By Gary R. Rasberry
BOWLING GREEN -- If Celina wants to come back next Monday to keep the postseason alive, they have to go back to Bowling Green today primed for a comeback.
Rain in the bottom of the fifth inning prompted a suspension of the Bulldogs' Division I sectional final game against top-seeded Anthony Wayne on Wednesday.
When the Bulldogs and Generals return today to Carter Park in Bowling Green for resumption of the game at 5 p.m., Celina will be playing defense and trailing 8-3 to the 18-4 Generals.
Although the game was past the 41/2 innings that constitutes an official game in the regular season, Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) rules mandate that the games, barring a run-rule, must go the complete seven innings.
Celina reliever Scott Luthman had just struck out Jon Holmberg for the first out of the inning with Miguel Flores going to third when Darren Fleck dropped the ball and had to tag out Holmberg. Anthony Wayne pitcher Andy Whewell will be up to the plate with no count. The game started out with the underdog Bulldogs (8-14) getting to Whewell early. Matt Paulus led off with a single and slid safely into second when Nick Gray's sacrifice bunt was fielded by Whewell, but thrown over the head of shortstop Tom Hertzfeld, who was covering second. John Bonvillian moved the runners up on a bunt for the first out and Eric Braun followed with a single to score Paulus for the opening run.
Scott Luthman reached on a fielder's choice as Gray scored the second run. With Darren Fleck up, Luthman looked to be out as he delayed his run to third on a wild pitch, but Generals catcher Adam Brentlinger threw the ball into leftfield, making the score 3-0.
Braun got the starting nod to pitch for Celina and retired the first two batters before giving up a homer to left-center by Brentlinger to break the shutout. Anthony Wayne added a run in the second to cut it to 3-2.
Things changed in a hurry for Celina in the bottom of the third. Brentlinger singled and reached second when Braun tried to force him at second, but threw too high for Luthman. Hertzfeld bunted the runners over and Josh Stidam doubled home both runners to give Anthony Wayne a 4-3 lead.
Nate Sherman followed with a single to score Stidam to make it 5-3 and Flores doubled home Sherman to make it 6-3. Boley came out and called on Luthman to try and stop the bleeding, but Holmberg singled home Flores. In all, the Generals send 10 to the plate, scoring five times on six hits and an error.
After a tough first, Whewell shut down Celina, retiring 11 straight batters before Paulus singled with one out in the fifth.
The winner of the restarted game will play second-seeded Bowling Green in the district semifinal on Monday at Carter Park. The Bobcats beat Perrysburg on Tuesday, 15-5. The winner of Monday's game travels across town to Steller Field on the campus of Bowling Green State University to play the winner of Ashland and Mansfield Madison on May 19.