When Kirk Stambaugh took the pitcher's mound this season good things happened for Southview.
That proved to be the case for the seventh time Tuesday when the Cougars' ace limited Anthony Wayne to three hits en route to a 2-0 shutout on the Generals' field.
Stambaugh's seventh win without a loss resulted in Southview clinching the Northern Lakes League championship for the first time since winning back-to-back league titles in 1997 and 1998.
Stambaugh, a right-hander, went the distance, striking out six and allowing no walks.
"This is huge because it's been a while since Southview has won the league," Stambaugh said. "Everyone came out and played great. It was a whole team effort.
"I got ahead of the hitters and didn't fall behind."
Ed Mouch's first regular season as Southview's coach couldn't have ended much better.
"I knew we had some talent but I was not sure what I expected," said Mouch, who coached for nine seasons at St. John's Jesuit before taking over the Cougars' program. "We're trying to get to where Anthony Wayne and Perrysburg are year-in, year-out. We want to establish this every year."
The Cougars (20-9, 11-3 NLL) scored all the runs necessary to get past the Generals (19-8, 9-4) in the second inning.
AW starter Brad Rockwell opened the second by walking Ben Kneisley. Tad Margolies came through with a double to left, sending Kneisley to third.
Everett "T" Barton followed with a groundout to third that allowed Kneisley to score for a 1-0 lead.
Stambaugh helped his cause by tagging an RBI double in the third inning to give Southview a 2-0 lead.
Rockwell lasted 52/3 innings, allowing two runs on just four hits. He walked five while fanning four.
"Brad threw well enough for us to win the game," AW coach Mark Nell said. "He kept them to two runs."
Nell opted not to start ace Mike Frank (7-1) to save him for the Generals' Division I regional meeting tomorrow with St. Francis de Sales.
The Generals coach said he had plans to use Nell during the game in a relief role under the right conditions.
Falling behind 2-0 early never allowed him to call on his top pitcher for a closing assignment.
"We think the league championship is just as important to us as the [regional] tournament," Nell said. "We had some situations where we would play Frank but we were never in those situations to put him in the game."
Stambaugh received some solid glove support to help defeat the Generals for the second time this season.
After AW's Jordan Schwerer and Anthony Meyers hit back-to-back singles with one out in the sixth inning, the Cougars defense came through with a double play to end the inning without giving up a run.
"They showed a lot of character and a lot of guts," Mouch said of his team.
"But it makes it a lot easier for you when you can ride someone like [Stambaugh]."
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