DEFIANCE – In a classic pitchers’ duel, Eastwood’s offense got the better of Swanton, scoring a run with two out in the bottom of the seventh inning for the walkoff win Thursday at Defiance in a Division III baseball district semifinal.
“(Tyler) Haas did a nice job mixing up his locations,” said Swanton coach Tim McCarthy. “We had a hard time timing him up. And we couldn’t get the big hit.”
Against Haas, the Bulldogs did not register their first hit until a Hunter Mix single with one out in the top of the seventh. Derek Floyd followed with a walk, a sacrifice bunt advanced the runners but was the second out, and Zach Bloom was hit by a pitch loading the bases.
Zach Zawodni hit a ball sharply between first and second, but Eastwood’s fielder made the stop and flipped to first for the out.
Justin Pickerel then got the Eagles going with a one-out single in the bottom of the frame. He swiped second, then after a pop up, Gavin Slattman’s hit won it for the Eagles.
“We had an opportunity there in the top of the seventh, but their second baseman made a nice play on that ball,” said McCarthy. “That kid came up with a big two-out hit in the last inning.”
The loss spoiled an excellent outing for Bloom, who was pitching his final game in a Bulldog uniform. He went the entire way, scattering five hits and striking out two.
“It’s a shame to lose a game like that when you throw so well,” said McCarthy of Bloom’s outing. “He was in command all day, he was really good at keeping them off balance. It’s a tough way for a senior to go out, but he kept us in it. We didn’t score any runs behind him. That’s unfortunate.”
Haas earned the win where he allowed no runs on one hit with seven strikeouts. Eastwood was defeated by Archbold 2-1 in the district final Saturday.
For Swanton, they will look to get back to the district tournament and perhaps further, next season. They lose just one senior and bring back 11 soon-to-be seniors.
“Going forward, this is now the second year in a row that we’ve been here (the district tournament),” concluded McCarthy. “We’ve tasted it twice. Now hopefully they can take the next step next year and get that district title that we’re looking for.”
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010