ELIDA — The heater was cranked on high in the Elida dugout to the point it even singed some clothing.
But that wasn’t the only thing throwing out heat on this day, which was best served for ice fishing.
Elida freshman right-hander Brayden Lybarger continually threw strikes and notched a 2-1, complete-game victory Friday over Ottawa-Glandorf at Ed Sandy Field.
By the final inning, in a game that went only one hour and 20 minutes, the temperature was 38 degrees, with a 29-degree wind chill.
Elida is 4-2, 2-0 in the Western Buckeye League. O-G is 4-2, 0-1 in the WBL.
Lybarger and O-G right-hander Chase Schrieber both went the distance and neither gave up an earned run.
Lybarger (2-0) gave up four hits, and one unearned run, over his seven innings. He struck out five and walked none.
“It wasn’t too bad, as long as my hands were warm,” Lybarger said. “Otherwise, it would have been terrible.’’
But he admitted he didn’t feel totally comfortable until the seventh.
“Going into the last inning, I knew it was mine,” Lybarger said.
Lybarger threw 81 pitches, 58 for strikes. He faced 26 hitters and notched 16 first-pitch strikes.
“He threw phenomenal,” Elida coach Todd Grapner said. “There were tough conditions and he just went out from the beginning and pounded the strike zone. He was in command all day. If you wouldn’t know him, you wouldn’t guess he was a freshman the way he threw the ball.’’
The key was keeping his fastball low, then adding in his breaking ball and slider for strikes.
“I was trying to locate it on the outside, lower part,” Lybarger said. “The curve felt pretty good.’’
Added Grapner, “He works low and he has good control. … And he has a good curveball, a good slider and a good change-up. He has a good mix of pitches.’’
Schrieber relied heavily on his breaking ball, which continually sliced up the strike zone. He also located his fastball across the plate.
Schrieber gave up only four hits, two runs, none earned, over six inning. He threw 92 pitches, 62 for strikes.
“Chase threw really well for us,” O-G coach Nick Miller said. “He mixed his fastball and curveball really well today.
“Both pitchers commanded the strike zone really well. He (Lybarger) really commanded his fastball. He kept us off balance and mixed in a little slider now and then.’’
The Titans took a 1-0 lead in the first.
Grant Fuerst singled to left, went to second on a passed ball and reached third on a wild pitch. Fuerst scored when B.J. Fortman reached first on an error on the Elida third baseman.
Elida scored both its runs in the home second.
T.J. Whipple reached first on an error and went to second on a single to left by Matt Fish.
Jordan Davis put down a sacrifice bunt and Schrieber came off the mound and threw the ball down the right-field line. That brought in Whipple from second and tied the game at 1.
Josh Howard’s sacrifice fly to center gave Elida a 2-1 lead.
Fuerst went 2 for 3 for O-G.
Both pitchers had plenty left at the end.
Schrieber struck out the final six batters he faced.
Lybarger retired the final four, including a 1-2-3 seventh to end it.
It was the second straight strong WBL outing by an Elida pitcher, as Luke Burger gave up only one hit in a 6-2 win over Kenton on Thursday.
“It made me think I wanted to go out there and do just as good,” Lybarger said.
Grapner said, “High school baseball is pitching and defense and our pitchers have been outstanding so far.’’
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