ELIDA – The host Elida team seemed to be on cruise control when they took a 6-0 lead against visiting Shawnee in Division II sectional baseball action Wednesday at Ed Sandy Field.
But the Indians clawed their way back into the game and eventually took a 9-6 victory and now move on to face Bryan who knocked of Celina 10-0 Friday at 5 p.m. at Bryan.
Logan Maxwell started on the mound for Shawnee and was done in by three early errors that put the Bulldogs up 6-0 after three innings.
Shawnee (11-11) coach Jim Morris decided to make a pitching change and go with Jared Thomas at that point, and all Thomas did was shut out Elida (16-10) over the next four innings as the Indians bats came alive and they scored one run in the fourth, five runs in the fifth, and three runs in the sixth to go up 9-6.
“Give credit to them, they could have quit when they were down 6-0 and they didn’t.” Elida coach Todd Grapner said. “Baseball is a momentum game and they had good at bats and put the ball in play. If you put the ball in play it will eventually find a hole.”
Thomas meanwhile, was in complete command and only allowed three hits in his four innings of work as he earned the victory for Shawnee.
“I was throwing it down the middle and trusting in my defense,” Thomas said. “I relied on my slider today and my teammates did the job for me.”
After the three early errors the Shawnee defense was flawless over the final four innings including two gems by shortstop Kale Ebling. Ebling went deep in the hole to both his left and right to throw runners out and ended the game by starting a 6-4-3 double play.
“Logan Maxwell didn’t pitch badly; we just made those errors behind him,” Morris said. “We brought in J. T. (Thomas) to slow the pace of the game and he threw strikes and worked ahead. Our shortstop (Ebling) made two big plays to hold them in check.”
The Indians got three hits from both Maxwell and Ebling while first baseman Jake Hutchins and designated hitter Tyler Moore both chipped in with two hits for Shawnee.
The Indians got doubles off the bats of Maxwell, Hutchins, and Brown in the contest that was played with a strong wind blowing in from right field the entire game.
Elida was paced by center fielder Luke Burger and starting pitcher Brayden Lybarger, who both had two hits to pace the Bulldogs attack.