Updated 9:30 p.m., Otsego baseball loses to Woodmore (5-14-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kevin Gordon Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor   
Tuesday, 14 May 2013 20:00
Otsego's Hunter Donald dives back towards first base as Woodmore's Zach Brossia attempts to pick him off. (Photo: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
GENOA — Otsego’s offense has been prolific this season.
The Knights have had little trouble scoring with a deep and talented lineup.
But for one of the few times this season Tuesday, the Knight bats met their match.
Josh Cowell and Evan Ulinski combined on a five-hitter to lead Woodmore to a 3-2 upset of the top-seeded Knights in a Division III sectional semifinal at Genoa High School. PHOTO GALLERY
They combined for four strikeouts and two walks, and Woodmore (10-12 overall) scored all of its runs in the second inning to erase a 1-0 deficit.
Otsego (14-7) had five hits — three singles and two doubles — in five different innings.
The Knights had the tying run in scoring position in the fourth and fifth with one out and didn’t score. They also had a runner at second with two out in the seventh, but a fly ball to right ended the game.
Woodmore had just one error, that coming in the fourth when its first baseman pulled his foot on a throw after an infield ground ball.
“The bats went cold and that’s due to Woodmore’s pitching,” Otsego coach Chase Welker said. “They did a nice job and their defense made the plays. They consistently threw strikes and kept us off-balance.”
Of the Knights’ 17 other outs, 11 were fly balls/popups and six were infield grounders.
“We put the ball in play, but we didn’t put the ball in play hard,” Welker said.
Ulinski, a junior, pitched the final four-plus innings in relief. He allowed three hits with two strikeouts and no walks.
Cowell, a sophomore who also is listed on Woodmore’s junior varsity roster, allowed a run on two hits.
“They did a good job of mixing speeds,” Woodmore coach Todd Bringman said. “Our kids don’t throw real hard, but they have good movement on their ball and they kept it down in the strike zone. We had to get ahead in the count we wanted to have a chance today.”
Otsego took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Ryan Smoyer walked with two out, took second on a wild pitch, stole third and scored on Drake Johnson’s single to right.
Woodmore answered with its three runs in the second. The Wildcats bunched five of their seven hits in the inning, including Cowell’s two-run, bad-hop single to left for a 2-1 lead.
Cowell appeared to hit a routine grounder to short, but the ball hit the lip of the infield grass and bounced over the head of the Otsego shortstop into left field.
Tony Rozzi, the next hitter, followed with another run-scoring single for a 3-1 lead.
“We had nothing to lose,” said Bringman, whose team has been hit hard by injuries. The Wildcats started four junior varsity players against Otsego. “We believed we could win if we played well. The young kids are stepping up and doing a good job.”
Otsego’s other run came in the fourth.
Hunter Donald led off with a single, moved to second when Johnson was hit by a pitch, took third on Zac Gregory’s sacrifice bunt and scored on the Woodmore error.
Smoyer’s relief pitching gave Otsego a chance to win in the late innings. He held Woodmore scoreless on one hit over the final three innings.
The staff ace and Notre Dame-bound Smoyer struck out five and walked one.
“It’s tough to beat anybody three times in a season,” Welker said. “They came out and played a good game, and we didn’t. They got the victory.”
Woodmore avenged its two Northern Buckeye Conference losses to Otsego.
“They deserve the credit,” Welker said. “Any game in the tournament with so much on the line is going to be tough. You can’t take anybody lightly. They came out and played well. We were a little flat. If you don’t play your best game, teams are going to beat you.”
The Knights are 11-0 in the NBC and have clinched no worse than a tie for the championship.
Otsego can wrap up the outright title by winning one of their final three games against Fostoria, Genoa or Elmwood.

WOODMORE    030    000    0—3    8    1
OTSEGO    100    100    0—2    5    1
HITS — (W) Ulinski 2, Matwiejczyk, Munoz, Greulich, Roth, Cowell, Rozzi; (O). 2B —  (O) Hackworth 2, Donald, Johnson, Vollmar. RUNS — (W) Munoz, Roth, Greulocj; (O) Smoyer, Donald. RBI — (W) Cowell 2, Rozzi; (O) Johnson. SB — (W) Fonseca; (O) Smoyer, Miller. SAC — (W) Brossia, Fonseca; (O) Gregory. HBP — (W) Ulinski (by Smoyer); (O) Johnson (by Cowell). LOB — Woodmore 6, Otsego 5. DP — Otsego.

IP    H    R    ER    BB    SO
Cowell    3    2    1    1    2    2
Ulinski (WP)    4    3    1    0    0    2
Cowell pitched to 2 batters in the 4th.

Hackworth (LP)    4    7    3    3    2    3
Smoyer    3    1    0    0    1    5
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 14:23

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