Tag Archives: Putnam County League

Columbus Grove Girls 2017-18 Season Preview

COLUMBUS GROVE, OH – Columbus Grove lost 6 seniors who were a part of their 2016-17 squad that won both the NWC and the PCL and recently learned they will have an even bigger challenge replacing their punch from last season.

1st team All-Ohio selection Paige Bellman, a senior who is committed to play her college basketball at Detroit Mercy will likely miss all of this upcoming season as she deals with a possible torn ACL. Last season Bellman averaged 17.2 points per game and was named Player of the Year in both the Northwest Conference and the Putnam County League while helping the Bulldogs to a 23-2 mark.

Graduation hit the Bulldogs hard in the offseason as they lost not only 1,300 point scorer Jade Clement who is currently playing for Huntington University in Indiana, but also one of their best three point threats in Macy McCluer.

This season the success for Columbus Grove will rely heavily on how much the returning core of letter winners that includes seniors Carlee McCluer and Lauren Schroeder, alongside junior point guard Rylee Sybert who collectively averaged 16.0 points per game last year.

Grove mentor Brian Schroeder who sports a 75-23 record and an appearance in last seasons District Finals has high hopes for his squad and mentions a handful of promising newcomers in his season media notes such as senior forward Teyah Sautter, junior guard Amy Vorst, sophomores Angel Schneider, Abigail Gladwell, and Emily Watt along with freshman guard Erin Downing as those to watch.

“This team will have a lot of new players filling new roles and learning how to play with each other. As long as we continue to work hard and improve each week, we hope to be much better at the end of the year than we are at the beginning” Schroeder remarked on his outlook for the upcoming campaign.

The Bulldogs kick off their season on Tuesday, November 28th when they travel to Lima to take on the Shawnee Indians in a non-conference clash before beginning their home slate on Saturday, December 2nd against the Bath Wildcats.

2017/2018 Schedule
Tue Nov 28 @ Shawnee
Sat Dec 2 Bath
Tue Dec 5 Continental (PCL)
Thu Dec 7 @ Crestview (NWC)
Tue Dec 12 Patrick Henry
Thu Dec 14 Paulding (NWC)
Sat Dec 16 @ Elida
Tue Dec 19 Kalida (PCL)
Thur Dec 21 @ Lincolnview (NWC)
Thur Dec 28 @ Ottawa Glandorf
Sat Jan 6 Ottoville (PCL)
Thu Jan 11 Spencerville (NWC)
Sat Jan 13 Leipsic (PCL)
Sat Jan 20 @ Miller City (PCL)
Mon Jan 22 @ Ft. Jennings (PCL)
Thu Jan 25 @ Bluffton (NWC)
Tue Jan 30 @ Liberty Benton
Thu Feb 1 @ Delphos Jefferson (NWC)
Thu Feb 8 Allen East (NWC)
Sat Feb 10 @ Arlington
Thu Feb 15 Ada (NWC)
Sat Feb 17 @ Pandora Gilboa (PCL)

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Wildcats shut down Bulldogs, remain perfect in PCL play

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).

Key Performers:
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

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Recker shines as Wildcats rally past Pirates

KALIDA, OH – It took his team six innings to warm up offensively but Kalida righthander Owen Recker was white hot early and throughout the game Monday night as he helped his team to a 4-1 win over visiting Continental in Putnam County League action.

Holy Name Ballpark has seen some tremendous pitching performances over the years but as accomplished as Wildcat pitching has been in the past only Brian Klausing, Chad Ehrnsberger, and William Stechschulte have accomplished what Owen Recker did during this outing as he retired 19 Pirate hitters via strikeout.

With the contest scoreless into the fourth inning and just one hit (a double by Kalida’s Derek Buss), Continental pitcher Brady Dockery found himself issued the second free pass from Recker to give the visitors a runner at first. By virtue of a stolen base Dockery found himself as second and would remain there for two batters until Jacob Williams singled him in to give the Pirates a 1-0 advantage.

