Prep Baseball Report

PBR Spotlight Games: Division II Archbold District Semifinals: No. 5 Defiance vs No. 4 Wauseon & No. 23 Bryan vs No. 13 Napoleon


By Dylan Hefflinger
Managing Editor/Senior Writer/NW Scout

ARCHBOLD, OHThe Division II District in Archbold featured four of the best teams in NW Ohio and some of the most talented prospects in the state as seen in the District Preview, and that was evident on the field in both games.

In the first game, the defending state champions from Defiance blanked No. 4 ranked Wauseon 5-0 while in game two No. 23 Bryan topped No. 13 Napoleon, 4-2. Meaning a championship match-up of No. 5 Defiance and Bryan, the first District match-up since 2005. Defiance played Bryan in the tournament from 2001-2005 winning each of the match-ups that included Chad Billingsley-Doug Carpenter, Billingsley-Chris Carpenter, Jon Niese-Carpenter and so on.

Four talented hurlers took the mound for their respected teams with one glaring omission. Why didn't MLB draft prospect and Kent State commit Zach Willeman get the ball for Napoleon?

Austin Hancock (Olney JUCO commit, pictured right) threw a shutout Austin Hancock vs Wauseonallowing just four hits and two walks while striking out five. The righty had a devestating change-up that left Wauseon hitters off-balance. The change dropped off the table while sitting 72-74 mph. Hancock also had an 82-84 touching 85 mph fastball that had plus arm-side run. Hancock is now 8-1 on the season with a 0.95 ERA in 66 innings.

Ty Suntken vs DefianceTy Suntken (Ohio U commit and Division II POY candidate, pictured left) came in without allowing an earned run on the season but difficult second and third innings did the hard-throwing righty in. Suntken sat in the upper-80s with the fastball with good cut while also featuring a mid-70s slider. Defiance seemed to have a great approach against Suntken, who ended up going 5 innings allowing five runs (three ER) on four hits and five walks (he had only allowed 15 hits and 16 walks all season in 46 innings prior). Suntken also had five Ks which brings his total to 85 Ks in 51 innings of work.

Bailey Martin, 2015 RHP from BryanBailey Martin vs Napoleon pictured right, went 5.2 innings allowing two runs on five hits, four walks and one HBP while striking out five. Martin cruised in the 1st, 2nd and 4th innings allowing just one hit and one walk but Martin was helped by a good running catch in RF from senior Thomas Martin in the 3rd. Napoleon eventually got to the righty in the 5th and 6th with Martin getting a big groundout in the 5th.

Wes Rickenberg vs BryanWes Rickenberg (BGSU preferred walk-on, pictured left) went 6 innings allowing four runs on six hits and one walk while striking out six. The righty sat low-to-mid 80s with the fastball while keeping the Bryan hitters off balance with the curve and slider. After a very shaky start to the game (four runs in first two innings), Rickenberg settled in allowing just three of the next 14 batters faced to reach base.

In the first game, Defiance scored three in the second and two in the third in the 5-0 win over Wauseon.

After a strikeout to lead off the second inning, talented sophomore Shay Smiddy reached on a throwing error on a difficult play as Smiddy almost beat the grounder out, bringing to the plate Sinclair CC commit Derek Turner, who was sitting slider and that is what he got.

Turner, who entered the game with both of Defiance's home runs on the season, blasted his third - a two-run bomb over the left-field wall to put Defiance on top 2-0.
Turner HR celebration Defiance junior second baseman Boo Sierra followed the home run with a double off the fence in left. After back-to-back walks to junior Jimmy Bauer and talented unsigned senior center fielder Jacob Green, fellow talented unsigned senior Dom Gentile roped a line shot to left field which was deep enough to score Sierra and put Defiance on top 3-0.

In the third inning, Hancock singled past third and junior Tyler Weaver sacrificed Hancock over to second. After a balk moved Hancock to third and a strikeout, Turner walked to put runners on the corners.

After a steal put runners on second and third, Sierra struck again with a two-run single to left to score Hancock and Turner putting Defiance on top, 5-0. Hancock along with solid defense made that score stand.

"We want to throw off-speed and the change-up is his pitch," Held said of Hancock. "We knew with Ty Suntken and Axel Bueter (.457 & .405 BA, respectively) that they could hit fastballs, they're dead-red hitters. We're going to throw change-ups, we're going to slow their bats down. You know what? If they're disciplined enough to stay back and take one out, then we'll tip our cap. There are not many high school kids that even when you tell them a change-up's coming, are disciplined enough to do that, it was very effective tonight. He is a bulldog just like Ty Suntken is a bulldog."

Held had very positive remarks about his defense.

"Ohhh. The play of the game was Dom Gentile turning the double play," stated Held. "When it came off the bat, the angle I was at, I thought it was in the hole ... next thing you know boom ... he turns two, and everyone said he made it look easy. And then the next guy hits a double, meaning it would've been 5-2, guy on second with nobody out. Anything could happen after that play. Definitely the play of the game."

