BOWLING GREEN — Top district seed Northview didn’t so much get eliminated from the Division I state baseball tournament Wednesday night as the ninth-ranked Wildcats got Vogel-ed out of it
IN PICTURES: Anthony Wayne, Perrysburg win baseball semifinals
With the pitching and hitting of Anthony Wayne’s Alex Vogel leading the way, the Generals took a 12-6 victory against Northview at Bowling Green’s Carter Park.
Until hitting a snag in the seventh inning, Vogel yielded just one run on two hits, and went 3 for 5 batting, including a three-run home run that broke the game open in the top of the fourth inning.
The Generals (20-7) — who had built a 12-1 lead until Northview staged a too-little-too-late rally in the bottom of the seventh — advance to face Perrysburg in Friday’s 6 p.m. district championship game here.
The Yellow Jackets (15-11) won 8-5 against Southview in Wednesday’s second semifinal here in what is an all Northern Lakes League district field.
“From the start, I just wanted to attack the zone and let my defense do the work,” Vogel said of his pitching. “I have faith in my guys behind, and I know they’re going to make the plays behind me.
“Up until the last inning, I was able to keep the ball down, and then I just left it up a few times.”
The Wildcats (20-4), who have been experiencing their best season in school history, had trouble from the outset, with senior pitcher Nick Wyatt negotiating both control issues and a hot AW lineup.
Steve Haugh ignited the Generals’ first rally in the first inning with a one-out double to center field. Vogel singled, and Wyatt walked Andrew Murphy to load the bases for Braden Theis, who delivered a two-run single on a wind-blown blooper to right field.
Anthony Wayne added two more runs in the third inning, with Vogel and Murphy sparking things with back-to-back singles. Theis reached on an error by Wildcats shortstop Mark Gilliland, and Brock Nartker followed with an RBI. Braden Womack then drove home Murphy with a sacrifice fly for a 4-0 lead.
In the fourth, Wyatt hit Haugh with a pitch, walked Evan Brown, then served up Vogel’s three-run homer to left-center on a 3-1 pitch to give the Generals a 7-0 lead.
After Dylan Bush relieved Wyatt, Theis capped that four-run uprsing with an RBI single to plate Murphy.
“It went our way today, and that’s baseball,” Generals coach Mark Nell said of the gusty wind conditions. “When you’re playing in Bowling Green — and I had an opportunity to coach here for 10 years — you see what happens when that wind gets blowing like that.
“You never know what’s going to happen. We happened to find some spots, and they hit some at-’em balls. They’re a very good team, but it was our day today.”
Vogel cruised on the mound, not allowing a hit until Ryan Rempe’s single leading off the Northview fourth.
AW, which clinched its 10th straight 20-win season, added four runs in the top of the seventh, including a three-run homer by Evan Brown.
Vogel (5-2) finished his complete-game win by struggling through a tough final inning that saw Northview score five runs on five hits, including doubles by Cole Kwiatkowski and Wyatt, and a three-run homer by Shane Banachowski.
But he retired Ben Boyers on a groundout to end the game.
“We obviously didn’t play well at all,” Northview coach Greg Szparka said. “We tried to get something going there at the end, but you can’t play bad baseball against good teams.
“Nick just had an off day, and it was the first one he’s had all year. Unfortunately, it was his time for one.”
Wyatt entered the game with a 6-0 record and a 1.79 earned run average.
“Credit Anthony Wayne,” Szparka said. “They did a great job, and they’re a good team.
“This was tough, but we’ve got a lot of baseball next week, and we’ve still got a lot to play for, so we’re going to try to get a couple more wins.”
Northview is still contending for an NLL title, which be its first in the school’s 41 years of existence.
In the second district semifinal, Perrysburg rallied for two runs in the fifth inning to take the lead at 7-5, and held on from there in advancing to Friday’s district final.
Grant Delas, who relieved Yellow Jackets starting pitcher Payton Faris with two outs in the second inning, worked the rest of the game for the win.
Delas led off with a single past third baseman Kurt Hurley, stole two bases, and scored on Nikolas Mancy’s ground-rule double over the fence in center field.
Later in the inning, Dominic DiSalle singled and eventually scored on Jake Krueger’s RBI fielder’s-choice grounder.
The Jackets got things rolling in the opening inning by taking advantage of three consecutive walks from Southview starter Alek Wietrzykowski.
Delas followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Krueger, and Mancy added an RBI single. The third run scored when the Cougars’ Evan Akeman bobbled the ball in left field.
Southview (12-7) responded with four runs on four hits, plus a hit batsman and a Perrysburg error, in the bottom of the second. Luc Rice singled home the first run, Jacob Harshman added a two-run double to the gap in right-center, and later scored on a throwing error by Jackets shortstop Ethan Fleming.
Wietrzykowski was forced into an early exit with one out and a runner on in the fourth. He was hit in on his right (pitching) elbow by a hard line drive off the bat of Perrysburg’s Connor Meredith, who reached safely after the ball bounded high into the air.
Freshman Logan Danzeisen relieved and allowed a bunt single by Krueger to load the bases, then a two-run single by Matt Murphy that put Perrysburg ahead 5-4.
Rice led off the bottom of the fourth with an infield single and scored on Will Wooddall’s one-out double off the third-base bag to tie the game 5-5.
Perrysburg added an insurance run in the Seventh on Tyson Kleinfelter’s RBI single.
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