Kalida had their chances in the third and fourth innings to bring in the tying run but saw both come to an end via a flyball for their third out of each frame.

After seeing Recker sit down the Continental top three hitters in the top of the sixth for strikeouts 13/14/15 the Wildcats went to work on the basespaths in the bottom half of the inning and picked up a tie and their first lead of the contest.

Derek Buss who had reached early in the game for one of the two Wildcat hits, reached again as this time hit was a victim of an errant pitch from Dockery. With an error allowing Buss’ pinch runner to move over, Jeffery Knueve recorded his 10th RBI of the year when he singled in the tying run with no outs.

Back to back singles from Trevor Lambert and Kevin Hamburg put a pair of runners on the basepaths for the Wildcats with no outs before Recker helped out his own cause by being walked with the bases loaded to drive in the go-ahead run. In all Kalida would send eight hitters to the plate in the inning and see four come around to score as they pushed their advantage to 4-1 after six innings.

Despite the last two hitters reaching full counts, all three hitters for Continental in the top half of the seventh inning were retired via the strikeout and helped Recker complete the 19 strikeout outing and earn his third victory of the season.

The last time Continental was victorious against Kalida came in 1988, 30 games ago now in the series.

Continental sees their season record fall to 1-6 overall, and 0-3 in Putnam County League games. The Pirates will be back in action on Tuesday night as they travel to Paulding for a non-conference tilt.

Kalida (6-5, 3-0) keeps their defense of their PCL title perfect with the win and will travel to Lima to do battle with Lima Central Catholic on Tuesday before county battles with OG on Thursday, and Columbus Grove on Friday.

WP: Owen Recker (3-2): 7IP, 1R, 1H, 19K, 2BB
LP: Brady Dockery (1-2): 6IP, 4R, 4H, 4K, 4BB

Key Batters:
Jacob Williams (Cont): 1/3, 1H, 1RBI
Jeffery Knueve (Kalida): 1/3, 1H, 1RBI, 1R
Kevin Hamburg (Kalida): 2/3, 1R

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Recker tosses 1 hitter in Kalida win

FORT JENNINGS, OH – For the first six and two thirds innings Kalida pitcher Owen Recker was nearly perfect in his teams 5-0 win over PCL rival Fort Jennings.

Until the bottom of the seventh inning just one runner had found his way on base against Recker, Logan Hardeman who reached via a four pitch walk in the games second inning.

With the Wildcats leading 5-0 Recker would pick up a strike out and a ground out before hitting Sam Vetter with a pitch to give the home team their second baserunner of the contest. Wasting no time in his own at bat just moments later it was first baseman Connor Stechschulte who would break up the young right handed pitchers bid for a no-hitter as he laced a pitch into right field for the first and only hit of the game for his squad.

Recker (2-2) evened his record on the season by virtue of a dominant performance on the mound that saw him finish with a 7 inning shutout win that featured a line of one hit, 13 strikeouts, a walk and a hit batter.

Having seen their opportunities to score with a pair of runners on in the first two innings finish empty the visitors finally punched a run through in the top of the third when Brady Decker was knocked in on a Derek Buss drive and Fort Jennings error to break the games scoreless tie.

A single and a double for Kalida put runners on with no outs in the top half of the fourth inning, but it was an error that allowed the runs to score and push the Wildcats lead out to 3-0 at the end of the frame.

Kevin Hamburg who finished the game 2-4 scored for his team in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Josh Recker to make it a 4-0 advantage heading to the bottom of the inning.

The games last run came on the heels of Derek Buss reaching first via a single and later being moved over via a stolen base and an error before being brought in to score to make it 5-0 Kalida in the seventh.

On the evening the Musketeers (3-5, 1-1) were held to just a trio of baserunners by Recker and saw Aaron Sealts record fall to 0-2 on the mound this season. Kalida (4-4, 1-1) amassed 10 hits led by Buss who collected a trio of hits in the same amount of appearances.

