BATH TOWNSHIP – With temperature sitting at 42 degrees, with a biting 15 mph wind, every ball in play became an adventure.
Even with that, both teams played well.
But it came down to three wild pitches in the seventh which lifted Bath to a 3-2 victory over Lima Central Catholic in a baseball game Monday at Bath.
Bath’s Logan Davis scored from third on a wild pitch in the home seventh inning to give the Wildcats’ a walk-off victory.
With the game tied at 2 with one out in the home seventh, Davis appeared to strike out, but when the ball ended up bouncing around the backstop, Davis went to second on a wild pitch.
He then took third on a wild pitch, then scored on a Dominic Riepenhoff wild pitch to win it.
“We had noticed they were throwing the ball in the dirt and their catcher (Connor Gephart) was making some great blocks,” Bath coach Joe Gomez said. “But we were trying to stress if you see the ball in the dirt, let’s try to make something happen.’’
Bath is 1-2.
“Give credit to both LCC pitchers. They threw strikes,” Gomez said. “This was not exactly favorable conditions to be pitching in or hitting in. It was an overall miserable day, but in Ohio we need to try to get it in.
“But I want to give credit to (Bath’s) Tyler Mauk, who threw very well. He was working ahead of hitters. He was mixing well and getting all of his pitches over.’’
It was the opener for LCC.
“We have a lot of new guys playing new roles and we started two freshmen and three sophomores,” LCC coach John Schnieders said. “I was really proud of the way our younger guys and older guys all played.’’
Both starting pitchers pitched well in the freezing conditions.
Bath winning pitcher right-hander Tyler Mauk went the distance, going all seven innings and giving up two runs, both unearned, on six hits. He struck out five and walked three.
Mauk threw 90 pitches, 53 for strikes.
“It was cold,” Mauk said. “I would say about halfway through the game, about the third or fourth inning, it felt good. The curveball felt good from the beginning. My
change-up I threw twice because of the weather and my fastball I tried to hit the corners.’’
LCC right-hander Derek Pignataro went 5 1/3 innings and gave up two runs, both earned, on only three hits. He was dominate with his breaking ball, as he struck out nine and walked one.
“Derek pitched only 10 innings last year and was our fifth or sixth pitcher on a varsity team with three senior studs and he stepped up today as a senior and did exactly what we needed,” Schnieders said. “He was mixing his pitches. We need him to throw like that and Dominic (Riepenhoff) came in and did a nice job.’’
Pignataro threw 83 pitches, 50 for strikes.
LCC leadoff hitter Shaun Thomas hit a wind-blown double to right to start the game and that would be the first of several wind-blown hits in the infield and the outfield.
Thomas came home on an infield error and LCC led 1-0 in the top of the first.
In the home first, Devan Grigsby was hit by a pitch and Lex Boedicker walked. The runners moved up to second and third on a wild pitch.
Caleb Buerger then hit a two-run double to right and Bath had a 2-1 lead in the first.
LCC tied the game at 2 in the fifth.
Quintel Peoples hit a wacky wind-blown single in the middle of the infield, then stole second. He came home on a game-tying RBI single by Pignataro.
In the sixth, Bath had runners at second and third with one out, when Riepenhoff came in to relieve Pignataro.
Riepenhoff got Boedicker to ground to shortstop Thomas, who fired home to freshman catcher Connor Gephart.
Gephart immediately went to third with the ball to nail the Bath runner who tried to scramble back to the bag.
Riepenhoff then got Buerger to pop to the mound to escape damage in the sixth.
But the three wild pitches in the dirt ended the game in the seventh.
“I’m going to remember the 10 balls (he blocked) in the game,” Schnieders said of Gephart. “And he threw a guy out by about 15 feet.’’