The first inning turned the tide, and not in Napoleon’s favor, as the Wildcats fell to Archbold 12-1 in five innings and were eliminated from the ACME District 2 North sectional tournament Monday at Boosters Field.
Napoleon loaded the bases in the top half of the first inning, with Hayden Speaks leading off with a single and Zach Rosebrook following with a walk. After a sac bunt and strikeout, Wesley Jeffries-Babcock reached on catcher’s interference to load the bases.
Archbold starter Jaybe Burkle, who also pitched against the Wildcats Saturday, coaxed a fly ball to center to end the inning.
The Bluestreaks capitalized in the bottom of the inning, scoring four times to seize control of the game.
Brandon Taylor and Dawson Leichty each had RBI singles and Chase Koehler drove in a run with a suicide squeeze bunt. Archbold added a run on a Napoleon error.
“We loaded the bases in the first inning, but couldn’t score,” said Napoleon coach Jason Holubik. “That could have changed the outlook of the game if we could have put a few runs up on the board.
“Then we couldn’t get out of the first inning,” added Holubik. “We had a couple of errors, and you can’t give good teams multiple opportunities ... bad things happen.”
Napoleon scored in the top of the second, with Speaks driving in Tanner Rubenstein, who walked with two outs and stole second base.
The Cats put two runners on base in the third and failed to score and in the fourth they ran into a double play when, after a single, ran past the runner on first base.
In five innings Napoleon stranded eight runners and hit into two double plays.
“When we tried to be aggressive, trying to get something started, we ran into two double plays,” said Holubik. “That was bad luck.”
Archbold scored a run in the third inning and put the game away with seven runs in the fourth. Drake Mohring started the scoring with a two-run single, while Leichty and Zane Behnfeldt each had RBI singles.
The Bluestreaks had seven singles in the inning.
Angelo Gonzalez took the loss, going 3 2/3 innings and allowing 12 runs on 11 hits and two walks.
Leichty was 2 for 3 with two RBI to pace Archbold’s offense, while DJ Newman, Taylor and Burkle each had two hits.
Burkle went the distance to get the win on the mound. He allowed one run on five hits and five walks, while striking out three.
Speaks paced Napoleon’s offense, going 3 for 3 with a RBI.
Archbold advances to the ACME District 2 district tournament at Patrick Henry Friday. They will face Ottawa-Glandorf at 4 p.m.
Napoleon was eliminated from the tournament.
“Overall, for the summer, the guys that were here, and I emphasize the guys that were here, got better,” said Holubik. “The ones that wanted to be here, who didn’t find excuses not to be here, they are the ones that in the long run will make this program better.”