WP – Owen Recker (7 IP, 1H, 1BB, 13K)
LP – Aaron Sealts (3.0 IP, 6H, 3R, 1K, 3BB)

Individual Batting Leaders:
Derek Buss (K) – 3/3, 1 RBI, 1R
Trevor Lambert (K) – 2/4, 1R
Kevin Hamburg (K) – 2/4, 2R
Connor Stechschulte (FJ) – 1/3, 2K

*Stats via GameChanger*

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Kalida opens PCL play with win

KALIDA, OH – The annual battle of the Wildcats on the diamond at Holy Name Ballpark Monday night took a handful of turns and saw a pair of lead changes before the home Wildcats were able to push across a trio of runs late to pick up a 5-2 victory.

Kalida hurler Noah Lambert who is expected to be a much bigger part of head coach Joe Recker’s rotation this season with the graduations of two-time PCL Player of the Year Austin Swift and Brady Laudick after a 23-1 season that ended in a regional finals appearance pitched well in the first as he set the tone by striking out the first to hitters he faced before inducing a ground ball from Corbin Niese to end the frame.

Miller City right hander Jacob Kuhlman allowed a pair of singles and hit a batter in the bottom of the opening inning but was able to work through with no damage done as he struck out Kevin Hamburg on a 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded to skirt disaster for his squad.

Following a pair of scoreless innings from both sides it was the visiting Wildcats who struck first in the contest. With one out in the top of the third Miller City’s Kelvin Stechschulte roped an 0-2 offering into left field for just the second hit for his team to get things started in the inning. After a popout to third base by leadoff hitter Cole Niese the Wildcats reached the scoreboard first when Corbin Niese singled in Stechschulte for the first run of the contest. Jacob Schimmoeller knocked in Mark Kuhlman with a single of his own to put Miller City on top 2-0 before Lambert was removed from the mound and replaced by Owen Recker. Recker would use just four pitches in striking out the opposing pitcher Jacob Kuhlman to end the inning with his team behind by a pair of runs.

In the bottom of the third inning Kalida wasted no time breaking back to even as they saw their first two hitters of the frame reach as Trent Siebeneck and Noah Lambert each reached via a walk from Kuhlman and were subsequently brought around to score on a fielders choice by Owen Recker and a single by Derek Buss.

With Recker allowing just one hitter to reach in the fourth before garnering a pair of strikeouts to keep the game moving, Kalida went back to work quickly and built a 5-2 lead in the innings bottom half.

Braden Decker and Trevor Lambert reached against Kuhlman via singles to give the home Cats a pair of runners on with no outs in the inning, but a strikeout and a flyout quickly put Kalida in search of a two out rally. Decker and pinch runner Grant Laudick would each come around to score in the inning, as would Noah Lambert who was walked in the inning and came around to score on a hit by Buss to provide the final run of the contest.

The final opportunity for Miller City to score the tying runs came in the top of the fifth inning as they put a pair of players in Bryce Riepenhoff and Justin Schnipke on via a single and a hit by pitch, but were unable to capitalize as pinch hitter Lane Hiltner struck out to end the rally attempt.

The 89th meeting between the two Putnam County League rivals pulled Kalida one win closer to .500 all-time as Miller City now leads by a 45-44 margin.

Kalida is now 1-1 overall but 1-0 in PCL play and will take on Holgate on Tuesday while Miller City (2-1, 0-1) will travel to Delphos to take on a Jefferson squad that defeated Kalida in their opener.

WP: Owen Recker (4.0 IP, 1H, 8K)
LP: Jacob Kuhlman (6.0 IP, 6H, 5R, 4ER, 3BB, 4K)

Key Hitters:
Miller City:
Bryce Riepenhoff – 2 for 3
Corbin Niese – 1 for 3, 1 RBI
Jacob Schimoeller – 1 for 3, 1 RBI

Kalida:
Derek Buss – 3 for 3, 3 RBI
Noah Lambert – 1 for 1, 2 runs, 2BB

*Stats compiled with Gamechanger app*

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PG’s Johnson headlines All-PCL list as Player of the Year

Pandora Gilboa Junior Drew Johnson and PG Head Coach Joe Braidic were tabbed Sunday as the Putnam County League Player and Coach of the Year respectively as they led the Rockets to their third PCL title in school history and first since 2009 as they finished with a 16-6 regular season campaign and went 6-1 in league competition.

