By: Joe Blystone
DELTA (JUNE 27, 2023) – Archbold lost a number of good seniors off their NWOAL title team to graduation at the end of May.
However, one of the Bluestreaks that will be heavily counted on next spring gave a sneak preview as Stephen Diller singled, doubled, homered, scored four runs and knocked in two more as Archbold rang up a 12-1 ACME win over Delta.
“We lost a good core of seniors this year, we have a good group of underclassmen, but we weren’t sure of what was going to shake out,” explained Archbold ACME coach Kirk Weldy.
“We have had some guys step up. We have had a chance to look at a couple of guys because of people missing and that’s what summer baseball is all about, getting guys in and seeing what they are capable of.”
Diller started a four-run rally in the first off the Panthers’ Maverick Mercer, leading off with a ringing double into the left field corner.
Broden Piercefield followed with a looping run scoring single to right, then Sean Garcia rammed a triple to right center.
Two more Blue Streak runs came across thanks to a throwing error.
After Archbold scored a run without a hit in the second, Diller rapped a drive over the left field wall to make the margin 6-0.
Delta scored their only run of the night on Brody Morr’s sacrifice fly in the third before Archbold marked a three spot in the fourth and the fifth.
The three runs in the fourth came without the benefit of a hit on four walks, a hit batter and two Delta errors.
In the fifth Jace Castillo’s RBI single plated Jason Grine who singled, then after a Bluestreak runner was thrown out at the plate, Diller delivered again with a run scoring single to make it 11-1 and a wild pitch plated the 12th Archbold tally.
“Diller’s been a big part of our program for the last few years being an incoming senior,” said Weldy.
“We’ve asked him to step up as a leader and that is what he has done this summer which has been fun to see.”
“He is one of those kids that if you tell him to do something he will do it in a heartbeat.” “I give him a lot of credit and he can hit the ball. I was really appreciative of that, helping me out in the last inning.”
Archbold had ten hits total while Delta had just three. The Panthers committed three errors.
ARCHBOLD 420 33 – 12 10 1
DELTA 001 00 – 1 3 3
Records: Archbold 4-8
WINNING PITCHER: Piercefield (2.1 innings, 2 hits, 1 run, 1 earned, 5 strikeouts, 2 walks) Other: J. Williams, Valentine
LOSING PITCHER: Mercer (2 innings, 4 hits, 6 runs, 4 earned, 2 strikeouts, 2 walks) Other: Lopez, Valentine
LEADING HITTERS: Diller – home run, double, single, 2 RBIs, 4 runs; Garcia – triple, 2 RBIs; Castillo – double, RBI, 2 runs; Valentine – 2 singles; J. Williams – 2 RBIs; Piercefield – 2 singles, RBI, 2 runs; (Delta) – 3 singles
Joe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org