COLUMBUS GROVE, OH – Friday night the Kalida Wildcats used a combination of their bats and Columbus Grove errors to remain perfect in defense of their Putnam County League title with a 10-0 five inning victory over the Bulldogs.
It didn’t take long for the Wildcats to get on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning as Brady Decker and Derek Buss reached via a one out error and a hit by pitch. Trevor Lambert’s sacrifice fly to left field put the visitors on top 1-0 before the bases were again loaded by virtue of Kevin Hamburg being plunked with an Alex Schnieder offering. The third Kalida player, Owen Recker’s bases loaded walk pushed across the second run of the contest before the inning game to an end for the defending league champions.
Three up and three down would be the way things would go for the home squad in their first time through the lineup as all nine players were sent down in order via strikeouts, ground balls and fly outs by southpaw Trent Siebeneck.
Three more runs went up on the visitors half of the scoreboard in the second inning in the same fashion as the first as the Wildcats were again able to reach via walks, errors and by virtue of being hit by pitches thrown by Schnieder until he was relieved by shortstop turned pitcher Reid Stechschulte with a pair of outs in the inning after Jeffery Knueve’s sacrifice fly brought home a run.
Bases loaded walks to Kevin Hamburg and Owen Recker gave Kalida a 5-0 lead heading to the bottom of the second frame.
On the evening the Bulldogs were able to put four baserunners on against their opponents with the first of those in Grant Schroeder reaching via an error on a dropped flyball on the edge of the grass in the second. Schroeder would terminated from the bases moments later on a flyout doubleplay.
Knueve who finished the ballgame with a trio of runs batted in pushed across his last two in the third inning as he smacked a first pitch offering from Stechschulte to the right field wall and cruised into third bases with a triple to help give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead after the visiting teams third time at the bat.
Stechschulte began the bottom of the fourth with a single for the first hit of the game for the home Bulldogs but it was not to be in the inning as they would come up empty once again.
Three runs would come in to provide the final markers of the game for Kalida all in the top of the fifth inning as Siebeneck, Buss and Trevor Lambert would come around to score on a single and a pair of fielders choices to move the game to 10-0 Wildcats.
Adam Birkemeier walked with one out but was erased on a Nick Woods fielders choice in the bottom of the fifth inning. Wyatt Siebert provided the second hit of the contest for his squad but would see the game come to an end via the run rule in Ohio high school baseball just two pitches later when Emilio Delarosa popped out to end the contest.
Kalida now leads the all-time series with Columbus Grove 43-42 and has won 16 straight Putnam County League contests dating back two seasons ago when their only loss was to eventual league champion Miller City.
Trent Seibeneck (1-1) was the winning pitcher for Kalida (7-6, 4-0), while Alex Schnieder (1-1) took the loss for the Bulldogs (7-5, 4-2).
Brady Decker (Kalida): 2/4, 2H, 3R
Jeffery Knueve (Kalida): 1/3, 3 RBI, 1 3B
Kevin Hamburg (Kalida): 0/1, 2 RBI, 2 BB
Owen Recker (Kalida): 0/1, 2 RBI, 3 BB
Reid Stechschulte (Grove): 1/2, 1H