By: Nate Calvin
AKRON – A day after celebrating his 16th birthday, Archbold freshman pitcher Jayden Seiler made the biggest start of his young high school career.
Seiler delivered in a big way by allowing just three Crusader hits, all singles, and tossed a complete game to lift the Streaks to a 1-0 win at Canal Park in Akron.
Central Catholic put together what ended up being one of their best scoring opportunities of the day in their first at-bat when lead-off hitter Eric Baum reached first base on an error to start the game.
Baum was quickly erased on a double play when Mason Vance popped out on a bunt attempt to Seiler who fired to first to double off Baum.
Archbold generated a small threat in their first time at the plate also as Gavin Bailey and DJ Newman had back-to-back bloop singles to right to give the Streaks two on with one out.
Canton Central Catholic senior starting pitcher Eric Baum worked out of the inning though as Jaybe Burkle flew out to right and Caleb Hogrefe grounded out to third to end the inning.
The next scoring opportunity for Archbold came in the fourth as Hogrefe (2-3, single, double) led things off with a double to left center before moving to third on a groundout to first by Carson Dominique.
Hogrefe remained at third though as Devon Morris flew out to shallow left and Zane Behnfeldt would fly out to right as the game remained 0-0 heading to the fifth.
Archbold would break the ice in the fifth starting with Krayton Kern (1-3, double) stretching a single into a double on a hit to left center with one away.
After pinch hitter Brandon Taylor popped out in foul territory to third base for the second out Central Catholic was then faced with a decision.
With Newman (2-3, two singles, 1 RBI) at the plate and first base open, the Crusaders chose to pitch to Newman as opposed to intentionally walking him and the Archbold junior made Canton CC pay the price.
Newman lined a 0-1 pitch into right field and Kern sprinted home from second to put Archbold in front 1-0.
Seiler would then wrap-up his complete game by working a perfect seventh inning as he got two groundouts and then struck out pinch hitter Evan Black to end the game.
At one point, Seiler (3 hits, 6 K’s, 1 BB) retired eight batters in a row before Central Catholic would get their final hit of the game in the sixth inning on a single Vance.
Archbold (23-11) will play Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (22-8) at 10am on Sunday morning in the Division III state championship game back at Canal Park.
SCORES BY INNINGS R H E
Canton CC 000 000 0 0 3 1
Archbold 000 010 x 1 7 1
Nate can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org