SPENCERVILLE – Good hitting and excellent pitching are always a good combination for any high school baseball team.
Lima Central Catholic had both Thursday afternoon when it visited Spencerville and the result was an 8-0 victory for the Thunderbirds.
LCC (5-9) rode a six-run third inning and a four-hit, 11 strikeout effort by right handed pitcher Trevor Hoff to grab the win.
The Bearcats (5-7) started freshman left-hander Thad Ringwald and he coasted through the first two innings, setting down the T-Birds 1-2-3 in both innings. Ringwald was able to utilize a big curve that kept the LCC batters off-balance and their bats in check.
Ethan O’Connor led off the third was a wind-blown double and Ringwald was forced to go to the stretch and suddenly his pitches were up in the strike zone.
Liam Stolly drove in O’Connor with a single to right field and consecutive bunts by Evan Szeremeth and Drew Jennings scored Stolly. Colin Stolly drove in Jennings with a 2-out single before back-to-back-to-back doubles by Brad Stolly, Jacob Judy and Luke Baumgartner gave the T-Birds a 6-0 lead.
“We did a good job of making the adjustment against Ringwald,” LCC coach John Schnieders said. “When we got him out of the windup and into the stretch he got the ball up a little bit.”
LCC turned the game over to Hoff (2-2) at that point and he responded in a big way. He was never in trouble and threw 99 pitches in the complete game effort, 65 for strikes. Hoff allowed two runners in only one inning — the fourth — and got out of that jam with a strike-out and fly ball.
“I was happy with my effort tonight,” Hoff said. “Both my fastball and curve were working for me.”
Schnieders was happy with the play of his team.
“We hit the ball well and played good defense (LCC committed no errors),” Schnieders said. “Plus, Trevor really pounded the strike zone tonight.”
Colin Stolly and Brad Stolly both collected two hits to lead the LCC offense.
After Ringwald got in trouble, Spencerville brought in another freshman pitcher in Jacob Meyer who finished the game and gave up only two runs in the T-Birds fifth inning.
“The story of this game was the way they hit the ball all over the field,” Bearcats coach Troy Montenery said. “Their pitcher threw a good game, they played good defense, and they had a good all-around performance. We are young, we started three freshmen and four sophomores, but we have played 12 games and need to play good fundamental baseball.”