ELIDA — The Coldwater and Milan Edison Division III regional semifinal baseball game played Thursday afternoon at Ed Sandy Field was a classic pitchers’ duel.
With the Cavaliers holding a precarious 1-0 lead going to the seventh inning, the Chargers tied the game with a run before Coldwater grabbed the victory with its own run in the bottom of the seventh for a 2-1 win.
A pair of right-handers, Brad Giere for Coldwater and Bryce Roberts for Edison, were masterful before a throwing error by Roberts led to the Cavaliers’ winning run.
Both pitchers allowed only four hits, worked ahead in the count and were efficient with their pitch totals. Roberts threw 89 pitches in the game with 68 of them for strikes. Giere countered for the Cavaliers with 77 pitches and 52 strikes.
After a scoreless three and a half innings Coldwater broke into the scoring column in the bottom of the fourth inning. Lead-off hitter Sam Broering was hit by a pitch leading off the inning and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jake Wenning. Nathan Grunden then singled home Broering and the Cavaliers took a 1-0 lead.
Giere took the 1-0 lead to the seventh and promptly hit Edison (15-10) lead-off batter Thomas Oeder who was then sacrificed to second base. Center fielder Caden Cooper then drilled a double to right center field that scored the run that tied the game. But Giere stranded Cooper at second by inducing a fly ball to left and getting a strike out for the third out of the inning.
“I definitely was locating the ball early.” Giere said. “I’ve been doing that all year, throw it in there and trust my defense.”
Coldwater (25-6) coach Brian Harlamert decided to go with pinch-hitter Alex Wourms to open the seventh and Wourms promptly singled to left field before being replaced by pinch runner Myles Blasingame. Catcher Jacob Hartings laid down a sacrifice bunt that Roberts threw high to first for an error that put Cavalier runners at second and third with no outs.
Roberts then recorded a strikeout for the first out and the Chargers elected to walk lead-off hitter Austin Riethman to load the bases and bring Broering to the plate. Broering quickly fell behind in the count at 0-2 before fouling off the next two pitches. He then hit a slow roller that found the hole between third and shortstop as Blasingame raced home with the winning run.
“I just wanted to put the ball in play with two strikes,” Broering said of his game-winning hit. “I put it in play and that was my job.”
Harlamert was quick to give credit to both teams for a well played contest.
“We knew he (Roberts) was a strike thrower; he was really good pitcher and he competed.” Harlamert said. “Brad (Giere) is one of our aces; his ball moves a lot, he competes, and he wanted that win. It was good game all the way around from both teams; we played hard and got a win.”
The Cavaliers will return to Ed Sandy Field at 5 p.m. today to meet Columbus Academy, a 4-3 winner against Archbold, for the right to advance to the state tournament.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.