All three outfielders for the Wapakoneta Redskinsvarsity baseball team hit home runs in Tuesday’s victory against the Ottawa-Glandorf Titans.
Johnny Crawford in center field, Andrew Hines in right field and Dylan Knoch in left field combined for four RBIs on their three home runs to give the Redskins a 6-4 victory.
Wapakoneta varsity coach Jason Brandt said he was happy with the offensive production from the Redskins Tuesday, especially from the outfielders.
“Johnny had three solid hit balls today,” Brandt said. “A great job seeing the ball today.”
The Redskins jumped out to a first-inning lead, 2-0, but later surrendered the lead in the fifth inning to the Titans.
Tied at 2-2 with senior Josh Apple on first base, Crawford turned on a pitch and crushed a 2-run shot to right field.
“The offense was great today,” Crawford said. “We were hitting the ball well today. Everyone came out firing today, it was a good offensive day for both teams.”
The very next pitch, before everyone was done celebrating in the dugout, Hines turned on one, and sent it over the left field fence.
Back-to-back home runs on back-to-back pitches.
Later in the game with one out, Dylan Knoch turned on a first pitch fastball and sent it over the left field wall.
“Dylan came up two innings later and had a huge home run to left field,” Brandt said. “He’s been working hard in batting practice. Hasn’t played a lot recently, then he comes in and does that. All three outfielders did a fantastic job of getting the job done for us today.”
Knoch said this is the type of attitude and performance he hopes to bring to every game from here on out.
“That was the pitch I was looking for, and it felt really good off the bat,” Knoch said. “It felt pretty good to show the coaches that I can hit and can play.”
For the most part, the Redskin defense was on point throughout the game. The infield turned two double plays in the game. Apple made a spectacular play in the hole.
“That was one of the best high school plays I have ever seen,” Crawford said.
But Brandt said there were some mistakes that led to unnecessary runs.
“We walked in a run, had an error on a slow roller, dropped a ball in foul territory,” Brandt said. “These are things that make our pitchers throw extra pitches. These are the things that can’t happen.”
A.J. Etzkorn got the start for the Redskins and pitched into the seventh inning, when Marshall Gerlach came on in relief to finish the game.
Etzkorn gave up eight hits and struck out two batters.
“But honestly, a lot of those hits didn’t make it out of the infield,” Brandt said. “A.J. threw a really nice game, and Marshall did a good job of cleaning it up in the end.”
The Redskins are in the middle of a long stretch of games. They prepare for the Benjamin Logan Raiders today at home. Tomorrow they have a game at Versailles scheduled. Friday, they play at St. Marys.
This stretch of games is important for the Redskins. Sunday is the tournament draw.
“We need to go undefeated here in this week,” Crawford said. “Gunning for that No. 1 seed in the tournament.”