Braidic who is in his third term as the head of the boys program at PG picked up his second win for the top mentor in the league. In 2008 Braidic was honored for the first time as he guided his Rockets to their first PCL crown.

In winning the player award Johnson, a dynamic 6’5 Junior forward who already nabbed his 1,000th point this season becomes the fourth player in school history selected for the honor and he joins Josh Lee who snagged it in the first two PCL title seasons of 2008 and 2009, Eric Hermiller who won in 1990, and Steve Fenstermaker who was honored in 1987.

Joining Johnson on the 1st team this season were Seniors Wade Stauffer of Continental, and Grant Schroeder of Leipsic. Juniors Mark Kuhlman of Miller City and Logan Kemper of Ottoville joined with Johnson to make it three underclassmen in this seasons top five vote getters.

2nd team selections included a future St. Francis Cougar football player in Columbus Grove Senior Rece Roney, who was honored alongside four Juniors in Miller City’s Jacob Kuhlman, Ottoville’s Nick Moorman, Brandon Wehri of Fort Jennings, and Pandora Gilboa Sophomore Jared Breece.

Honorable Mention status for the league went to 16 players this year:

Caiden Grothaus (Senior) Columbus Grove
Logan Schroeder (Junior) Columbus Grove
Trevor Williamson (Senior) Continental
Jacob Williams (Senior) Continental
Ian Finn (Junior) Fort Jennings
Luke Trentman (Junior) Fort Jennings
Trent Siebeneck (Senior) Kalida
Collin Nartker (Senior) Kalida
Jordan Berger (Senior) Leipsic
Grant Rader (Senior) Leipsic
Matt Niese (Senior) Miller City
Noah Otto (Junior) Miller City
Ryan Bendele (Junior) Ottoville
Eric Von Sossan (Senior) Ottoville
Cooper McCullough (Junior) Pandora Gilboa
Riley Larcom (Sophomore) Pandora Gilboa

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Stechschulte to guide Kalida boys basketball

KALIDA, OH – Replacing a legend is never an easy thing to do but Kalida has found the man they believe to be capable of it as they have chosen and will hire Ryan Stechschulte as their next boys basketball coach.

The 2011 NWC Co-Coach of the Year amassed a 67-33 record in his four seasons behind the Columbus Grove bench and was at the helm of four straight sectional championship squads from 2012-2015.

In his four years as the Bulldogs head boss Stechschulte finished with a record of 20-8 in Putnam County League contests, including winning the league in 2012. Despite not winning a Northwest Conference championship at Columbus Grove, his teams finished with a 24-10 conference mark during his tenure.

This past season Stechschulte served in a smaller role for the program while former Grove standout Eric Maag acted as the day to day head coach.

Next season the Wildcats will have six players returning from a team that finished at 13-10 and as PCL Champions. Of the returning half dozen to be seniors, the leading scorers from last years campaign were Noah Lambert (3.3 ppg), and Trent Siebeneck (2.4 ppg).

Stechschulte is the third coach hired in the Putnam County League in the last week as Leipsic named Chris Kuhlman their new bench boss on Monday, while Pandora Gilboa tapped Joe Braidic to replace Logan Smith who resigned the position back in March. In Braidic the Rockets have high hopes that he will guide PG back to the success they enjoyed under him from 1998-2009.

Related Story: Kortokrax resigns

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Indians headed back to State

HAMLER, OH – Fort Recovery waited 62 years for their return trip to Columbus at the state baseball championships before heading back last season. The Indians will have to wait just a week this time before heading to the capital city as they defeated Kalida 11-1 to win the Hamler Division 4 Regional Championship on Friday night.

