Monday, May 19th, 2008
Offense carries Celina past Van Wert, to districts
By Ryan Hines
Celina's Jeremy Kerr slides safely into home plate for a run during the Bulldogs. . .
ELIDA - There have been times this season where the Celina offense has been downright miserable.
Saturday wasn't one of those days.
Celina belted out 12 hits, drew 10 walks and had multiple baserunners on base all game long in an 11-1 six-inning win over Van Wert in Division II sectional finals action at Elida's Ed Sandy Field.
The Bulldogs (10-17) advance to district action beginning on Thursday at 4:15 p.m. against Defiance (24-1) at Archbold. Defiance defeated Celina 3-0 at Montgomery field during the regular season.
An offensive onslaught wasn't expected from Celina since the Green and White were hitting just .253 entering the game, but that's what the Bulldogs did on the field.
Van Wert (11-14), which defeated Celina 11-7 in the regular season, went through five pitchers, but none of them had an answer for Celina's hot bats.
"I don't think we hit double digits (in runs) this year (until Saturday). I know the hits (12) were a season high," said Celina coach Drew Braun. "This is what we expected the whole season out of these guys. I guess if you're going to pick a time to start stroking the ball, tournament time is the right time."
Dustin Woods had three singles and reached base four times while the combo of John Bonvillian and Brian Brockly provided the power in the Bulldogs' offense.
Bonvillian had a two-run single in the second inning and then capped his day with a three-run home run in the sixth inning. Brockly's big day included a two-run bomb of a home run and scored the winning run when his double was coupled with an Elida error as he raced around to score ending the game in the sixth inning.
Celina scored multiple runs in four of the six innings played, but the damage could have even been worse considering the fact that the Bulldogs stranded 13 runners on base.
Bonvillian was happy to see the Celina offense come to life.
"I think that we're waiting for our pitches to hit and staying back and just hitting in the right counts," said Bonvillian. "We all seem to be swinging the bats pretty well right now and that's what we want to see in the postseason."
While the Celina offense continued to stack up the runs, the smile on Darin Waterman's face began to grow with the Bulldogs' hurler coasting on the mound.
Waterman notched his second straight postseason win allowing just one run on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts. It was an efficient outing for the Celina sophomore and he credited his defense for their strong play and the offense for run support.
"I had my stuff and the defense played really well today," said Waterman. "Our offense was sweet. We got the bats going now in the second season. This is the best that we've played all year."
Braun has liked what he's seen from Waterman on the mound.
"Darin keeps the ball down and mixes in some curveballs for strikes that keep batters off-balanced," said Braun. "He's not overpowering, but he has decent speed. When he is able to get his off-speed stuff over the plate, it makes his fastball that much more impressive."
Josh Leonard started the offensive feast for Celina with an RBI single in the second inning which was then followed by Bonvillian's two-run single for a 3-0 Bulldogs lead. All three runs were scored with two outs.
Brockly's two-run homer came in the fourth inning for a 5-0 Celina lead and two more runs in the fifth put the Bulldogs on top 7-0 before the four-run sixth put away the Cougars for good.