BATH TOWNSHIP – For just a little while, Tuesday’s ACME sectional baseball game between Lima Central Catholic and St. Marys, eerily resembled Saturday’s matchup between the same two teams.
On Saturday, LCC found itself down 5-1, but battled back to defeat St. Marys 6-5.
Tuesday night at Bath, St. Marys jumped out to a 4-0 lead and LCC came roaring back to tie the game at 4 apiece after four innings.
However, the game took a huge turn in the fifth inning as St. Marys scored seven runs on six base hits, to take control of the game and go on for a 14-4 victory over LCC in the double-elimination tournament.
With the win, St. Marys notches a No. 2 seed and will play in next weekend’s ACME district tournament at Shawnee. St. Marys’ first game of the district tournament is set for 7:15 p.m. Friday. St. Marys’ opponent will be determined later when the other sectionals are completed.
Elida notched a district berth Monday at the Bath sectional when it defeated LCC, earning a No. 1 seed. The top two teams in the sectional advance to the district tournament.
On Tuesday, St. Marys pounded a total of 14 hits. Riley Sweigart led St. Marys at the plate, going 3 for 5 with three RBI. Braden Trodglon, Andrew Ibrahim, Carson Fischbach and Dakota Bensman each had two hits apiece for St. Marys.
“The guys took good approaches at the plate,” St. Marys coach Mason Gross said. “Overall, this was the most complete game that we’ve played all year. Pitching, defense and the bats all kind of clicked together. So, I hope we can keep that going.”
St. Marys got to LCC starting pitcher Zac Jacobs in the third inning, scoring four runs on four hits.
LCC scored three runs in its half of the fourth inning to knot the game at 4.
But that was the last offensive burst for the T-Birds.
In the big fifth for St. Marys, the Roughriders’ bats forced LCC coach Colin Stolly to move Nevan Stolly over from first base to the pitching mound.
Jacobs was tabbed for nine runs on 10 hits, while striking out one and walking one. He threw 71 pitches.
Along with the hot hitting of St. Marys, LCC’s defense made things worse, recording two errors in the fifth inning. For the game, LCC committed seven errors.
“That’s what I told these guys, ‘You lose ball games by giving up free bases; and when the other team gives you a chance to get free bases, you have to take them’,” Coach Stolly said. “They (St. Marys) took them and we were giving them away.
“That’s kind of what we did the other day (Saturday). … With two strikes, we put the ball in play. With two outs, we put the ball on the ground and made the other team make a play. … That’s what they (St. Marys) were doing today and we just didn’t make enough plays,” Stolly said.
Braden Tarr led LCC, offensively, going 2 for 4. For the game, the T-Birds had seven hits.
Dylan Trogdlon started on the pitching mound for St. Marys. He worked four-plus innings, before giving way to Hayden Stidham.
Trogdlon gave up the four runs on seven hits, while striking out one and walking two. He threw 59 pitches.
“They’re a really good baseball team,” Coach Stolly said. “They can swing it one through nine (in the batting order). They found some holes and we didn’t, today. … That’s the way baseball goes. I’m proud of these guys. They had each other’s backs all summer. This tournament has kind of proven that.”
St. Marys is looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead at the district tournament.
“We’ll get our pitching back,” Gross said. “The guys can rest their arms throughout the week. If we have healthy arms, then I like our chances.”