Jacob Homan gave Fort Recovery their first chance to put a run on the scoreboard at Patrick Henry high school with his line drive to centerfield, but Kalida’s Austin Swift had other ideas and kept the contest scoreless as he fired a perfect strike to catcher Jeff Knueve ahead of Jackson Hobbs who was tagged out to keep the game scoreless to end the opening frame.

Indians hurler Nick Thwaits kept the Putnam County League champions scoreless through their first three Regional Finals at bats since 2006 when they visited Columbus themselves with seven ground balls, a strikeout and a flyout. Of the five groundouts Thwaits forced Kalida into he himself was responsible for tossing out four straight runners on hits back to the mound.

Thirteen Ft. Recovery batters came to the plate in the third inning and seven came to score against the trio of Owen Recker, Trent Siebeneck, and Noah Lambert who each were tasked with facing a suddenly white hot Indian lineup.

Ross Homan led off the inning with a walk and was moved over on a Will Homan single to reset his squad to the top of the lineup before being brought into score on a Cade Wendel sacrifice bunt for the first run of the contest. Jackson Hobbs reached on a walk and proceeded to steal second base before being brought all the way around on a two run home run from Jacob Homan to right center that put Kalida in a 4-0 hole and chased Recker from the game.

Siebeneck’s first batter Hunter Boughman doubled and moved up to third when Kyle Schroer reached on an error. In all the Indians scored seven runs on three hits in the inning and forced Kalida to play from behind against their biggest deficit of the season against Thwaits.

Austin Klausing singled in the bottom of the third with one out but was left stranded as the Wildcats were victims of a strikeout of Trent Gerding and a groundout from Siebeneck.

Two more Indian runs came across in the top of the fourth inning and pushed the visitors advantage to 6-0 as Hobbs and Boughman came around to score on errors by Kalida.

Kalida put runners on the corners after Swift reached third on a pair of errors and Braden Decker walked, but were unable to cash in as Brady Laudick was another victim of a 1-3 putout by Nick Thwaits to put an end to the bottom of the fourth.

Noah Lambert led off the 5th for his team by singling and reached third on a passed ball and was driven in for Kalida’s only run of the game on an RBI single.

The final two runs of the game came in the top of the sixth for Ft Recovery to provide the games final margin of 11-1 and send the Indians (22-8) to Columbus where they will meet 21-9 Newark Catholic who knocked off top seeded Toronto 4-1 in 10 innings.

Kalida sees their season come to an end at 23-2.

Austin Swift finishes his high school career with 268 K’s, 3rd most in PC history behind Leipsic’s Ruben Gonzales (287) & Kalida’s Brian Klausing (294), his 105 K’s this season is tied 2nd in a season for Kalida with Ross Guisinger (record is 113 by Chad Ehrnsberger).

WP – Nick Thwaits (5-2)
LP – Owen Recker (1-1)

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Kalida, Ft Recovery to meet in Regional Finals

HAMLER, OH – They might have done it in completely different fashions but Kalida and Fort Recovery posted Thursday afternoon wins and will face off for a trip to Columbus at 5pm on Friday.

Future University of Toledo Rocket hurler Brady Laudick got the start for Kalida on the mound and retired the hot bats of New London in the first while allowing just one runner to reach base before DJ Yates flew out to right fielder Trent Siebeneck to end the opening stanza. Earlier in the inning Siebeneck made a diving snag of a Nate Thomas liner for the games first out that would have been a sure double for New London.

In the bottom of the first Siebeneck opened the game by lacing a 2-2 pitch from opposing starter Justin Chaffins. Despite having the bases loaded in the inning the Wildcats would only be able to muster one run as the inning came to an abrupt halt on a line drive by Noah Lambert that was caught by Thomas.

Leading 1-0 to begin the fourth inning the PCL Champions added a second run as Lambert was driven in to score by Austin Klausing to make the Kalida advantage 2-0 heading to the fifth.

