Baseball: Bath advances to district semifinals

COLUMBUS GROVE — Bath right-hander Skyler Lhamon had men on base staring at him nearly every inning.

But he kept finding ways to escape serious damage.

Lhamon tossed a complete-game 9-2 victory as Bath knocked off Columbus Grove to win the Division III baseball sectional final Friday at Columbus Grove.

Bath (10-13) advances to the district semifinals to play the winner of today’s Kenton at Coldwater game at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Elida’s Ed Sandy Field.

Putnam County League champion Columbus Grove is 17-8.

Bath scored two in the first and added five in the second to take a 7-0 lead.

From there, the Wildcats turned to Lhamon.

Lhamon went seven innings and gave up two runs, both earned, on five hits. He struck out nine and walked three.

Lhamon threw 127 pitches, 72 for strikes.

“I did (battle out there). I couldn’t figure it out on the mound,” Lhamon said. “I went more to sliders later in the game. All year I was able to throw my slider for my strikes than my other off-speed pitches. Today that worked more than the fastball, so I just went with it.’’

Bath coach Joe Gomez said, “Well, first Columbus Grove has good hitters and they’re very disciplined. That didn’t make it easy on him working through, but the thing we’ve been working on all year is making that big pitch. … And today, he made some great pitches when we needed him.’’

Lhamon continually battled out of trouble, starting in the second.

Leading 7-0, Lhamon gave up two singles and a walk to load the bases with one out in the second.

He then hit Kyle Hopkins with a pitch to bring in a run to make it 7-1.

Lhamon then struck out Brock Hoffman and got Shep Halker to pop out to third to end the inning.

“That second kind of got in my head a little bit with the bases loaded,” Lhamon said. “Coach (Gomez) pulled me off to the side after that inning and he talked to me. It worked.’’

Gomez said, “His back was against the wall (in the second inning) and he showed his toughness. When he came down to it, he got tough.’’

Columbus Grove ended up leaving seven men on base.

Bath ended up with 12 hits on the game.

Bath’s Blaine Albright was 2 for 4.

Bath’s Quintin Collins was 2 for 4 with a home run and three RBI. Cade Price was 2 for 4.

Ricky Deppe went 2 for 3 with a double and three RBI.

For Grove, Brenton Renner went 3 for 3 with two triples.

Taylor Schroeder started for Grove, but Bath came right him.

Schroeder hit Bath leadoff hitter Carter Parlapiano. Austin Williams and Albright singled to load the bases.

Parlapiano came home on a passed ball to give Bath a 1-0 lead.

Collins’ RBI groundout to first made it 2-0.

In the second for Bath, Price singled and Lhamon walked.

Deppe hit a two-run double to the left-field fence and Bath’s lead grew to 4-0.

Parlapiano’s RBI single made it 5-0.

Collins launched a home run into the jet stream in dead center field and Bath’s lead mushroomed to 7-0.

It was Collins’ third home run this year.

Shep Halker came on in the third inning for Grove and pitched four straight shutout innings before giving up two runs in the seventh.

Lhamon ran into more trouble in the fourth, leading 7-1.

Renner started the Grove fourth with a triple to right-center field.

Trey Sautter’s RBI single to right brought Grove within 7-2.

Lhamon then retired the next three Grove hitters on a strikeout, groundout to second and fly to right.

Bath scored two in the seventh to make it 9-2.

Lhamon felt playing the Western Buckeye League schedule helped prepare his team for the sectional.

“With all the good pitching that we’ve seen this year, we should be ready for it now,” Lhamon said.

Gomez added, “We play in one of the best leagues in the state of Ohio. The WBL is a great league and we are one of the smaller teams in the league. And although our record didn’t show a successful season, it prepared us for right now.’’

Bath’s Quintin Collins (25) celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run during Friday’s Division III sectional final at Columbus Grove. See more high school photos at LimaScores.com.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/05/web1_Cols-Grv-Baseball-vs-Bath-DS6.jpgBath’s Quintin Collins (25) celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run during Friday’s Division III sectional final at Columbus Grove. See more high school photos at LimaScores.com. Don Speck | The Lima News

Columbus Grove’s Carver Halker bats during Friday’s Division III sectional final home game against Bath.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/05/web1_Cols-Grv-Baseball-vs-Bath-DS7.jpgColumbus Grove’s Carver Halker bats during Friday’s Division III sectional final home game against Bath. Don Speck | The Lima News

Bath’s Cade Price tags out Columbus Grove’s Luke Otto during Friday’s Division III sectional final at Columbus Grove.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/05/web1_Cols-Grv-Baseball-vs-Bath-DS4.jpgBath’s Cade Price tags out Columbus Grove’s Luke Otto during Friday’s Division III sectional final at Columbus Grove. Don Speck | The Lima News

Columbus Grove’s Brenton Renner throws to first base to force out Bath’s Austin Williams during Friday’s Division III sectional final at Columbus Grove.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/05/web1_Cols-Grv-Baseball-vs-Bath-Ds1.jpgColumbus Grove’s Brenton Renner throws to first base to force out Bath’s Austin Williams during Friday’s Division III sectional final at Columbus Grove. Don Speck | The Lima News
Lhamon throws complete game for Wildcats

By Tom Usher

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Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.