Saturday, June 13th, 2009
Two-out hits carry Bulldogs to victory
By Gary R. Rasberry
Celina got clutch two-out hitting and solid pitching from Caleb Shreves and Braden Billger as the Bulldogs' ACME team opened their weekend four-team round-robin with a 5-0 win over Crestview on Friday night at Montgomery Field to improve to 6-3 on the season.
In the first game of Friday's twinbill, Shawnee collected seven doubles and a home run to run-rule St. Henry 15-1 in five innings, the second straight loss for the Redskins to put them at 5-3 on the season.
Celina will face Mercer County rival St. Henry in the opening game of today's quadrupleheader at Montgomery Field.
Due to ACT testing, the start time of the St. Henry-Celina game will be 90 minutes later than the original starting time of 11 a.m., now starting at 12:30 p.m. The Redskins will conclude round-robin action in game two against Crestview, with the third game pitting Shawnee and Crestview before Celina plays the nightcap against WBL-rival Shawnee.
Celina 5, Crestview 0
The two-out hit became a big one for the Bulldogs all evening. All five runs came after two outs were recorded in the second, fourth and fifth innings.
In the second, Darin Waterman led off by getting hit by a Nick Mengerink pitch. After the Knights retired the next two batters, Shreves was plunked to put runners on the corners for Braden Billger, who lofted a shot over the rightfielder's head to clear the bases and open the scoring.
In the fourth, Waterman doubled and moved to third on Kyle Markle's sacrifice bunt. After Derek Waterman grounded out, Shreves helped his cause with an RBI single to make it 3-0.
Finally in the fifth, the Bulldogs made two quick outs before Mike Siefker doubled to right. Hayden Heiby followed with a double of his own to score Siefker, then scored on Darin Waterman's single to round out the scoring.
"We've been talking about it all summer," said Celina coach Rob Howell about two-out hits. "The missing link for us has been the two-out hit. We've been leaving a lot of guys stranded on base. We changed a lot of things, what we've been doing in the cage. ... The guys have really done a good job battling with two strikes, and it's paying off for them."
Meanwhile, Shreves was working hard in keeping the Knights off the basepaths and stellar defense kept Crestview from getting runners home.
The top play of the evening came on the Knights' best opportunity to score. After Chandler Hurless walked to start the fifth inning, Steven Seemer belted a shot to the leftfield fence. Joe Overmyer, who re-entered for the pinch-hitter Hurless, got the signal to head home, but Siefker relayed perfectly to Darin Waterman, who threw a strike to Kahl LaRue, to put the tag on Overmyer for the out. Shreves then enticed a groundout from Steven Rickard and a Kyle Balliet flyout to Markle in center to end the threat.
"We work on that stuff in practice before summer starts, the double-cut," said Howell. "The idea of that play is just to keep guys from taking extra bases. If you get an out, that's a bonus. We played great team defense tonight. When you do that, great things happen. You get that big out.
"We executed from start to finish. Pregame infield to the seventh inning."
Shreves threw six innings of five-hit baseball before turning things over to Billger in the seventh, who got two quick strikeouts before allowing a single, then closed things out by getting Seemer to ground to short to end the game.
Darin Waterman was the only Bulldog to get multiple hits on the day, going 2-for-2 with two runs scored.
Shawnee 15, St. Henry 1 (5 innings)
The second inning proved to be troublesome for the Redskins, as the Indians sent 13 batters to the plate and scored eight times. St. Henry starter Jordan Post, who had given up two runs in the top of the first, but saw his offense get a run back in the bottom of the inning, lasted just 11/3 innings, giving up nine hits and eight earned runs before Brady Kremer was called on to try and get out of the jam.
That was more than enough for Shawnee starter Neil Schmiedebusch as the Indians' pitcher threw a five-hitter and struck out four batters while not issuing a walk. The lone St. Henry run came in the first when Post doubled in Brady Kremer with two outs.
T.J. Sloan went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBI. Virgil Ellett went 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBI for the Indians.