For the second straight season, the Tinora Rams bats were buzzed down by Ottawa Hills lefty, Sebastian Stevens. Stevens and the Green Bears dominated the Rams on their way to a Sectional Championship, defeating the Tinora Rams, 7-1
Last season in the Districts Finals at Defiance High School, Stevens and the Green Bears knocked out the #2 seeded Rams, 4-0.
This season, the #1 seeded Rams again met up with the Green Bears, Ottawa Hills was the #6 seed as the teams battled in the Sectional Finals from Grube Field at Tinora High School on a dark evening from Tinora.
Rams senior righty Korbin Casteel drew the tough matchup against Stevens. Casteel entered with a 6-2 record, coming in off two straight shutouts, and a 1.45 ERA.
Tinora threatened in the bottom of the first as Kayden Radzik would walk, move to second on a wild pitch. Radzik was thrown out trying to steal at third by Green Bears catcher, Brady Larson, to end the Inning.
The first runs of the game came in the top of the third inning. Ottawa Hills. After a Tinora infield error, the Golden Bears AJ George connected for a double off the left field wall, scoring Brady Larson, giving the Green Bears a 1-0 lead. Anthony, who earlier singled, would score on a sac fly off the bat of Jackson Snyder to give Ottawa Hills a 2-0 lead after three,
Ottawa Hills put the game away with a four run fifth inning to lead, 6-0.
Reddik Pillarelli would be hit by a pitch, move to second on an errant pick off attempt, and score on a passed ball, Ottawa Hills led 3-0 and still batting in the fifth.
AJ George again was in the middle of the rally for the Green Bears as he would single putting runners at first and second for Ottawa Hills. An intentional walk to Jackson Snyder would load the bases with one out.
Luke Gnepper would double in George and Snyder, the Green Bears led 5-0. Ottawa Hills added another run after a Nash Barnes double, he would score Gnepper, increasing the lead to 6-0 through five.
The Green Bears added a single run in the top of the sixth on an AJ George double, scoring Brady Larson, giving Ottawa Hills a 7-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth.
With Sebastian Stevens in complete control, The Rams would finally collect their first hit in the bottom of the sixth on a Grady Gustwiller single. After an Ayden Moser groundnut advanced Gustwiller to second, Kadyn Radzik would follow with a double, scoring Gustwiller, giving the Rams their first and only run of the game, Tinora would trail 7-1 after six.
Stevens would finally exit with one out in the seventh as his pitch count was close to 120. Jackson Snyder would come on and get the final two outs, sending Ottawa Hills home with a Sectional Championship.
Tinora would only get six base runners in the game, two hits and four walks.
In the win, Stevens would allow only one run on two hits, striking out 11 Rams. In two games and 12 innings pitched against the Rams in 2022 and ’23, Stevens allowed one run on four hits, striking out 19 Rams batters.
Ottawa Hills advance to Defiance HS, where they will play Genoa on Thursday at 2 pm.
The Tinora Rams see their magical season end at 19-6.
Tinora’s lead man Brent Renollet and Ottawa Hills head Coach Chris Hardman combined for 66 years coaching at the same schools, 23 at Tinora for Renollet and 43 at Ottawa Hills by Hardman.
Tinora graduates six seniors, Luke Harris, Korbin Casteel, Ty Wiemken, Eli Plassman, Dalton Wolfrum, and Teron Ward. Thank you boys for a great season!
First 3 pics: Mrs Wells
Senior Pic: Morgan Diaz