Bowling Green’s baseball team dug a hole it could not climb out of Thursday.
The Bobcats fell behind by six runs after three innings of their Division I sectional final tilt with Northern Lakes League rival Anthony Wayne, and could not muster any sort of a rally in a 9-1 defeat at Carter Park.
BG (10-12 overall) drops out of the tournament after run-ruling Lima Senior in the opening round. The Generals (16-6) advance to the district semifinals to face Ashland.
“They hit and we didn’t. They put the ball in play more than we did and we struck out more than they did. That’s not a good combination for a win,” said BG coach Doug Merrill. “We were feeling pretty good about ourselves ... We had won four of our last five games and we came into this believing that we were going to win.”
AW scored three times in the first and added two runs each in the second and third, all but ending the game before its midway point. The Generals had 11 hits and reached base every inning.
Meanwhile AW’s No. 1 pitcher, Mike Frank, shut down the Bobcats’ offense in the form of seven hits, 11 strikeouts, and two walks in a 121-pitch complete game performance.
“(Frank) definitely didn’t have his best stuff but he gutted it out,” Anthony Wayne coach Mark Nell said, adding that Frank “tweaked” his back early in the game and was almost taken out.
Four hits, including two with two outs, gave AW its 3-0 lead in the first inning. The Generals were also helped by a close call in their favor on a would-be double play that extended the inning. An out call would have kept AW off the scoreboard in the first as all three runs in the inning were scored with two outs.
“Psychologically what you’d like to do is get on top and kind of put the heat on them,” Merrill said. “What was disappointing for us, we had a double play ball and just missed him by half a second. If we get him out, who knows, the game could be a little bit different. But I tip my hat to (Anthony Wayne). They came out fired up and played a good game.”
The Bobcats did respond in the second, however.
BG’s Garret Jex blooped a single to drive in Kendrick Lemle for BG’s first, and what proved to be only, run of the game. Lemle had reached on a single and was moved along by a Joey Sickler base hit before Jex’s RBI.
But any momentum the Bobcats might have had was quickly wiped away when AW’s leadoff man Jordan Schwerer drilled a two-run homer in the bottom of the second, and the Generals tacked on to their lead from that point on.
“We came out swinging. I thought we were disciplined because (BG starting pitcher Nick Rodesky) was up in the zone quite a bit and we were laying off it,” said Nell, whose team drew seven walks. “The kids executed it. You can tell them whatever you want and they still have to execute it, and they did a great job.”
While the Generals’ offense was clicking, BG’s was in a standstill. The Bobcats had three hits and five base runners over the final five innings, with Lemle the only BG hitter to reach third base at any point of the game.
“Not only do you have to get runners on base, but you’ve got to get the hits when you have the runners on base. We could never get anything going,” Merrill said.
Schwerer finished 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored to lead AW. Seven different players had hits for the Generals with Frank executing a squeeze bunt play for an RBI in the bottom of the sixth which increased AW’s lead to 9-1.
For BG, Lemle finished 2-for-3 and five other players had singles, as the Bobcats had no extra base hits in the game.
It was the second meeting of the season for the teams, as they will go right back at each other Friday in a NLL makeup game at BGHS.
“It will be another battle,” Nell said. “They’ve got good baseball over there in Bowling Green.”
BG-AW baseball box
ANTHONY WAYNE 9, BGHS 1
BGHS 010 000 0-1 7 0
322 011 X-9 11 0
HITS - (BG) Lemle 2, Harris, Busch, Sickler, Jex, Ruehl; (AW) Schwerer 2, Meyers 2, East 2, Henry 2, Fischer, Ward, Komisarek. 2B - (AW) Henry. HR - (AW) Schwerer. RUNS - (BG) Lemle; (AW) Schwerer 2, Fischer 2, Meyers, Buckley, Henry, Frank, Conklin. RBI - (BG) Jex; (AW) Schwerer 2, East, Buckley, Ward, Henry, Frank, Conklin. SB - (AW) Fischer 3, Buckley. SAC - (AW) Frank 2, Conklin. HBP - Buckley (by Rodesky). LOB - Bowling Green 5, Anthony Wayne 9. DP - Bowling Green.
IP H R ER BB SO
Rodesky (L) 4 9 7 7 4 2
C. Milligan 2 2 2 2 3 0
Frank (W) 7 7 1 1 2 11