COLUMBUS GROVE – For five innings, Columbus Grove had trouble with Miller City pitcher Caleb Niese as the Wildcat southpaw stymied the Bulldog bats and the Bulldogs found themselves down 3-1 going into the sixth inning.
But after Niese was lifted due to his pitch count, Columbus Grove rallied with four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and then held on in the seventh to secure a 5-4 comeback win against Miller City in a Putnam County League contest Tuesday.
With the win, Columbus Grove improves to 3-0 in the PCL and 6-2 overall. Miller City slips to 3-1 in league play and 7-2 for the season.
“I thought we did a great job of putting pressure on Caleb on the mound and on their defense and they had to go to someone else because we put pressure on him and put baserunners on,” Columbus Grove head coach Brayden Sautter said. “We didn’t come up with the timely hit in the first five innings but kept scratching and clawing like I preach to our kids and eventually you are going to come through.
“Our work through the first five innings got us a new arm and we were able to capitalize once Caleb was out of the game because Caleb is good. You could see the whole demeanor in the whole dugout change when Caleb wasn’t on the mound. I thought we did a great job working the counts to get in that position.”
In the go-ahead inning for Columbus Grove, the Bulldogs got a one-out double from Maddox Halker and then singles from Brock Hoffman, Luke Otto and Brandon Renner to collect the four runs. Two of those hits were infield singles and Renner’s hit was a blooper to right that drove in two.
“They did what they had to do to put the ball in play,” Miller City head coach Dusty Pester said. “We did not make the plays defensively and I give them credit for doing what they had to do to win the game.”
Prior to the big Columbus Grove inning, Niese had battled the Bulldog bats and was effective with 11 strikeouts in five innings of work with four walks and scattering four hits.
But despite not breaking through against Niese, the Bulldogs had worked the Wildcat lefty enough to have him sit for the sixth.
“His (Niese) game was determined pretty much in that first inning when he threw 32 or 33 pitches,” Pester said. “We knew then he probably wasn’t going to be able to finish and it is early and its cold and we need him to be go towards the end of the year. I have the confidence in the guys that I bring in and they didn’t hit the ball all that hard in the sixth inning but they did it enough to win and we threw it around a little bit and that is what happens.”
Not to be overlooked was the effective pitching of Bulldog starter Taylor Schroeder who tossed six solid inning by yielding four hits, giving up three runs, while striking out three and walking two.
Bulldog Brandon Renner came in to pick up the save and gave up two hits, one run as he struck out one.
“We are blessed with three really good arms and Renner and (Shane) Halker were all league last year and one of them was all district and either of them was my starter tonight,” Sautter said. “That is says a lot where we are at as a program with our arms and Taylor did a great job of minimizing. They put two great swings on him and that is going to happen. You are going to give up runs but you can’t win if you don’t score anyways. Taylor gave us a great six innings and we had a plan to go to Renner if it was a save situation and he took care of business.”
Miller City’s Caleb Warnimont’s double in the first led drove in the Wildcats first two runs and Austin Ruhe hit a home run in the third for the Wildcats’ third score.
St. Marys 10,
GLANDORF — Karsyn McGlothen allowed no hits in five innings. She also had two hits, including a double, and two RBI.
Leipsic 18, Kalida 1
KALIDA — Winning pitcher Jocelyn Hermiller allowed two hits and did not give up a walk while striking out seven in five innings. Kyrsten Martinez had a double, a triple and three RBI and Samantha Hazelton had two hits and two RBI. Paige Broussard tripled for Kalida.
CONTINENTAL — Raegen Clemens, who had four hits, knocked in Maddie Relue with the winning run as part of a three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning. Madison Rayle had two hits and three RBI also for the host Pirates. Hannah Wenzlick had two hits, including a double, and Bryleigh Napao had a triple and two RBI for the Big Green.
Columbus Grove 11,
Miller City 1
COLUMBUS GROVE — Winning pitcher Kam Utendorf allowed two hits and did not give up a walk while striking out two in five innings. Isabelle Ramos had two hits, including a triple, and two RBI, Madison Zimmerly had two hits, including a home run, and three RBI and Shay Schroeder had a home run and two RBI. Nichole Ellerbrock had a double for the visiting Wildcats.
Fort Recovery 6,
Marion Local 5
FORT RECOVERY — Maddie Guggenbiller had a double and an RBI and Sophie Pearson had a hit and an RBI for the host Indians. Aliyah Arling had two hits, including a double, and two RBI for the Flyers.
St. Henry 11,
ST. HENRY — Winning pitcher Devin Delzeith allowed five hits and six walks with no strkeouts in six innings. Drew Schwieterman had two hits, including a home run, and two RBI.
St. Marys 1
OTTAWA — Winning pitcher Nate Maag allowed five hits and four walks while striking out four in seven innings. Alex Macke had two hits, including a double, and two RBI. Cole Koenig had a pair of hits for St. Marys.
Waynesfield Goshen 0
ADA — Winning pitcher Kadin Phipps allowed three hits while striking out six in five innings.
Leipsic 5, Kalida 4
KALIDA — Tommy Offenbacher had three hits and an RBI for the visiting Vikings. Jaden Smith had two hits and an RBI for the Wildcats.
Bath 10, Elida 4
BATH TOWNSHIP — Quintin Collins had two hits, including a home run, and four RBI and Blaine Albright had three hits and an RBI for the host Wildcats. Brady Kirk had a double and two RBI for the Bulldogs.