In game two, Bryan used an early start to defeat Napoleon, which did not start number one hurler Willeman against a team that beat them earlier in the season.

Bryan's first five hitters of the game reached base. Gifted sophomore Deylen Miley and talented junior Derek Knisely had soft singles with a hit-by-pitch to junior Nate Rau, who was trying to sacrifice Miley and Knisely over. That brought to the plate Jordan Bostater, who entered the game with a team-high 40 RBIs. 

The ONU commit singled in the hole between short and third. With the bases still juiced, senior Austin Martin drew a walk and two batters later junior Kyle Rupp had a sacrifice fly to put Bryan on top, 3-0.

In the second inning a lead-off single by Paris Creek, a sacrifice bunt by Thomas Martin and a wild pitch put Creek on third allowing Miley to score him with a sacrifice fly putting the Golden Bears on top 4-0 against Willeman, the Napoleon number two pitcher.

Napoleon head coach Mark Stacy did not question his pitching selection.

"No, not at all," said Stacey about any second-guessing with not starting Willeman, who pitched the seventh inning and struck out three. "We were in the league on Monday and we were still in the league chase, in fact we have a league game tomorrow (Friday) and another one next Tuesday. We're stuck as far as league goes, 14 games, and we have to play them all. He (Willeman) threw 105 (pitches) Monday, there was no way I could use him more than two innings tonight."

When asked about the league race, Stacey said: "Our plan going in was to have Willeman for Saturday, we don't want to win just one more game. Our best chance to win the tournament is to have Willeman for Saturday."

But there will be no Saturday for Napoleon, which would have played Defiance, a team that lost to Napoleon earlier in the season with gifted sophomore Layne Schnitz-Paxton on the hill.

Napoleon had a chance in the third inning as junior infielder Michael Gilliland reached on a single, his second hit of the game and unsigned senior Tyler Torrez followed with a walk. After a fielder's choice and walk, unsigned power-hitting senior Zach Fielder came to the plate down four with the bases loaded. The right-handed hitter roped a deep line shot to right that Thomas Martin hauled down.

The Wildcats other big threat came in the fifth.Jordan Bostater excited after win over Napoleon

After Torrez was hit by a pitch and a fielder's choice, Willeman and Fielder had back-to-back singles. A walk scored Napoleon's first run and left the bases jammed when Bailey Martin induced a 6-4 groundout to end the threat, the last Napoleon could muster.

Bostater (pictured right) came in to nail down the win for Bryan. The ONU commit faced four batters and sat them all down, striking out two.

Willeman came in for Napoleon in the seventh inning when the score was 4-2 and the flamethrower struck out three (one was a dropped third) and had a flyout to right in his last high school appearance. Willeman sat 90-92, touching 93 in his one inning of work.

When asking Bryan head coach Jeff Inselmann about not having to face Willeman. 

"We had heard they were going to throw Wes," said Bryan coach Jeff Inselmann. "No disrespect against him, but I'd rather hit against low- to mid-80s than upper-80s and 90s. We kind of took that as a little motivation, say what you want. I don't know if they thought we couldn't hit Wes or whatever. It was huge getting off to a good start and capitalizing against their number two."


Wauseon    000  000  0  -  0  4  1

Defiance     032  000  0  -  5  4  1

Records: Defiance 23-5, Wauseon 21-6.

Winning pitcher: Austin Hancock (7 innings, 0 runs, 4 hits, 5 strikeouts, 2 walks).

Losing pitcher: Ty Suntken (5 innings, 5 runs, 3 ER, 4 hits, 5 strikeouts, 5 walks). Other: Axel Bueter (1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 strikeout, 1 walk). 

Leading hitters: (Wauseon) - Ty Suntken single; JJ Kauffman double; Clay Tefft single; Brady Rupp single. (Defiance) - Derek Turner home run, 2 RBIs, 2 runs scored; Boo Sierra single, double, 2 RBIs; Austin Hancock single.


Bryan       310  000  0  -  4  6  1

Napoleon 000  011  0  -  2  5  3

Records: Bryan 18-9, Napoleon 16-10. 

Winning pitcher: Bailey Martin (5.2 innings, 2 runs, 6 hits, 5 strikeouts, 4 walks, 1 hit by pitch). Other: Jordan Bostater. 

Losing pitcher: Wes Rickenberg (6 innings, 4 runs, 6 hits, 6 strikeouts, 1 walk, 0 hit by pitch). Other: Zach Willeman (1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 3 strikeouts, 0 walks). 

Leading hitters: (Bryan) - Jordan Bostater 2 singles; Paris Creek 2 singles; Deylen Miley single; Derek Knisely single. (Napoleon) - Michael Gilliland 2 singles; Tyler Torrez single; Zach Willeman single; Zach Fielder single.