BOWLING GREEN - The teams and starting pitchers were the same as last year in the Division I district final at Carter Park Saturday. There was one big difference - the result.
Anthony Wayne avenged last year's defeat to Perrysburg with a 10-5 victory over the Yellow Jackets. Generals senior pitcher Mike Frank, who took the loss last year, threw a complete game with nine strikeouts to earn the win.
Anthony Wayne is scheduled to play St. Francis in a regional at 5 p.m. Thursday at Shelby High School.
"We all waited a long time for this," Anthony Wayne coach Mark Nell said. "The difference this year is we were a lot more patient with the bats, especially early in the game. Last year we were way too anxious and couldn't do that."
Tied at one in the fourth inning, the Generals (19-7) took advantage of a distracted Perrysburg team to execute two consecutive squeeze bunts, leading to a four-run inning.
Perrysburg starting pitcher Kyle Szczublewski, who shut out the
Generals last year in the district final, hit Jack Henry on the elbow with the bases loaded and one out. Perrysburg argued Henry leaned into the pitch, and as that transpired Nell put on the squeeze.
"There was a lot of emotion going on when Jack Henry got hit, and that took the focus away from [the baserunners]," Nell said. "It was definitely a questionable call. That could have probably gone either way. I always feel like that's a good time to do that. We had the right people up to do it."
Frank got the bunt down, and Szczublewski misthrew to first after confusion over who was covering the bag. The error allowed two runs to score, and the next batter, Jake Conklin, bunted home Henry.
"We didn't execute," Perrysburg coach Dave Hall said. "The squeezes killed us. We probably should have pitched out and we didn't."
Henry had two hits and two RBIs for Anthony Wayne. Anthony Myers added two hits and two runs scored. Taylor Dimmerling went 3-for-4 with a first-inning home run for the Jackets.
Perrysburg (23-7) scored two in the fifth on Kevin Bosl's ground-rule double. With the bases loaded and one out, Frank got out of the inning with no more damage. He caused Zach Hefner to pop out and struck out Troy Mugler to end the inning.
"I lost my control there a little bit, so I had to rein it in," Frank said. "I took a couple deep breaths and focused on pitching strikes and getting ground balls."
Anthony Wayne scored five runs in the seventh off reliever Blake Schmenk, helped by an RBI single from Greg Buckley. Schmenk answered in the bottom of the inning with a two-run homer, but the rally ended there.
"I've been waiting for this day ever since last year," Frank said. "It's nice to get some revenge. It feels really good."
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