HAMLER — Patrick Henry’s Josh Petersen and Wauseon’s Ty Suntken locked up in a classic pitchers duel on a cool, overcast night at Garrold Parratt Field on Monday.
But it was the clutch hitting of Jacob Newlove that may have earned Wauseon a Northwest Ohio Athletic League championship.
Newlove put Wauseon ahead with an RBI single in the top of the seventh inning and Suntken closed it out from there as Wauseon edged Patrick Henry 3-1 in a battle of state-ranked NWOAL leaders.
Wauseon, 12-4 and ranked 18th among Ohio’s Division II schools, improved to 7-0 in the league. The Indians can win at least a share of the title with a win over Bryan (9-4, 4-1 NWOAL) on Monday.
Patrick Henry, ranked No. 7 among Ohio’s Division IV programs, is now 12-5 overall and 5-1 in the NWOAL. The Patriots and Bryan square off on Thursday, also at Garrold Parratt Field.
Petersen and Suntken, a pair of senior right-handers, were outstanding in complete-game efforts. Petersen allowed just four hits and struck out eight; Suntken pitched a two-hitter and struck out nine.
Newlove was the difference.
Wauseon took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning when Brady Rupp doubled, advanced on a ground-out and scored on Newlove’s sacrifice fly.
Patrick Henry tied it in the bottom of the sixth when Joey Nicklels doubled, raced to third on a passed ball and scored on an error, one of just two by Wauseon.
Wauseon then went ahead for good in the seventh.
Petersen beaned Josh Kaufman leading off the inning, and Kaufman raced to third when Rupp’s grounder was mishandled. After a strikeout, Suntken walked to load the bases.
Newlove then delivered his clutch RBI single, with Rupp hustling home on the play as well.
Wauseon 000 010 2 — 3 4 2
Patrick Henry 000 001 0 — 1 2 3
WP — Suntken. LP — Petersen. top hitters: (Wau) Newlove 1B, 2 RBI; Rupp 2B. (PH) Nickels 2B.
records: Wauseon 12-4 overall, 7-0 NWOAL; Patrick Henry 12-5, 5-1 NWOAL.