DEFIANCE – Just one swing of the bat, that’s all it took.
In a game of dominate pitching, Tinora senior Nolan Schafer supplied the only run of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning, a solo homerun over the left center fence, giving the Rams a 1-0 win over Archbold in the Districts at Defiance High School.
A pitching duel saw both senior right-handers, Archbold’s DJ Newman & Tinora’s Casen Wolfrum, at their best on a perfect Friday night from Defiance High School.
The Rams were coming in as the #2 seed and were matched up against the #5 seed, and last years OHSAA State Runner-up, the Bluestreaks of Archbold. Tinora brought in their 20-5 mark against Archbold and their 17-7 record.
An even taller task for the Ram bats was the right arm of Archbold starter DJ Newman. Newman entered with a 7-1 mark, striking out 2+ per inning, while sporting a ERA of 0.63. Newman, heading to BGSU in the fall, was the two-time NWOAL Player of the Year.
Tinora’s head coach Brent Renollet gave the ball to his senior, right-hander Casen Wolfrum. Although Wolfrum didn’t come in with all the postseason accolades as Newman, Wolfrum had a great season himself. As the season progressed, Wolfrum became the bulldog on the Tinora staff, bringing a 5-0 mark and a 1.08 ERA into the game vs the ‘Streaks.
PICS – Sarah Harris
Also, on tap was the hitting matchup of Tinora’s Cole Commisso and DJ Newman, The two combined for 9 home runs, 87 RBI, and both hitting .500 or above.
In a game with just six hits, one could say, where was the excitement? Well, a 1-0 game is full of excitement.
Archbold’s Devon Morris lead off the top of the second with a single. A fielders choice by Brian Burrows retired Morris for the first out. After a wild pitch, followed by a fielders choice, Burrows would wind up at third with two outs. Tinora’s Wolfrum would retire Archbold’s Jaybe Burkle for the third out, leaving the game scoreless after two innings.
As the pitches began to mount for Wolfrum through the first four innings, the senior continued to battle each time out.
The game would remain scoreless as the Rams headed to bat in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Tinora’s Nolan Schafer, a four-year starter on the diamond, would send an 87 MPH Newman pitch deep over the left center fence, giving the Rams a 1-0 through four innings. The hit was just the Rams second hit of the game, Wolfrum singled in the second.
PICS – Sarah Harris
Archbold would look to tie the game in the top of the fifth. Burrows would single to lead off, Cade Miller would pinch run for Burrows. Miller was caught off first base by Rams catcher Nolan Schafer, Miller darted for second and reached safely as the Rams couldn’t make a throw to second. Miller would advance to third with one out on a sac fly by Zane Behnfeldt. A great play by Rams shortstop Kadyn Radzik kept Archbold’s Miller at third with two outs. Wolfrum would end the ‘Streaks treat with a strikeout, keeping the game at 1-0 through five innings.
As Newman would continue to mow down Rams hitters, Wolfrum would continue to match Newman pitch for pitch through six innings.
Casen Wolfrum would head out for the top of the seventh for the Rams. After getting the first two batters out, Archbold’s Behnfeldt would send a 2-2 Wolfum pitch down the right field line, just over the head of Rams first baseman Bryce Bailey. The tying run was now at second base for the Bluestreaks in Behnfeldt.
Wolfrum would settle back in, getting an infield fly to shortstop Radzik for the final out, squeezing the ball for a Tinora 1-0 win over Archbold.
The Higbea Embroidery Player of the Game went to Rams seniors, Nolan Schafer & Casen Wolfrum. Congratulations gentleman, what a performance!
Tinora center fielder Grady Gustwiller with several great catches in center field as well, thwarting the ‘Streaks attack.
In a matchup that never materialized, both Newman and Commisso were a combined 0-5 with three strikeouts at the plate.
With the win, the Rams will take on Ottawa Hills at 2 pm at Defiance High School.
Tinora improved to 21-5 on the season.
Ottawa Hills improved to 23-5 with an impressive 14-1 win over Lake HS in the District opener Friday.
Box Score below: