It was a win-win at Carter Park on Monday.
A total of 48 Northern Lakes League high school senior baseball players got an opportunity to put on their uniforms and cleats one last time to represent their schools. Their seasons were canceled due to coronavirus.
“It was everything I thought it would be, kids having fun and a ton of people here and letting the seniors have one last chance of playing this year,” Dave Hall, Perrysburg’s head baseball coach, said. “It just went well. Everyone was cooperative … and Tim (Dunn) letting us play here.”
It was Hall and Perrysburg athletics director Chuck Jaco who started putting the pieces together to have the two NLL senior games.
“The ADs jumped on board and nobody was getting panicky about the situation, so it was fun,” Hall said. “That’s what is, just trying to get them (the players) together again.
“I don’t know why we haven’t done it before,” Hall continued. “You would think somebody who has been around for 35 years would figure this out.”
In the opener, the Perrysburg/Maumee team scored seven times in the bottom of the sixth inning on the way to a 14-8 victory over the Anthony Wayne/Napoleon squad.
In the night game, the Bowling Green/Springfield team had top-notch pitching to help secure a 6-3 win over Northview/Southview.
AW/Napoleon scored four times in the top of the fourth inning to take a 6-4 lead.
Napoleon’s Hayden Speaks blasted a two-run homer in the fourth inning which traveled at least 385 feet to dead center field, hitting the scoreboard.
AW/Napoleon added a single in the top of the fifth to make it 7-4, but Perrysburg/Maumee scored three times in the bottom of the fifth and then put the game away with the seven-run sixth inning.
Perrysburg’s Andrew Volschow, who pitched 1 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking one, started the sixth-inning rally with a 380-foot home run into left center field.
“That was my first home run through all of high school,” Volschow said. “So to go out like that in the last game I might possibly play is even more special to me.
“It was an awesome experience. I’m pretty happy with my performance,” he added. “I told myself that if I was going to throw out my arm, it might as well be tonight.”
Volschow’s teammate Cole Hamby topped things off in the sixth with a two-out three-RBI double.
Perrysburg’s Drew Sims closed out the win as AW/Napoleon went scoreless the last two innings.
“I can definitely see this tradition carrying on … one more time having fun especially in such a nice complex and field, it’s nice to have one last hurrah with all your guys and meeting new people on the way,” Volschow said. “You get to play against people you have been playing against since travel and through high school.”
AW’s Zach Knapp had three RBI and teammate Hogan Heck hit a double and a triple. Perrysburg’s Luke Borer had three base hits, including two doubles and three RBI.
In the nightcap, four pitchers for BG/Springfield combined for 14 strike outs, allowing only three hits from Northview/Southview.
The four Northview/Southview pitchers allowed five hits, but walked eight batters and hit three.
Of the 10 players on the BG/Springfield team, nine were Bobcats.
“It was good just to get the kids out. They haven’t played all year, and to get all the seniors back together for one last game,” BG head coach Jim Beaverson said. “The pitching did a wonderful job.”
BG’s Luke Roberts got the pitching started with three innings of one-hit baseball with seven strike outs, no walks and an unearned run.
“It felt great, it was a beautiful night,” Roberts said. “I didn’t get a chance last year to play. It’s a little emotional to play with my guys for the last time.
“I had fun. I always trust when I am on the mound and I feel confident … I haven’t even thrown in a month and a half,” he continued. “I always have confidence out there with my team.”
BG’s Kyle Jackson had the big hit for the game, a booming two-run triple in the third inning to put his team ahead to stay.
Triston Todorowski was the only Springfield player and he pitched two innings, striking out five and walking two. He also hit an RBI-triple in the fifth inning.
“On the hill, he was throwing,” Beaverson said about Todorowski.