked off Bath 4-2 for a doubleheader baseball split Saturday at Bath.
Bath received strong outings from Colin Gossard and Eric Jordan, with Gossard getting a win and Jordan picked up a save in the opener.
Coldwater’s Greg Gilliland and Grant Muhlenkamp pitched well in the second game. Derek Thobe deserved better in the first game, giving up four runs, but only one earned.
“We know our pitching staff all year has pounded the zone,” Coldwater coach Brian Harlamert said. “In the first game Derek Thobe threw very well, well enough to win. … Our team showed some good character, bounced back and played game two.”
Bath is 12-10. Coldwater is 17-4.
Bath’s No. 1 pitcher, Gossard (6-1), started in the opener, as both teams wanted wins the day before the tournament draw. Leaning heavily on his fastball, Gossard went six innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on six hits. He struck out eight and walked five. Gossard threw 106 pitches, 64 for strikes.
“I went out there and tried to throw strikes and let the defense behind me make plays,” Gossard said. “My thing is my fastball. … My arm feels good, but my groin is a little sore. I’ll get a little rest and I’ll be all right.”
Bath scored two in the first and added one in the third to take a 3-0 lead. Coldwater got within 4-2 entering the seventh.
The left-handed Jordan came on for the seventh and threw a majority of breaking pitches for strikes. Coldwater’s Malave Bettinger reached on an error to start the seventh. With one out, Matt Selhorst singled to deep short to put runners on first and second.
Jordan then struck out Grant Muhlenkamp on a fastball and got Christian Schramm to ground out to second to end it for a save.
“I wanted to keep them off-balance and get ahead of hitters,” Jordan said. “We had a two-run lead so I just tried to throw strikes.”
Selhorst went 2 for 4, while Schramm went 2 for 3 with two doubles for the Cavs.
For Bath, Eric Heffner went 2 for 4 with a double. Catcher Cody Schuerman went 2 for 2 with an RBI. Cam Jenkins had a double and an RBI.
Schuerman played every inning of the doubleheader behind the plate, but Bath coach Brian Jesko said he’s been an iron man this season.
“He’s a bulldog,” Jesko said. “He’s caught almost every inning for us this year and started every game behind the plate and every doubleheader.”
After a quick rest, Jordan took the mound for the second game. He mixed in his fastball with a heavy diet of breaking pitches. He went five innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on four hits. He struck out five and walked three.
It was a big day for Jordan, especially since he was working on three-days rest.
“He’s been great and throwing the ball very well,” Jesko said. “And that’s the first time we’ve done that in a while, put a kid in there to end the first game for a save and then bringing him back to start the second game.”
Gilliland, a sophomore, picked up the win with four innings of shutout ball. He gave up four hits, struck out three and walked one.
Coldwater took a 2-0 lead into the seventh when freshman designated hitter Bettinger ripped a two-run single to expand the Cavs’ lead to 4-0.
“That was a huge hit to give us two runs on the board,” Harlamert said.
Gossard was 2 for 4, while Heffner was 2 for 3.
“I’m pleased with the way we’re swinging,” Jesko said. … “I think our guys have something to build on. If we can keep our pitching and defense playing the way we have, we have a good chance come tournament time.”
Bath vs. Coldwater