The top of the fifth was the best inning of the game for New London as they not only plated a trio of runs to give themselves a 3-2 lead, they also chased Laudick from the mound. Austin Swift, the future Indiana Wesleyan pitcher came on in relief of Laudick with one out in the inning and looked to replicate his 18 strikeout performance from the District Finals against Leipsic. Brad Weber, the 8th hitter of the inning against Kalida fell victim to a fastball from Swift and struck out to end the frame with New London leaving a pair of runners on base.

Kalida’s bottom of the fifth inning proved to be the difference maker as Siebeneck and Trevor Maag who had reached on a walk and an RBI triple in the inning were brought around to score on a Braden Decker double to run his teams lead to one at 4-3.

After escaping a bases loaded situation in the sixth inning with a strikeout and a groundout to the pitcher the Wildcats of Kalida needed one big stand to secure the win in the top of the seventh.

Ryan Lane, the standout junior pitcher and infielder for New London reached after being hit by a pitch to open the inning, but would find himself stuck at second base with an out on the scoreboard after Yates was walked and Weber was a strikeout victim. New London catcher Daedrick Matthews grounded a ball to second to Trent Gerding that was promptly turned into a 4-6-3 game ending double play to give Kalida the victory just a pair of pitches later.

Austin Swift (8-0) took the win for Kalida (23-1) while Justin Chaffins (4-3) finishes with the loss for New London who sees their season end at 24-4.

In the second game of the day the Fort Recovery Indians, looking to go back to state for the second consecutive season under head coach Jerry Kaup were victorious over Ayersville 7-5 despite committing four errors in the contest.

Jackson Hobbs, the Fort Recovery starter who came in at 6-2 on the season took the mound at the top of the ballgame and wasted no time as he got a pair of ground outs and a flyout on ten pitches to put away Ayersville in their opening turn at bat.

A walk and a fielders choice gave the Indians a chance to push through the games first run, but a popout by Jacob Homan ended the threat just as quickly as it began and sent the game scoreless into the second.

Cole Wendel acquired first base via a full count walk and was driven in by Hobbs’ RBI triple to give the home team for the day a 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the third. Jacob Homan drove in Hobbs on the very next offering from Ayersville starter Jacob Kahle and the Indians pushed ahead to 2-0 after three complete.

Ayersville tagged Hobbs for a trio of runs in the fourth inning to take their first lead at 3-2 behind an error, a hit by pitch and a two RBI double by Tyler Brown.

The visitors time in the lead quickly came to a close as Fort Recovery plated a pair of their own in the bottom half of the fourth inning with Kyle Schroer and Chase Bruns crossing the plate to put the Indians back on top at 4-3.

Despite giving up just a pair of earned runs on four hits in the game, Hobbs was sent to play third base as Nick Thwaits was brought in from right field to pitch in relief with a runner on in Eric Engel who had singled to open the game and was sac bunted 90 feet by Kyle Nicely. Engel came around to score on a Jacob Miller RBI single but the Pilots were unable to add any additional runs in the inning and headed to the bottom of the fifth tied at 4.

As they had done in their previous at bat the Indians wasted little time putting up a pair of runs on the Patrick Henry scoreboard as Thwaits and Wendel were knocked in on a double with no outs by Hobbs to make it 6-4 Ft. Recovery.

Three errors in the sixth inning was almost the undoing in the game for the Indians but the trio of pitchers they used in the inning (Hobbs, Wendel, Thwaits) were able to limit the damage to just a pair of runs when Thwaits struck out Jacob Kahle to keep the game at a one run advantage for his team.

A sacrifice fly by Hobbs, his fourth RBI of the game added the final run and sent the contest to the top of the final inning at 7-5 before Thwaits ended the game with a pair of strikeouts and a popout he caught with his own glove off the bat of Kasey Williams.

Fort Recovery (21-8) advances to play Kalida at 5pm Friday while Ayersville (19-9) sees their season draw to a close in their first regional appearance under Chad Donsbach.

Hear Friday’s Kalida/Ft Recovery game live: WZOQ Radio

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Division 4 Regional Baseball Preview

HAMLER, OH – Four of the final sixteen teams in Ohio in Division 4 will be in action Thursday afternoon beginning at 2pm at Patrick Henry High School in Hamler, Ohio.

