BATH TOWNSHIP – Both pitchers were locked in with their off-speed pitches.
So it came down to the defense.
Bath scored two unearned runs to notch a 2-0 baseball victory over Lima Central Catholic Monday at Bath.
Bath (1-2) took advantage of two LCC errors to score a run in the first and another in the sixth.
Meanwhile, Bath, had no errors and turned two double plays, both in the first two innings to wiggle free of trouble.
It was the opener for LCC.
Bath right-hander Logan Magrum (1-0) tossed the complete-game shutout. He gave up two hits, with four strikeouts. He walked three.
Magrum relieved heavily on his breaking ball and change-up. He threw 88 pitches, 57 for strikes. He gave up a single in the second and another single in the seventh.
It was Magrum’s second outing of the year, after throwing 15 pitches against Findlay on Saturday and giving up one run.
“It (Saturday) was like a good bullpen session before I came out today,’’ Magrum said. “Today my best pitch was the change-up, and it’s usually not. But I was keeping it down and keeping them off-balance. And I give all the credit to the defense.”
Added Bath coach Brian Jesko, “He (Magrum) was sharp today. He had a couple of walks early on in the game, but we were able to roll a couple of double plays. Then, he settled in and did a good job and was able to get his off-speed stuff over and mixed it in for strikes.”
LCC lefty Dru Smith nearly matched Magrum.
Smith worked six innings and gave up one unearned run on four hits. He struck out 10 and walked one. Smith threw plenty of breaking balls and change-ups, as well, with 84 pitches, 57 for strikes.
“Our pitching was excellent and we feel that’s going to be the strength of our ballclub,” LCC coach John Schnieders said. “Dru really developed last year and in the offseason and we’re excited about what he can be. He was (throwing the
change-up for strikes) and he pops a good fastball. He can really throw three pitches for strikes and has good movement, too.”
Bath scored the only run it would need in the first.
Ryan Gossard hit a double to center field. Then with two outs, Jordan Berens struck out, but reached first when the LCC catcher dropped the ball and tossed it into right field trying for the out at first.
Gossard easily scored from second to give LCC a 1-0 lead.
“The bottom line is an unearned run is the difference,” Schnieders said. “But give credit to Magrum. He really had us off-balance. … But the key was he (Magrum) got the first out of the inning.”
Anthony Venturella came on for the T-Birds in the seventh and retired the first two hitters. Bo Gross reached on an error on the LCC second baseman.
Luke Best went in to run for Gross at first.
Magrum lined a two-out double down the right-field line to score Best and give Bath a 2-0 lead entering the seventh.
“It was a little bit of an outside pitch and we were trying to get that runner in and I took it the other way,” Magrum said.
Magrum took two innings to find his groove, especially in the first when he walked Derek Jennings and hit Thomas Williams.
But Magrum got Venturella to hit a one-out bouncer up the middle to shortstop Gossard who stepped on second and fired to first for the double play.
End of T-Birds’ rally.
Magrum started 17 of the 25 hitters off with a strike.
If LCC did hit the ball hard, it usually went right at the Bath defense.
And the Wildcats made all the plays.
“Early in the year, we’re trying to find out who we are,” Jesko said. “We’re replacing our entire infield. But I thought those guys played well behind him today and Will Clark made some nice plays at third base and Isaiah Bolon and Ryan Gossard played well at second and short.”