NAPOLEON – Swanton did not give Napoleon many scoring opportunities in the double elimination ACME sectional tournament opener on Friday night in Napoleon but when they did, the Wildcats took full advantage, scoring five times on just four hits en route to a 5-1 victory over the visiting Bulldogs.
“To be honest with you I thought Jordon (Nyler) actually did a nice job keeping them off balance,” commented Swanton coach Tim McCarthy when assessing his starting pitcher’s performance. “They didn’t really hit the ball hard they just hit it where we weren’t. We were a little flat and defensive miscues cost us.”
Neither team, in fact, started the game with much intensity and there was no scoring until Napoleon finally broke through in the bottom of the third. A leadoff single followed by a stolen base and a sacrifice bunt put a runner on third with one out. Nyler unleashed the next pitch into the dirt that skipped past the catcher, Marek Spiess, giving the Wildcats their first run.
A base on balls and several more off target pitches produced another run for the home team and they led 2-0 after three.
The top of the fourth saw the Dogs bang out three hits but wound up with nothing to show for it. Josh Adcock singled to left then Marek Spiess hit a hard ground ball to second that Napoleon turned into a 4-6-3 double play. Hunter Schad and Jonny Shanks ripped back-to-back singles but Austin Hill fouled out to the first baseman to end the Swanton scoring threat.
The Wildcats doubled their lead in the bottom of the fourth by scoring twice on one hit, two infield errors and another wild pitch making the score 4-0 with four innings in the books.
The Dogs finally managed to crack the scoring column in the top of the fifth. Brandon Spiess led off with a single to left and was sacrificed to second. Zach Bloom’s soft infield grounder was misplayed by the pitcher, allowing Spiess to take third and Gunnar Oakes brought him home with a long fly ball down the right field line for Swanton’s only run of the contest.
Napoleon added another run in the bottom of the fifth with a one out walk and two singles. Bloom was brought in to relieve Nyler and struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning.
Swanton threatened again in the top of the sixth but failed to put anything across and then went quietly in the seventh to fall by the final of 5-1. Nyler suffered the loss for the Dogs while Bloom threw 1 2/3 innings of hitless relief. Adcock had two hits and Schad and Shanks had a hit and a walk to lead the Swanton offense.
The Bulldogs would defeat Evergreen in the first game of the consolation bracket on Sunday morning. However, they were defeated by Wauseon later that day, 10-3, erasing them from the tournament.