SPENCERVILLE – Lima Central Catholic pitcher Braydon O’Dell was in command and in control against Spencerville Thursday night,
The Thunderbird southpaw scattered five hits over six innings of work to pick up the win and secure a 12-2 victory for LCC over the Bearcats.
In the first inning, O’Dell struggled a little after being touched for a run on one hit, however, a slight adjustment due to the gusty wind conditions, helped O’Dell settle into a groove.
From the second to the sixth inning, O’Dell recorded seven of his eight strike outs while walking none. In three of those five innings he recorded a strike out to close out the frame.
“These weren’t the easiest conditions to pitch in with the breeze coming right across the diamond and he made a nice adjustment,” LCC head coach John Schnieders said. “His breaking ball wasn’t something he could use early in the game because it was kind of hanging in the wind but he did a real good, especially after the first and second innings, of working ahead of the hitters by throwing a change up and he really had them off balance and once he got that confidence going he was really good.”
Schnieders added that the defense showed marked improvement from the previous night and that was also a factor in the win.
Junior Derek Pignataro would pitch the final inning and give up one run on two walks and one hit.
O’Dell’s counterpart, Spencerville hurler Zach Ringwald was effective and kept the Bearcats close after giving up four runs in the first five innings but in the sixth he opened the inning by giving up back-to-back hits and that ended his day on the mound.
The two LCC hits to open the sixth were only the beginning as the Thunderbirds would record four more hits to spark a six-run rally to break the game open.
Spencerville head coach Matt Thompson said he thought Ringwald put in a strong effort.
“I was really happy,” Thompson said. “He competed the first five innings and threw strikes and got guys out but we need to help him on defense. I was happy the way he threw. He is a competitor and I love giving the ball to him.”
While getting a good performance on the mound from his pitcher, Schneiders was also encouraged by his team’s aggressive approach at the plate and on the base paths that led to not only runs but numerous Bearcat miscues.
For the game, the Bearcats finished with seven errors. For the game, LCC recorded five stolen bases.
“Really what you saw is our athleticism really put pressure on their infielders to rush plays and as a result got some extra outs early in the ball game,” Schnieders said. “That is a strength of us. We have some guys who are pretty athletic and we try to use that to our advantage.
At the plate, Lima Central Catholic’s Derek Jennings went 3 for 3 with a double and two runs scored. His two-bagger in the sixth brought home two runs. Shortstop Shaun Thomas scored twice and drove in two runs.
“Against good teams like LCC you can’t give them extra outs and we gave them extra outs and they hit the ball at us and we didn’t make those plays,” Thompson said. “Hopefully we can clean this up for for later in the season.”
For Spencerville, Kale Lee was 1 for 2 on the night.
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.