OTTAWA, OH – Both Whitehouse and Ottawa got off to big opening innings in their meeting on Monday night and were held in check until breaking through late for even more scores.
Whitehouse scored three runs in the top of the first inning to jump out to an early lead and eventually added runs late to secure their 10-7 victory over the host Fighting 63rd.
With a pair of hitters having already reached in the top of the opening frame, Whitehouse quickly went up 3-0 when slugger Sam Toft blasted a Kaden Sullivan (Bath) 1-2 offering over the left centerfield wall for the first markers of the contest.
Ottawa responded in their half of the first as Sullivan and teammate Ryan Gossard (Bath) drove in Austin Horstman (Ottawa Glandorf), and Corbin Niese (Miller City) who had doubled and singled respectively with one out in the inning. Lima Senior product Josiah Shoemaker’s two out two RBI single pushed the home team ahead 4-3 before the frame came to an end with a Matthew Bowden (Bluffton) groundout.
The lead would remain in the 63rd’s possession until the top of the third inning when CJ Deacon (University of Toledo) was brought into tie the game at 4-4 on a Toft double down the right field line. Toft himself, and teammate Steve Haugh gave the visitors a 6-4 lead moments later as they were sent home by Quincy Rhodes 2 RBI single.
Two quick runs from the 63rd tied the game at 6-6 in the bottom half of the same inning as Sullivan was again brought around to score after reaching base, this time by Nathan Arrington (OG). Arrington himself would come to the plate as the tying run two hitters later as he scored on a Shoemaker RBI double.
Following four innings on the mound from Sullivan the home team turned to Ada product Seth Evans to face the Whitehouse hitters. In his first inning of work Evans gave up a pair of runs and three hits to see his team fall behind 8-6 in the middle of the fifth frame. After his offense came up empty in the bottom half of the inning, Evans would give up two more runs in the 6th and see his team fall behind by a 10-6 score.
In their last three chances at bat the Fighting 63rd put four runners on base but saw just a single one come across when Sullivan scored for a third time in the contest in the bottom of the 7th inning to pull his team to within three runs.
Facing the possibility of the game ending early due to impending darkness, both teams pitchers worked quickly and mostly effectively through their opponents lineups in the last third of the game and saw it finish with a 10-7 victory for visiting Whitehouse.
Whitehouse (5-3) was led in hitting by Sam Toft who finished just a triple short of hitting for the cycle at 5/5 and with a walk. Toft drove in four runs to help kickstart his teams offense as well.
Ottawa (0-3) was led by Sullivan who finished 2/5 on the day and with three of his teams runs. The Fighting 63rd will return to action on Tuesday night as they welcome Oak Harbor to town for a 6:30pm first pitch.
Aaron Murphy (1-0) was the winning pitcher for Whitehouse as he pitched 5 innings, giving up 8 hits, 6 runs and struck out 2 while throwing 82 pitches. Seth Evans (0-1) took the loss for the Fighting 63rd, he allowed 5 hits and 4 runs in just 1.2 innings on the mound while striking out one and walking one.
Whitehouse finished with 10 runs on 16 hits to go along with their 4 errors while Ottawa scored 7 runs on 10 hits and themselves committed 5 errors.
The two teams will meet again on June 19th in Bowling Green, Ohio in a game that will be broadcast live on WZOQ Radio
*Stats provided with the help of Gamechanger*