Saturday, April 28th, 2007
By Gary R. Rasberry
Loughridge carries Celina past Bath with gem on the mound
The old adage about a walk being as good as a hit certainly rang true for Celina on Friday as the Bulldogs received 10 bases on balls by Bath pitching, along with three hit batsmen.
Celina got plenty of runs, but really only needed one with the way Eric Loughridge pitched.
The Bulldog senior scattered three hits and struck out nine as Celina posted a 7-0 shutout at Montgomery Field to improve to 10-10 on the season and 3-3 in the Western Buckeye League. The Wildcats drop to 2-4 in the WBL and 8-7 overall.
Loughridge, who left after giving up eight runs in 3 1/3 innings against Elida on Tuesday, blew past the Wildcats on Friday. The 102-pitch effort saw Bath having trouble finding their timing against his pitching. Loughridge allowed just three walks on the day and got spotless defense, which considering the soggy conditions was a tremendous effort.
"He kept the ball in the zone," said Celina coach Drew Braun. "When we were calling for him on 0-2 pitches to just miss outside, he was missing at his spot tonight. He was in command, threw them where he wanted to."
The Bulldogs got the only run they needed in the bottom of the first off Wildcat starter Bobby Jenkins. Nick Gray led off with a walk and moved to second on Matt Paulus' sacrifice bunt. John Bonvillian, hot-hitting of late, singled before Joel Lange loaded the bases by getting hit by Jenkins.
The next pitch, Loughridge took one square on the '21' on the back of his jersey to bring Gray home for a run.
Four more runs came home in the second inning as Celina sent 10 to the plate. Jenkins walked three straight batters at one point, with Lange hitting a short single to bring in two runs for the big hit of the day.
Jenkins was gone after 1 2/3 innings, replaced by Brett Garver after giving up seven walks, two hit batsmen and three hits in allowing five earned runs.
Garver went the next 3 1/3, walking three batters of his own and giving up the final two runs of the game.
"I didn't think it was that many," said Braun when told of the number of walks. "I guess we'll take them if they give us 10 free ones."
Meanwhile, Loughridge cruised, retiring the first nine batters he faced before walking Cory Stephens to start the fourth. Loughridge got two outs before Alex Stewart chopped an infield single to end the no-hitter.
Bath left two runners on third base during the game, but Loughridge got plenty of help to get out of the jams.
Bonvillian continued his hot hitting ways in going 2-for-2 while Gray scored three times in the contest.
Celina travels south today to face Northmont for an 11 a.m. doubleheader.
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