Ottawa Hills 4 Tinora 0

DEFIANCE – Less than 24 hours after leaving Defiance High School with a 1-0 win over DJ Newman, and last season’s OHSAA State Runner-up Archbold Bluestreaks, the Rams were back at DHS to take on the Ottawa Hills Green Bears in the District Finals.

The 21-5 Rams were taking on the 23-5 Green Bears, Ottawa Hills defeated Lake in game #1 Friday, 14-1.

Tinora would send senior Nolan Schafer to the hill, while Ottawa Hills sent sophomore lefty, Sebastian Stevens. Schafer brought a 4-0 mark, 1.45 EREA, while Stevens yielded a 5-0 mark with a 1.62 ERA.

Ottawa Hills looked to bust out of the gates in the first. After three of the first four hitters reached against Schafer, Golden Bears Andy Nemunaitis sent a one hop rocket to Tinora shortstop Kadyn Radzik. Radzik turned it into a 6-4-3 double play, putting out the fire in the top of the first inning.

Tinora would also threaten in the bottom of the first. A lead off single by Nolan Schafer, followed by a passed ball, and a Radzik sacrifice put Schafer at third with one out. Tinora’s Cole Commisso sent a shot to second, Andy Nemunaitis, Newmunaitis’s throw to the plate was in time for Green Bears catcher Blake Gnepper to put the tag on Schafer, ending the Rams threat.

The game would remain scoreless until the top of inning four. With both starting pitchers, Schaefer and Stevens, keeping the hitters off balance, the game was still scoreless through three.

Sebastian Stevens sent a liner to left to start the fourth, the ball would wind up rolling to the wall. Andy Nemunaitis would again be in the middle of the action as he sent a fly ball to center field. Rams sophomore Grady Gustwiller uncorked a missile to the plate that Tinora catcher Ty Wiemken caught and appeared to put the tag on Stevens, the umpire ruled Stevens safe, giving the Green Bears a 1-0 lead after four and a half innings.

Tinora again threatened in the bottom part of the fourth inning. Stevens hit Rams senior Casen Wolfrum with one out in the fourth to put Wolfrum at first. Fellow senior Tristan Birks walked, putting runners at first and second with just one out. Bryce Bailey grounded into a fielders choice, moving Wolfrum to third, Bailey was at first with now two outs.
Still trailing 1-0, the Rams tried a double steal.
With Bailey taking off at first for second, the throw from the catcher to second was cutoff by Andy Nemunaitis. Nemunaitis’s throw home was in time for Ottawa Hills catcher Gnepper to again put the tag on a would be run, this time tagging out Wolfrum, the inning ended with the Green Bears still holding that 1-0 lead.

Ottawa Hills broke the game open in the top of the fifth inning with four runs. AJ George would start the inning on a questionable hit by pitch. Alex Nemunaitis would then walk, putting runners at first and second base. A perfect but down the third baseline by Blake Gnepper would load the bases.

After a brief conversation by Rams head Coach Brent Renollet, the Rams brought the infield in to cut down the runs. A fielders choice groundnut to Cole Commisso by Stevens would score George, putting Ottawa Hills up 2-0.

Andy Nemunaitis would double to right center, scoring Alex Nemunaitis to make the score 3-0. Ottawa Hills would add their fourth run of the game, the third in the inning, on a fielders choice to Bryce Bailey at first, scoring Gnepper.

The Green Bears starter, Sebastian Stevens would exit after five innings, keeping the Rams bats off balance all day. Warren Goik would receive Stevens and have the same success over the last two innings.

Stevens allowed just two hits while striking out 8 Rams.

Tinora was unable to mount a comeback over the last two innings, Goik didn’t allow a hit in his two innings of relief, picking up his fourth save on the season as the Green Bears would win, 4-0.

Nolan Schafer would take the loss for the Rams, pitching a solid seven innings for Tinora.

In defeat, the Rams season ends with a 21-6 record, and the 2022 GMC Championship.

Ottawa Hills moves on to the Regional Finals at Elida to take on Pemberville Eastwood on June 2.

Playing in their final game were Ram senior baseball players Jayden Bergman, Bryce Bailey, Cole Commisso, Nolan Schafer, Tristan Birks, Casen Wolfrum, Keegan Miles, & Tyler Wiemken.

Box Score below:

What a great ride it was, boys! Thank you, hold your heads high!

Pic Sarah Harris

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