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August 12, 2020

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Ada boys fall to Grove in finale

By Cort Reynolds
Host Ada lost 4-1 to Columbus Grove in a Northwest Conference baseball makeup contest on a warm Saturday to conclude the 2019 season.

The purple and gold finished 8-13 overall and 1-7 in the NWC after the defeat. Meanwhile, CG improved to 15-7 and ended up 6-2 in league play after the win, good for sole possession of third place.

The game was scoreless over the first three innings as hurlers Phillip Coulson and Nick Woods hooked up in a pitcher's duel.

CG scored single runs in each of the next three innings to build a 3-0 lead. Ada senior Connor Frazier relieved Coulson in the sixth and hurled the last two frames.

Hard-throwing Grove senior Woods took a no-hitter into the sixth inning.

Ada sophomore Brandon Hull hit a liner up the middle leading off the home sixth. But the shortstop ranged over and caught the ball for the first out.

Seniors Jaylin Burkhart and Ethan Hall then went down swinging against Woods in their final at bats.

In the top of the seventh, Grove added an insurance run. Dane Schroeder led off by blooping a single to shallow right field, then stole second.

Luke Otto laid down a fine bunt single up the third base line to put runners on the corners. Dylan Mason grounded back to the mound. Frazier fielded it cleanly, looked the runner back and threw on to first for the out.

But a wild pitch brought Schroeder home with the fourth CG run. Woods was retired on a fly ball to left fielder Dylan East, who made a nice running grab.

Frazier then struck out Owen Macke to retire his final batter with a flourish.

The purple and gold scored their lone run in the bottom of the seventh. Senior catcher Austin Amburgey grounded out to third base on a hard one-hopper leading off the final frame.

Frazier pulled a hard grounder past the third baseman down the line for a single, the first Ada hit. Phillip Coulson fouled out down the right field line, but Frazier stole both second and third base.

Landon Blankenship then lifted a fly ball into left-center field against relief pitcher Kurt Griffith. Despite a diving attempt, the ball dropped in under his glove to bring Frazier home and spoil the shutout.

Ada senior Brice Ferguson then struck out to end the game and season.

Woods struck out 12, walked three and gave up just one hit in 6 2/3 innings of strong pitching to get the win. He allowed one earned run. Griffith gave up a hit and retired the final batter in relief. 

Coulson struck out four and walked none over five innings. He scattered eight hits and allowed two earned runs.

CG's Brady Hauenstein hit a double, singled, scored a run and drove in one run. Dane Schroeder singled twice and scored two runs. He also swiped two bases.

Grove's Alex Schneider hit a double, singled and stole a base. Macke singled and scored a run while Mason singled in a run. Brady Rudasill and Otto each collected a single.

Frazier and Blankenship singled in the seventh to provide the

the two purple and gold hits. Frazier swiped four bases and scored the Ada run.

Jacob Morgan drew two walks while senior Kolton Spangler also walked.

Ada left four runners on base while CG stranded five. The host Bulldogs were guilty of one miscue, while Grove played error-less defense.

CG out-hit Ada, 10-2.

Amburgey, Hall, Burkhart, Curtis Geckle, Noah Garmon, Spangler, Ferguson and Frazier played their final game as Ada seniors.

                 123            456            7              R              H              E
CG             000            111            1              4              10             0             
Ada            000            000            1              1              2              1             

WP-Woods       LP-Coulson                                   
2B-Hauenstein (CG), A. Schneider (CG), macke (CG)           

Ada ended up 6-6 at home this spring after the defeat. They lost their final eight games after beginning 8-5, their best 13-game start in over a decade.