Marion Local 3,
Fort Recovery 0
MARIA STEIN — Winning pitcher Hayden Wibbeler allowed three hits and did not give up a walk while striking out six in seven innings.
Delphos St. John’s 6,
DELPHOS — Winning pitcher Brady Kerner allowed five hits and two walks while striking out seven in seven innings. Kerner and teammate Gavin Becker each had two hits, including a double, and an RBI. Braxton Ford doubled for Parkway.
Fort Jennings 14,
PANDORA — Jake Wiechart had two hits, including a double, and two RBI and Adam Hoersten had two hits and two RBI for the Musketeers. Zach Neuenschwander had two hits and two RBI for P-G.
Celina 6, Kenton 1
CELINA — Winning pitcher Quinn Andrew allowed no runs or walks and two hits while striking out six in five innings. Jack Hassan had two hits, including a double, and two RBI. Kyle Thrush doubled for Kenton.
Shawnee 5, Defiance 0
Singles players Gabe Burke, Mason Stahl and Mac Davis and the doubles teams of Gabe Rutter and Salah Muhammad and Seth Greishop and Shashank Chanomulu all won.
St. Marys 2
Singles player Sam Schomaeker and the doubles teams of Carson Fuka and Caleb Kuhlman and Levi Unterbrink and Ethan Weis won for O-G. Singles players Joey Vanderhorst and Aristide Brasille won for St. Marys.
Bath 4, Elida 1
Singles players Daniel Bolon and Ezra Bolon and the doubles teams of Will Miller and Austin Miller and Britton Hall and Caiden Bush won for Bath. Singles player Dylan Byers won for Elida.
Lexington, Ky. — Had this been a year ago, the Oilers would have been crowned the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) Champions after playing 54-holes of stroke play. However, Tuesday Apr. 19 the G-MAC debuted the medal match play system to determine a champion, which is also used to crown the men’s and women’s NCAA Division II National Champions. The Oilers were matched up with the Tiffin Dragons for the final 18 holes which led to a dramatic finish, giving the Oilers their fourth straight Great Midwest Championship title.
In Tuesday’s final round, Findlay put together a score of 303 (+15) which put them at 901 (+37) for the tournament, by far the best in the field, thirty-nine shots ahead of Tiffin.
Leading the Oilers in Tuesday’s final round was senior Kristina Kniesly. Kniesly earned G-MAC Individual Champion after finishing at four-over par with rounds of 73, 75, 72. Kniesly was named the individual champion at the SVSU Spring Invite, Findlay Spring Invitational, and now the 2022 Great Midwest Championship. This gives her five individual titles which ties the record for most individual wins in the NCAA era which was set by former standout Makenzie Torres.
Finishing behind Kniesly was sophomore Gabby Woods. Woods was the runner-up with scores of 72, 75, 74 to finish at five-over par and one shot shy of Kniesly. The Oilers also had the third finisher in freshman and Lima Central Catholic graduate Mary Kelly Mulcahy. She shot rounds of 75, 78, 75 to come in at twelve-over par. Freshman and LCC grad Erin Mulcahy finished tied for seventh at 22-over par after rounds of 80, 76, 82. Kniesly, Woods, M. Mulcahy, and E. Mulcahy finished in the top eight to secure all-conference honors. Rounding out the lineup was senior and St. Marys grad Jill Schmitmeyer. Schmitmeyer finished in eleventh after a tough final round. She carded rounds of 74, 81, 87 to put her at 26-over par.
Moving into the medal match play portion of the event, the Oilers and Dragons were set to square off. The event would be decided by each of the five matchups as players went head-to-head against each other. The winner of a match would be determined by total strokes and the team that wins at least three matches, declared the conference champion.
The match was back and forth throughout as each team held a three-match lead at least once during the round. The first match in was Schmitmeyer who shot 72 (E) and overpowered Tiffin’s Michaela Lindahl, winning by eight strokes. This put the first point on the board for the Oilers.
Gabby Woods was the next to finish. Woods shot 77 (+5) to fall to Tiffin’s Jordan Van Meter. Van Meter shot her career low 73 (+1).
Kristina Kniesly came in next to win her match against Tiffin’s Alexis Savage. Kniesly never trailed in the match after winning the first hole. Kniesly shot a 76 (+4) to take down Savage who shot 79 (+7).
Erin Mulcahy hung tight with Tiffin’s veteran Amanda Johansson however ultimately fell after shooting 82 (+10). Johansson shot 75 (+3). This brought the matches to a 2-2 draw.
With the event tied, it was then up to freshman Mary Kelly Mulcahy. The freshman standout trailed the entire match until the 16th hole. M. Mulcahy birdied the par five, 16th while Tiffin’s Lisa Marie Schumacher made bogey, swinging the match in Findlay’s favor. She then held a one shot lead on Schumacher going into the final two holes. Mulcahy and Schumacher split the 17th to keep Mulcahy ahead by one. On the 18th, Mulcahy’s approach shot came up short leaving a chip short of the green from the rough. Meanwhile, Schumacher put her approach on the green to leave herself a lengthy putt for birdie. M. Mulcahy could not get up and down and Schumacher two-putted to leave the match tied.
The Oilers and Dragons finished the medal match play tied. The G-MAC regulations dictate the proper protocol for tie breaking. The first tie breaker used was the total team scores. The five players from Tiffin scores added up to 385, the same as the Oilers five players. The next tiebreaker is the lowest individual score from either team. Jill Schmitmeyer shot a 72 (E) which bested Tiffin’s Jordan Van Meter’s 73 (+1) to secure the victory for the Oilers.
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0451.