DEFIANCE — Lake pitcher Todd Walters exited the district championship game and gave reliever Cody Witt a
fist bump as he told walked off the mound Saturday.
He gave Witt his support and trust, and it paid off for everybody in the Lake dugout.
Witt’s gutty performance in the final 1 2/3 innings helped the Flyers seal a 6-4 win over Archbold in a
Division III district title game at Defiance High School.
It was Lake’s second district title in three years. The Flyers, 26-3, play Huron Thursday at 2 p.m. at
Elida High School.
Walters, holding a 6-3 lead, induced a ground-ball out to start the sixth, but followed up with two
straight walks. Enter Witt.
The senior slid to the center of the diamond from second base only to hit his first batter faced on a 1-0
count, loading the bases. Two pitches later, Archbold’s Matt Sevey grounded softly to third base,
setting up what could have been an easy 5-2-3 double play. Instead Lake third baseman Joel Densic’s
throw was wide of the plate, scoring Jacob Wagner easily from third.
Talk about a high-pressure situation with a district championship on the line.
“It got a bit nerve-wracking there, but I have faith in my infielders, outfielders, everybody, especially
Connor (Bowen),” Witt said.
On the next pitch Archbold’s three-hitter, Micah Bernath, hit a sharp grounder to Bowen at shortstop, who
completed the 6-3 inning-ending double play, escaping Lake from any further damage.
“We have confidence in all our pitchers, and that’s a blessing for us. Every pitcher we throw up there,
we know he’s going to do well,” said Densic, who was 2-for-3 at the plate with a run scored.
“That was the story of the game, was the number of runners we stranded,” Archbold head coach Dick Selgo
said of the double play. His squad, which left eight runners on base, finished 19-8.
Witt came back in the seventh and pitched around an error to close out the win for Walters who went 5 1/3
innings and allowed four runs on seven hits. He struck out three and walked four, earning his eighth,
and biggest, win of the season.
Walters helped himself out in the fourth inning by ripping an RBI single down the right-field line,
contributing to a five-run frame that erased a 2-1 Archbold lead.
All of the intensity, the high-pressure, big-moment action was complete without star pitcher Jayce
Vancena, who was in Arlington, Texas, for a pre-draft workout with the Texas Rangers.
Vancena was likely unavailable to pitch since he pitched in Thursday’s district semifinal, but his
absence in the lineup left the Flyers with a gaping hole. His .469 batting average leads Lake by more
than 80 points.
“I’m a little disappointed. But our kids handled it,” Lake coach Greg Wilker said of the Rangers’
decision to host Vancena on the day of the district final. “They just want to go out and play. …
Someone is going to have to step up, and that’s what we talked about yesterday. That’s exactly what we
“It’s a great opportunity for him,” Wilker said of Vancena. “We talked and it’s an opportunity that he
needs to take advantage of.”
But what might be surprising to some was Selgo’s reaction.
“I think it’s ridiculous that Major League Baseball put Vancena in the position that he is in,” he said.
LAKE 6, ARCHBOLD 4
ARCHBOLD 100 111 0—4 7 1
LAKE 100 500 x—6 9 3
HITS —(A) Bernath 2, Sevey, Schnitkey, C. Wyse, E. Wyse, Bucklew; (L) A. Witt 3, Densic 2, Duncan, Bowen,
Ackerman, Walters. 2B — (A) Bernath, E. Wyse; (L) Duncan. RUNS — (A) Sevey, Bernath, E. Wyse, Wagner;
(L) Duncan 2, Walsh, Densic, Walters, A. Witt. RBI — (A) Schnitkey, C. Wyse, Bucklew; (L) Duncan, Bowen,
Walters, A. Witt. SB — (L) A. Witt. SAC — (L) C. Witt. LOB — Archbold 8, Lake 4. DP — Lake.
IP H R ER BB SO
E. Wyse (LP) 3 2-3 6 5 5 1 4
Bernath 2 3 1 0 0 2
Schnitkey 1-3 0 0 0 0 0
Walters (WP) 5 1-3 7 4 4 4 3
C. Witt 1 2-3 0 0 0 0 2