BOWLING GREEN — One wave was answered, but a second proved too much.
The St. Marys baseball team had its season come to an end Thursday, as the Roughriders lost 12-6 to Ontario in a Division II regional semifinal.
Each team batted around in the first inning, with the Warriors putting up six runs and St. Marys getting four.
After the Roughriders tied it with two in the second, Ontario kept slugging, scoring another half-dozen in the fourth and staying in control from there.
St. Marys finishes the year with a record of 15-14, defeating Celina, Wapakoneta and Upper Sandusky to win the district title.
Manager Adam Graves said it was a disappointing outcome, but he was still proud of the team’s effort.
“They had two really big innings,” Graves said. “We weren’t the greatest fundamentally.” But, he added, “our guys didn’t quit.” He said that they owe a lot to the team’s eight seniors, and hoped that this run would provide motivation to the team’s younger players.
Starter Brayden Sullivan lasted 3 ⅓ innings, allowing 12 runs on nine hits. He struck out four and walked one.
Combining in relief were A.J. Dieringer for 1 ⅔ innings and Joel Kogge for the sixth and seventh. Dieringer gave up one hit, and Kogge had one walk.
The Roughriders had four hits, with Kogge driving in three runs on a double in the first. Caleb Felver had a bases-loaded walk and a double. Others with hits were Dieringer and Sullivan.
Ontario, now 15-13, advances to Friday’s regional final against Defiance, a 4-3 winner against Bay.
Starter Carter Weaver pitched three frames, allowing six runs on three hits and six walks. Carter Walters pitched four scoreless to get the win, surrendering one hit. Each had three strikeouts.
Weaver also had a double and single and drove in four runs. Jayden Leach, Gage Weaver and Walters had two hits each. Colten Ramion had two RBI, with one each for Leach, Gage Weaver, Braxton Hall and Bryson Stoots.
The Warriors got to bat first as the visitors, and wasted very little time. Ramion lined a single to right on the second pitch from Sullivan. After he stole second, he came around to score on a single to left by Leach.
Gage Weaver then tagged the first pitch he got to center. Leave moved to third, and Weaver advanced to second on the relay throw.
A grounder to second by Caleb Weaver bounced over the infielder’s head, allowing Leave and Gage Weaver to score and make it 3-0.
Walters was hit by a pitch, which was followed by a bunt from Jake Chapman. The throw to first was dropped, which gave Ontario runners at each base.
After a flyout to shallow right, a walk to Stoots forced in run number four. Ramion, batting for the second time, hit a sinking liner to left. It fell for a hit, and pushed Walters and Chapman across to boost the margin to six.
Kasey Gross started off the bottom half with a walk. After a flyout, Weaver also issued passes to Sullivan and Jacob Kaiser to fill the sacks. Kogge belted a ball over the head of the center fielder, clearing the bases and cutting the lead to 6-3.
After a strikeout, Easton Craft walked and Ethan Hollandsworth was hit in the back to load the bases for a second time. Felver coaxed a walk to force in Kogge and make it a two-run game.
Sullivan had an easier time in the second. He got the first groundout of the game by Gage Weaver. Carter Weaver smoked a drive along the third base line. Sullivan got Walters to fly out, then St. Marys was able to catch Weaver trying to steal for the third out.
Dieringer got things going by reaching on a misplayed grounder, and Sullivan was grazed by a pitch. Kaiser put down a bunt. A throwing error allowed him to reach and Dieringer to score.
Another bunt moved the runners into scoring position, with Sullivan to third and Kaiser to second.
A wild pitch allowed Sullivan to steam down the line and draw the Roughriders back even at 6. Weaver avoided further trouble with back to back strikeouts.
Ontario went 1-2-3 in the top of the third. With one out in the bottom, Felver doubled to left, but was tagged out trying to stretch it into a triple. Gross drew a walk, then Dieringer singled to center, which would have resulted in a run. A popup to short ended the inning with matters still tied.
Ontario’s number nine hitter, Peyton Dzugan led off the fourth with a single to left. After a sac bunt by Ramion, Leach hit one along virtually the same track as Dzugan, making it runners at the corners.
Gage Weaver followed with another hit to left, this one a hard hit grounder. Dzugan scored to put Ontario back in front.
Caleb Weaver doubled to the right side, scoring Leach and his brother. Walters reached on an error, then he and Weaver pulled off a double steal.
Chapman belted a 1-1 pitch from Sullivan into center field. That scored both runners and led to a change on the mound for St. Marys.
Dieringer faced Hall, who singled to right to score another run for the Warriors, which was charged to Sullivan. He retired the next two batters.
Ontario had Weaver and Walters switched places between the mound and first. Walters got two groundouts and a strikeout.
The fifth was quiet, with Ontario having one baserunner and St. Marys going in order.
Kogge came on to pitch the sixth. He walked Walters to start off. Chapman then popped up a bunt attempt. Riders catcher freshman Luke Rammel caught it and then fired to first for a double play. That was followed by a flyout.
St. Marys had one runner in the bottom half, with Sullivan reaching when his infield popup was lost against the very bright sun.
That came with two outs and Walters got a strikeout to follow it. Both sides went 1-2-3 in the seventh as Ontario wrapped up the six-run victory.
Playing their final game for the Roughriders were seniors A.J. Dieringer, Jack Boos, Caleb Felver, Easton Craft, Greg Felver, Ethan Hollandsworth, Brayden Sullivan and Alex Yahl.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.