AW's Austin Kottenbrock gets caught in a pickle between Findlay pitcher Nolan Atwood(4) and SS Austin Powell (2) during the first inning of a D-I sectional game on Thursday in Bowling Green.
BOWLING GREEN — Perrysburg coach Dave Hall hadn’t witnessed all season what he saw on Thursday when the Yellow Jackets faced Fremont Ross in a Division I sectional final at Carter Park.
Perrysburg was guilty of dropping three routine fly balls during a game and that made it a little uneasy for the Yellow Jackets.
What kept Perrysburg from unraveling was watching the Little Giants commit four errors during a game in which Perrysburg came away with a 5-3 victory.
Findlay rallied for four runs in the second inning against Anthony Wayne and went on to score a 6-3 victory in the other sectional final on Thursday at Carter Park.
Although Ross had trouble catching and throwing against Perrysburg, Yellow Jackets right-hander Nick Munger did his part to help with the tournament win. His steadiness on the mound played a part in maintaining a sense of calm in the Perrysburg dugout after Ross scored a couple of unearned runs in the third inning to take a 2-1 lead.
He pitched 6 ⅔ innings, allowing three runs (two unearned) on seven hits while striking out four and walking two.
“I just knew I had to keep trying to throw strikes,” Munger said. “I struggled today to throw strikes but I knew I had to just try to get ahead of hitters and just gut it out.
“They [my teammates] made plays at the end and we got runs.”
Indeed, the Yellow Jackets (23-2) didn’t trail the Little Giants (13-13) for long.
Perrysburg regained the lead in the bottom of the third by scoring a pair of runs on a couple of hits and a pair of Ross errors.
Perrysburg catcher Kyle Durham (21) tags out Fremont Ross' Tyler Wolf at the plate during a Division I sectional baseball game on Thursday in Bowling Green. Perrysburg defeated Fremont 5-3.
Zach Honsberger led off the third for Perrysburg with a single off Ross right-hander Brandon Weiker. Mark Delas reached first safely on a throwing error to first base by the Ross shortstop. A.J. Stockwell followed with a sacrifice fly that allowed Honsberger to score and tie the game at 2-2.
Perrysburg took a 3-2 lead moments later after Munger reached base on the Little Giants’ second error during the inning and Nick Fleming tagged his second run-scoring hit of the game.
The Yellow Jackets added a run in the fifth and one in the sixth to take a 5-2 lead into the seventh.
Munger couldn’t get out of the seventh frame without giving up a run with two out before Hall called on Delas for relief.
Delas fanned the one batter he faced to end the contest.
“It doesn’t have to be pretty to win a tournament game,” Hall said.
“Obviously they’re coming out of the TRAC [Three Rivers Athletic Conference] and they’ve played a great schedule and they’ve seen good baseball teams."
Munger also thought the Yellow Jackets could have played a better game against the Little Giants. Yet, he’s pleased to be moving on to a district semifinal game against the Mansfield Madison/Sandusky winner today at Carter Park.
“To be able to continue through this is really good, so we're looking forward to the next game,” Munger said.
Perrysburg struck first by scoring a run in the second inning on back-to-back doubles by Kyle Durham and Fleming off Weiker.
■ Findlay routes Anthony Wayne
Findlay, which will play Norwalk in a District semifinal on Thursday at Carter Park, swung lively bats against AW.
The Trojans tagged 10 hits off Josh Schwerer en route to the victory over the Generals (19-3).
Dietrich Hinesman blasted the biggest hit of the game for the Trojans (19-6) when he cleared the bases with a three-run double in the second inning to help Findlay go ahead 5-1.
Wyatt Krupp had tied the score at 1-1 moments earlier in the decisive inning with a run-scoring single, which was one of four hits off Schwerer during the frame.
“I got a curveball and it was really dropping, so he kind of left it hanging,” Hinesman said of the three-run double. “I was able to just turn on it and put it right down the line.”
The Generals rallied for two runs in the fourth inning and trailed 6-3 after Nick Smith scored on a wild pitch and Tommy Eichenlaub drove in another run with a sacrifice fly.
However, Nolan Atwood, who gave up six hits and went the distance for the Trojans, didn’t allow another run the rest of the way.