WATERFORD - Waterford managed just four hits combined in two games against Wahama as the White Falcons' pitching dominated a TVC-Hocking doubleheader Friday night.
Garrett Miller did not allow a hit in game one as Wahama shut out the Wildcats 8-0. The Falcons were also victorious by a 3-1 count in the second game, which ended after six innings due to darkness.
Miller punched out 10 batters, issued no walks and allowed only three baserunners, all in the bottom of the fifth. Down 5-0, Mitch Ginther led off for Waterford by grounding a ball back to Miller. Miller went to his right to field it but bobbled it, allowing Ginther to reach safely.
JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times
Waterford’s Montana Brooker, left, tries to get the ball as Wahama’s Tyler Grimm, right, successfully steals second base in Game 1 of a double header.
JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times
Waterford righty Isaac Huffman delivers a pitch homeward to a Wahama batter in Game 2 of a twinbill Friday.
Later, with one out, Cam Bosner hit another ball back to the mound. This time it glanced off the tip of Miller's glove and to the third baseman. The third baseman fielded it cleanly but his throw pulled the first baseman off the bag to put runners on the corners with one out.
Next batter Devyn Farley struck out but reached first when the third strike got by the catcher, loading the bases. Miller, though, retired the next two batters via a strikeout and a groundout to end the 'Cats' only threat.
"They had a nice pitcher," said Waterford head coach Chad Augenstein. "He threw strikes. He did what he was supposed to. We just didn't put the ball in play. You've got to put the ball in play to make things happen."
Clay Hayes took the loss in the first game, striking out two and walking four in four innings of work. Brent Ginther and Justin Ellis combined to pitch the final three innings of the game.
Mason Hicks, Wesley Harrison, Philip Serevicz and Tyler Grimm all had two hits for Wahama in game one. Harrison had two doubles while Zuspan and Serevicz each had a triple.
Issac Huffman was able to slow the Falcons' bats down a bit in game two. Huffman, in a losing effort, struck out seven and walked four while allowing three runs on six hits in six innings.
Wahama struck for two runs in the top of the third. Kane Roush led off the inning with a walk, stole second base and then scored on Zuspan's double to right field. Zuspan would later score from third on Harrison's RBI-groundout to short.
The Wildcats cut the lead in half when they were finally able to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth. Brent Ginther was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and then advanced to second on Cody Paxton's groundout to Grimm on the mound.
Mitch Ginther then ripped a sharp single into left field to plate Brent and make the score 2-1.
Wahama was quick to respond, plating a run the next half inning as Roush bunted his way onto first, stole second and third and then scored on a passed ball.
Up 3-1, Grimm gave way to Hicks on the mound in the fifth. Hicks had to work out of trouble in both of his innings. After giving up a leadoff double to Daulton Shriver in the fifth, Hicks retired the next three batters in a row to preserve the lead.
In the sixth, Waterford had the tying runs on second and third with two outs, but Hicks struck out the final batter to earn the save and send Wahama home with a sweep.
Zuspan and Hunter Bradley both had two hits, including a double apiece, for Wahama in the second game while Shriver collected a pair of doubles to lead the Wildcats.
"It was a good challenge to find out what we're made of and what we need to fix to make us stronger in the long run towards tournament time," Augenstein said.
Waterford fell to 6-3 overall and 3-2 in the TVC with the two losses and will look to rebound Tuesday at Miller.