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Friday, April 29th, 2011

Bulldogs rally past Roughriders

By Ryan Hines

Celina's freshman Cody Vogel pitched 5 2/3 innings of relief and helped the Bull. . .

ST. MARYS - The Celina baseball team rallied from a four-run deficit and then got a defensive gem for the final out as the Bulldogs escaped K.C. Geiger Park with a 7-6 win over rival St. Marys on a rainy Thursday in Western Buckeye League action.
St. Marys jumped on top 4-0 after two innings but four Roughriders' pitchers were unable to prevent Celina from rallying for a victory.
Celina, which was out-hit in the game by St. Marys 9-3, scored once in the third inning and scored three more in the fourth frame to tie the score at 4-4.
A nightmare sixth inning for St. Marys' pitchers allowed the Bulldogs to take their first lead of the game. St. Marys' Derek Roop, the third pitcher of the contest for the Roughriders, had control issues in the sixth inning and walked four while also hitting a batter as Celina scored three runs without benefit of a hit. Roop walked four straight Bulldogs' hitters to force in a run and a Mitch Albers' fielder's choice scored the second run of the frame before Joel Perry replaced Roop on the mound and threw a run-scoring wild pitch.  
"You take away those walks and it's a different ball game, but you can't take those walks away," said St. Marys' head coach Dave Huber, who watched his team walk nine Celina hitters.
A pair of Celina errors in the bottom of the sixth inning helped St. Marys score a pair of runs and the Roughriders went to their final at-bat down by just one run.
St. Marys' Steven Paulus ripped a one-out single up the middle to put the potential tying run on base before Celina recorded the second out on a fly ball to centerfield. Tyler Albert, a late-game replacement in the Roughriders' nine-hole, was up to bat for the first time of the contest and crushed a fastball over the rightfielder's head for extra bases.
As Albert cruised into second base with a double, Paulus made the turn at third base trying to score the tying run all the way from first base. Celina's rightfielder Nick Legg fielded the ball near the fence and fired the ball back to the infield where Bulldogs' shortstop Derek Waterman grabbed the relay throw and fired a strike to Aric Fickert at home plate and Paulus was tagged out to end the game.
"To be real honest, I thought the ball was hit deep enough, but they made a nice relay play and a nice throw to the plate," said Huber. "We were trying to put pressure on them to make the play and they made the play. It didn't work."
"We actually missed the relay, it was a double relay and Derek was the second guy. We overthrew the first guy, but Derek was right where he needed to be as the second guy on the double cut. We communicated great on the play and Derek threw a bullet to the plate," said Celina's head coach Drew Braun. "Communication and execution was there, just a great way to end the game."
"We've been working on double cuts in practice and I heard "double-cut four" from my teammates when I got the ball on the infield and made the throw home. Fick (Fickert) then made a great tag for the final out," said Waterman.
Celina's freshman Cody Vogel, who replaced Albers on the mound with two outs in the second inning, allowed just two unearned runs and six hits in his 5 1/3 innings of work to earn the win.
"Cody came in a did a whale of a job keeping them (St. Marys) where they were," said Braun. "We wanted him to throw strikes. He allowed our offense to help get us back in the game."
Additional online story on this date
COLDWATER - School board members this morning unanimously approved a three-year contract with the Coldwater Teachers Organization that freezes salaries - including step pay increases - for two years. The contract will be reopened for new negotiations during the third year. [More]
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