BG falls to Wildcats, 7-0, in tournament


By Jeffery Ratliff

Northwest Signal

NAPOLEON — Napoleon baseball set the tone early, bunting and using situational hitting to score a pair of runs in each of the first three innings in a Division II sectional final against Bowling Green Friday.

That was plenty for Napoleon pitcher Trey Rubinstein, who shut out BG on two hits, as the Wildcats posted a 7-0 win at Booster Field.

Napoleon’s first two batters — Rubinstein and Devin Dietrich — each laid down bunt singles, with Rubinstein advancing to third on Dietrich’s bunt. After Dietrich stole second base, Lucas Gerken and Parker Woods each followed with RBI groundouts to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead.

“That is where we have grown tremendously,” said Napoleon baseball coach Eric Sprague. “Two weeks ago, in that situation, we would have tried to hit something in the gap and the result would have been a K (strikeout).

“Tonight, we showed how much we have grown, hitting the ball to the right side or hitting a sacrifice fly. We played the game of baseball tonight.”

On the flip side, Bowling Green struggled, making six errors, including three in the third inning. Napoleon also scored on a balk in the sixth inning for its final run.

“You can’t make five (six) errors and only have two hits and expect to win games like this,” said Bowling Green baseball coach Fred Riggs. “We looked very lethargic tonight. We had a big win against Anthony Wayne last night, but tonight we were down and I don’t know why.”

Napoleon added two runs in the second inning, as Cal Bickel led off reaching on an error and Blaine Ford singled. After a strikeout, which advanced the runners to second and third, Dietrich grounded to third and Bickel beat the throw home for a 3-0 lead.

After another grounder moved the runners up a base, a wild pitch scored Ford for a 4-0 lead.

After BG’s three errors scored one run in the third inning, Ford’s sacrifice fly made it 6-0. Sprague said getting the early lead was huge for the Wildcats.

“It was big for our confidence,” said the Napoleon coach. “Especially scoring the first two runs and then coming back and putting up a zero. That’s something we talk about all the time.”

“It was big,” said Riggs about Napoleon’s early lead. “They bunted their first two batters and that set the tone right there. We were not worried after two runs, but they get two runs in each of the first three innings and kids start to lose a little bit of their confidence.”

Despite going to a full count on nine batters, Rubinstein stayed out of trouble for most of the game, as BG never advanced a runner past second base. Rubinstein went the distance, allowing no runs on two hits and two walks, while striking out five.

“Trey never gave in,” said Sprague. “BG is a really good hitting team and he battled with them all game. Not giving in when they had three balls really shows the maturity in his game.”

Dietrich and Jacob Shadle each had two hits to pace Napoleon (17-8).

Rhett Winger and William Brose had the Bobcats’ two hits. Brose took the loss, going 5 1/3 innings and allowing seven runs – three earned – on eight hits and a walk. He struck out one.

Bowling Green ends its season at 15-13. The Wildcats advance to face Bryan in the district semifinals Thursday at 4 p.m.

No posts to display