The Putnam County League champion Kalida Wildcats (22-1) will take on New London (24-3), champions of the Firelands Conference in the opening contest. Following the conclusion of that game the Fort Recovery Indians of the Midwest Athletic Conferece (20-8) will take the field against the Green Meadows Conference’s Ayersville Pilots (18-8) at approximately 5pm.

Kalida enters the Regional semifinals having won 18 consecutive games since suffering their only loss of the season, a 2-0 setback to Arlington April 12th while their opponents have won 16 straight since falling to Brookside in game two of a doubleheader 11-5 on April 16th.

Left handed Senior pitcher Austin Swift has been the driving force for the Kalida Wildcats on the mound this season as the two time reigning PCL Player of the Year has amassed 102 strikeouts in addition to his .14 earned run average. A terror on the mound, Swift is committed to Indiana Wesleyan and will get an opportunity to play the field as well as he patrols centerfield for the Cats when not on the bump. Usually to be found with a bright green bat as his weapon of choice, Swift is hitting .397 and is tied for the team lead in RBI with battery mate Jeff Knueve.

Outside of Swift on the mound the Wildcats lean on a pair of PCL 1st team selections in right hander Trent Gerding (29.1 IP, 16 strikeouts, .91 ERA), and left handed throwing Brady Laudick (20 IP, 29 K’s, 1.05 ERA) who is headed to play college baseball at the University of Toledo.

New London brings a pair of aces in their own right into their first Regional Semifinal appearance for 3rd year mentor Tony Hamilton in Justin Chaffins (6-2, 1.65 ERA, 46 K’s), and 2015 Firelands Conference Pitcher of the Year Ryan Lane (9-0, .56 ERA, 89 K’s).

Offensively the New London Wildcats are led by D.J. Yates (.417) who leads the Firelands Conference in home runs (2) and RBI with 37. Senior infielder Nathan Thomas, the conference leader in batting average (.507) has driven in 20 while swiping 27 bases in 29 attempts.

Hear the contest live on at 2pm with myself and Todd Walker live: Zsportslive.com

All four teams are led by a spectacular 1-2 punch on the mound and Fort Recovery is no exception as they are led by the duo of Jackson Hobbs and Cade Wendel.

This season Hobbs has pitched 53.1 innings in 10 games and has amassed a 6-2 record while striking out 49 opposing hitters while keeping his ERA at .92. Wendel is 6-1 on the mound with a save and a 1.08 earned run average and has struck out 33 in 32.1 innings pitched.

On the offensive end the Indians, who defeated Minster 1-0 in their District Final last week have five hitters slugging out a .300 average or higher led by Nick Thwaits at .386. Jacob Homan and Ross Homan have each clubbed home runs for Fort Recovery this season but the Indians have done a terrific job of bringing in hitters in scoring position and as a team have 161 runs batted in of their 196 scored.

Ayersville finished off their run to the Regionals with a 7-6 win over Edon. The Pilots finished off the Green Meadows Conference part of their year at 6-1, and bring a 18-9 mark into Thursday’s contest.

Senior Jack Goonan leads the Pilots with 25 RBI while batting .337, one of six Ayersville players to hit that mark or higher. Jake Miller, a junior batting .393 has stolen a team high 31 bases and has been thrown out just twice on the bases by opposing catchers.

Goonan (4-2, 1 SV, 1.20 ERA), Jacob Kahle (4-2, 6 SV, 1.63 ERA), and Eric Engel (8-3, 69 strikeouts, 48.66 IP, 1.58 ERA) lead a pitching staff that totals just a 2.34 run per game average that at times has been dominant against opponents offensive units.

Ft Recovery vs Ayersville 5pm start: K94.3 FM Celina

Thursday’s winners will play one another on Friday at 5pm back at Patrick Henry High School in Hamler for the right to go to the State Final Four next weekend in Columbus.

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