DELPHOS — After going 6-16 during the regular season, Delphos St. John’s is hoping to turn things around in the postseason.
The Blue Jays took a step in the right direction after beating Waynesfield-Goshen, 18-0, in the first round of the Division IV sectional Tuesday.
Delphos improves to 7-16 on the season and will face Midwest Athletic Conference rival St. Henry Thursday. Waynesfield-Goshen falls to 1-10 for the year.
“These kids have been working hard all year,” Delphos head coach Jerry Jackson said. “I know a lot of times we have not seen the reward on the scoreboard but I have been preaching to them the last three or four weeks that our attempt is to get better and peak at the right time.”
Tigers head coach Travis Wireman said it may not show because of the big loss, but his team has shown progress.
“Today definitely wasn’t our day but I was proud of the fact that we have made a lot of strides as a ball club in becoming a better team,” Wireman said. “Some days it is just not your day especially with baseball being a rhythm and timing game and sometimes you just don’t have it but I am proud of the seniors who laid the foundation and if we can continue that into the future I think we have some good things coming.”
Wireman added that even though he played five seniors the Tigers are a young team and added that he hopes the younger players will learn and grow from this experience.
The Blue Jays pitching duo of Matthew Miller and Adam Gerker combined to toss a three-hitter over five innings. Miller started the game and in his three innings gave up two hits while striking out three and walking none. Gerker was effective in his two innings of relief as he surrendered one hit while striking out two and walking none.
“We knew with those two throwing the ball that they were going to pound the strike zone,” Jackson said. “We weren’t going to walk many guys and we were going to make them put the ball in play and with our defense playing fairly well we were getting outs when we needed to.”
The Blue Jays’ offense opened up a 14-0 advantage after two innings to take control of the game. Delphos scored four in the first, thanks to two hits, two walks, one balk and a host of errors. In the second frame, the Blue Jays plated 10 runs as all nine starters would cross the plate after they sent 14 batters to the plate.
In the big second inning, Chandler Skym blasted a home run over the center field fence and James Barrett and Tony Sanders recorded triples.
For the game, Sanders, who went 3 for 3 and drove in a run and scored twice, was a home run away from hitting the cycle. Devin Cairo went 3 for 3 with a triple and three RBI while scoring three times.
For Waynesfield-Goshen, Evan Miller had a double and Tanner Hurley and Jaden Maxwell each had singles.
Even though the Blue Jays produced a big win, Jackson said the road gets much tougher when Delphos St. John’s faces St. Henry, the No. 1 seed, Thursday.
“You can tell with the 18 runs they scored that they are smiling and have a little swagger to them,” Jackson said. “But they know those runs are going to come harder in the future so we are running and attacking the bases a lot better and swinging the bats better.”