THORNVILLE — The Washington High School varsity baseball (No. 14 seed) team made the trip up into Perry County Monday with upset on their minds as they faced the No. 3 seed Sheridan Generals.
The game quickly evolved into a pitcher’s duel and lasted 11 innings before Sheridan (the No. 9 team in the State in the most recent coaches’ poll) scored the first and only run of the game to post a 1-0 victory.
Titus Lotz started for the Blue Lions and pitched seven scoreless innings. He allowed three hits with seven strikeouts and four walks.
Tanner Lemaster took the loss in relief. He pitched 3.2 innings with four hits and one run (earned) with two strikeouts and seven walks.
Johnson pitched the first eight innings for the Generals, with five hits, eight strikeouts and one walk.
Brison got the win, pitching the final three innings with one hit, one strikeout and two walks.
Offensively for Washington, Evan Lynch went 2 for 4 and Karson Runk, Jonah Waters, Lemaster and Tyler Tackage each had one hit. Tackage’s hit was a double.
Runk had a single to lead off the game for the Blue Lions. He reached second on a ground out by A.J. Dallmayer, but was stranded there.
The Blue Lions loaded the bases in the second inning with a walk to Tackage, a single by Lemaster and a bunt single by Lynch. The Blue Lions left the bases loaded as the next two batters were retired.
Washington was set down in order in the third and fourth innings.
In the fifth, Lynch led off with a bunt single and was sacrificed to second by Owen Mullins.
However, the next two batters were retired.
The Blue Lions were up and down in order in the sixth inning.
In the seventh, Waters led off with a single and Brayden Howard was sent in to run for him.
Lynch bunted Howard to second, but he was stranded there.
Washington went out in order in the eighth inning.
In the ninth, with one out, Tackage reached on an error, taking second on the play.
Lemaster walked after the second out, but Washington would leave those two runners on base.
Washington had another chance in the top of the 10th.
With one out, Runk walked and John Wall bunted him to second.
Dallmayer reached on an error with Runk going to third.
The next batter popped out to end that inning.
In the top of the 11th, Tackage led off with a double to center.
The following batters were retired with a strikeout, a pop out and a fly out.
Sheridan’s first batter was out on a fly ball to start the bottom of the 11th.
Then came a single and a walk. The next batter grounded out, putting runners at second and third with two away.
The next batter was walked to load the bases and Talbot singled to right field, plating Amspaugh with the winning run.
“It was pretty much a pitcher’s duel the whole game,” Washington head coach Mark Schwartz said. “Titus threw seven innings and pitched great. They had a few base runners here and there, but, overall he did the job and let his defense help him out.
“He pitched a great game like he’s pretty much pitched all year,” Schwartz said. “Tanner came in and pitched great. Unfortunately, he got the loss because we gave up that run in the 11th, but, he did his job and kept us where we needed to be and gave us some opportunities to score on offense and we just didn’t get the timely hits.
“Credit to Sheridan,” Schwartz said. “Their pitchers were good. We hit two balls to center field that the center fielder had to make a diving catch on. Their third baseman made a couple of good plays. We had runners in scoring position in a few innings, but just didn’t capitalize and get a big hit when we needed it.”
Washington stranded 11 runners and Sheridan left 14 on base during the marathon game.
“Their (runners left on base) might be a little more deceiving,” Schwartz said. “I believe we intentionally walked six batters in the game, just to set up a force play.
“The effort was there from our guys,” Schwartz said. “They played hard; can’t fault them there. They did everything we asked of them.
“Tyler Tackage had a big double there in the 11th,” Schwartz said. “We just couldn’t get him in.
“We had opportunities earlier in the game,” Schwartz said. “Evan Lynch, a freshman, had two bunt hits. Later in the game, I believe with runners at second and third, he hit a ball down the right field line and the kid made a great catch on it.
“I’m very proud of the guys,” Schwartz said. “We made that long ride there and they battled and that’s all you can ask.”
The Blue Lions finish the 2021 season with a record of 9-14. Washington was 3-7 in the Frontier Athletic Conference, tied for fourth place with Chillicothe.
“We had some growing pains this season,” Schwartz said. “We played two freshmen and five or six sophomores. We had a couple of juniors who played a lot.
“I thought we played our better ball down the stretch of the season,” Schwartz said. “Overall, I think we were in every game this year, except for the games against Jackson that we lost 13-1 and 10-3. In those games, we were in it until the fourth or fifth innings.
“Our schedule, I thought, was pretty tough,” Schwartz said. “We played Miami Trace twice, the No. 1 team in the State. Unioto (ranked tied for 13th in the State this week). Waverly’s been in the top 10 (No. 7 this week).
“We beat Division I Whetstone, a school out of Columbus that had 17 wins,” Schwartz said. “Obviously, our record is not where we want it to be, especially in the league.
“We didn’t meet our goals as far as winning the league or making it to the District tournament,” Schwartz said. “We were competitive and the boys played hard. They are a great group, a special group of young men; very coach-able and I’m very proud of them.
“We lose three seniors (Owen Mullins, Hugh Silberman and Brayden Howard),” Schwartz said. “Hats off to them. They accepted their roles on the team and were very good teammates. They led by example and did what we expected of them.
“We’ll have a lot of our starters back next year and I’m looking forward to it already,” Schwartz said.
Offensively for Washington: Karson Runk, 1-4, 1 bb; John Wall, 0-4, sac; A.J. Dallmayer, 0-5, roe; Titus Lotz, 0-5; Tyler Tackage, 1-4, 1 bb, 1 2b, roe; Jonah Waters, 1-3; Brayden Howard, 0-2; Tanner Lemaster, 1-4, 1 bb; Evan Lynch, 2-4, sac; Owen Mullins, 0-3. LOB: 11.
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