The Galion baseball team’s season began and concluded with non conference foe Clear Fork.
The Tigers lost to the the Colts 4-0 in its season opener in late March and not much had change as Galion lost to Clear Fork again 4-1 in a Division III District Championship game at Madison Comprehensive High School Monday evening.
“In baseball, it’s not always the best team that wins,” said Galion head coach Phil Jackson said. “It’s the best team that day. And twice on the day that we played them, they’ve been the better team.”
Both teams were up to bat 29 times. The Tigers had seven hits, an RBI and now walks, while the Colts had five hits, four RBIs and a walk.
In comparison with the first time Galion played Clear Fork on March 28, the Tigers had nine hits, no RBIs and a walk, while the Colts had three hits, four RBIs and two walks.
During Monday’s game, the Colts nearly went through it’s whole lineup except for two players at the top of the first inning. Clear Fork short stop Hunter Boyer got a walk to first base and reached third on a double by Luke Clark. They both scored runs on an error, while Klenk ran to third base.
Due to Clear Fork’s defensive efforts, it took three innings for the Tigers to go through its batting lineup for the first time. During the third inning for the Colts, Clark made it to the first base on an error, reaching second on a sacrifice fly by Klenk and scored the team’s third run after Hunter Auck hit a double.
But the Tigers made efforts to get on the board in the fourth and fifth innings.
Ryan Talbott stole third base on a wild pitch, while Mac Spears, who hit a single, stole second in the fourth inning. But winning pitcher Mitch Dulin left them on base after he struck out Josh Eckert.
But Eckert’s performance as shortstop helped the Tigers on several occasions throughout the game including at the top of the fifth inning when Galion prevented the Colts next three batters from reaching first base.
It allowed Devin Baughn to make it to first base on error in the fifth inning. Ryan Utz, who ran for the Baughn, made it to third base on a double by Nick McDaniel, who hit the ball hard out to the center field. Utz then scored on Will Donahues’ succesful bunt.
But the Tiger’s attempted rally was short lived after Tyler Castline’s bunt in the fifth wasn’t as succesful with Dulin catching it. Things didn’t improve for the Tigers when Garret Kuns was called out for baseline interference.
The Colts regain control of the game in the sixth inning with Auck making it to first base on an error. After stealing second and third bases, Auck scored a run on a single by Dulin.
As pitcher, Dulin earned five hits and seven strike outs, while Kuns earned five hits, a run and walk, and four strike outs.
“[Dulin] threw quality pitches,” Jackson said.
Cleark Fork head coach Rusty Staab agreed and said that Dulin proved himself at Monday’s game.
The Colts’ record improves 17-12. The team last won a district championship back in 2010.
“It makes the drive to Wooster [for a conference game Tuesday] a lot nicer,” Staab said.
On the other hand, Galion finish its season with a 14-10 overall record. The team loses four seniors: Matt Hardy, Castline, Eckert and McDaniel.
Jackson said the team’s season improved in the second half and looks forward to next year.
Clear Fork advances to the regionals and will play Pemberville Eastwood at Elida Middle School, 4500 Sunnydale Ave., at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Reach Klein at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.