With a mixture of good pitching and less-than-spectacular hitting, a primary goal of the Waite Indians this season has been scoring three runs in a game.
After two innings yesterday at Bowman Field, coach Danny Clayton's Tribe hit its mark. The rest was up to Justin Sibbersen.
The senior lefty held up his end of the bargain with an 11-strikeout three-hitter as Waite handed perennial City League and state power Start its first loss of the season, 3-1.
In knocking off the Spartans (14-1, 3-1) - Ohio's fourth-ranked Division I team - the Indians (12-3, 3-1) erased some of the hurt from Friday's tough 1-0 CL loss here to St. Francis.
They ended the shutout possibility early this time, scoring twice in the top of the first off Spartan pitcher Ian Gallagher.
Andy Taylor walked and went to third on catcher David Quiroga's single to right. Gallagher hit Matt Yenrick on an 0-2 pitch to load the bases, and Antonio Guerra drove Taylor home on a grounder to short. On that same play, Start first baseman Justin Laraway threw errantly back to third, allowing Quiroga to score.
“In 14 games coming in we've only given up 31 runs,'' Clayton said. “So, we've been just trying to get to three. We knew we were close, and thought three would be enough with Justin out there.''
Waite got magic run No. 3 an inning later.
Todd Gage walked, was bunted over by Charles Lewis, and scored on Sean Scharer's double.
“We wanted to jump on them early and get `em down, because we know they're a hard team to come back on,'' Sibbersen said, “and that's just what we did.''
Start's lone run came in the fourth, when Tom Arvay singled with two out and scored on Alex Frank's double to right-center.
“When [Sibbersen] has all three pitches working, he's tough to hit,'' Clayton said. “He was moving the fastball in and out because they were sitting on top of the plate. And, Quiroga calls a heck of a game.''
Sibbersen credited his defense, especially the diving catch made by Scharer in center to end the fifth, and the terrific over-the-shoulder grab made by Lewis in right in the sixth.
“I told them that I was about to have a heart attack on the mound, and that was a nice play by both of them,'' Sibbersen said.
“I thought [Sibbersen] pitched a great game, you've got to give him all the credit,'' said veteran Spartan coach Rich Arbinger, who sees a tough CL race shaping up. “I've been saying for a decade that there's very good baseball in this town. Maybe people are starting to realize that.''