NEW RIEGEL - New Riegel like to play small ball. With good team speed, it's a strategy that works well for the Blue Jackets. However, when Andrew Hohman led off the sectional final against Mohawk with a base hit, New Riegel coach Jarron Reesman felt his team wouldn't need it as much.
Seven innings and one 20-minute rain delay later, the Blue Jackets had pounded out 10 hits in a 7-0 victory over the Warriors.
"It was a fun game to play in," Reesman said. "This is the first time in a couple weeks that we've put the bat on the ball without playing so much small ball. When you got Andrew Hohman come up and lead off the game with a hit, it sets the tone pretty well."
Small ball didn't entirely disappear as the Blue Jackets remained active on the base paths. Hohman stole a pair of bases, giving him 27 for the season, setting a single-season school record.
The sevens runs New Riegel produced was more than enough for starting pitcher Jake Dryfuse.
Dryfuse shut out the Warriors in six innings of work, allowing four hits, striking out four.
Division IV at New Riegel
New Riegel 7, Mohawk 0
New Riegel (11-11): Andrew Hohman 5-0-2-0; Blaine Hughes 4-1-0-0; Brady Hall 4-3-2-2; Brandyn Reinhart 4-0-1-0; Josh Nye 4-0-2-3; Jake Dryfuse 0-1-0-0; Aaron Reinhart 4-0-1-1; Jared Coleman 0-0-0-0; Jacob Schalk 4-0-0-0; Aaron Acree 2-2-2-0. Totals: 31-7-10-6.
Mohawk (8-11): Aric Shock 3-0-2-0; Andrew Loose 3-0-1-0; Jonahton Morter 2-0-1-0; Nathan Weinandy 3-0-0-0; John Riedel 3-0-0-0; Zach Riedel 0-0-0-0; Mitch Brown 2-0-0-0; Wes Shaw 2-0-0-0; Eric Maskey 3-0-0-0; Grant Gucker 2-0-0-0. Totals: 23-0-4-0.
New Riegel0020221 - 7
Mohawk0000000 - 0
WP - Dryfuse. LP - Shaw.
2B - Hohman (NR); Morter (M).
"Jake, since he got beat up at Upper [Sandusky] a couple weeks ago, he's been lights out," Reesman said. "He's got good control on all his pitches; he's not walking a lot of people, throwing a lot of strikes. Not getting many strikeouts, but he's making the pitch and we're playing solid gloves behind them and that's helping out a lot."
"I was just trying to throw a lot of strikes today," Dryfuse said. "I lost it a few times, but my teammates did a nice job in the field helping me out, making some nice plays. I was just trying to make them put it in play and let my defense do their job. We got a real good infield, so that's all I was trying to do out there."
The Warriors were never able to mount a serious threat against Dryfuse. Jonathon Morter led off Mohawk's fourth inning with a double, but two fly outs sandwiched around a fielder's choice prevented Morter from coming around to score.
Mohawk had multiple baserunners only once, in the fifth inning, but Dryfuse got Andrew Loose to ground out to short end the threat.
"We just couldn't get any (hits) back-to-back," Mohawk coach Eric Hoover said. "We had trouble moving runners, and the outs we made weren't productive outs at all. We weren't moving runners at all like they did; they were able to move runners whether it was steals or hit-and-runs, whatever. They were able to move runners and we weren't."
Not even the weather could stop Dryfuse. Despite the game being delayed by rain in the middle of the fourth inning, Dryfuse remained sharp when he got back on the mound.
"I just wanted to get back on the field," Dryfuse said. "I threw a little bit before we went back out there. I was feeling good."
Mohawk also helped New Riegel's cause with four errors that contributed to three unearned runs.
It looked like Mohawk might be able to escape without damage in the third inning after a pair of errors set the table for the Blue Jackets. Aaron Acree and Hohman were thrown out at home on back-to-back plays keeping the game scoreless.
However Josh Nye delivered for New Riegel with a base hit that went past the diving glove of Loose, scoring Blaine Hughes and Brady Hall.
"Every mistake they made, we were ready," Hall said. "With the rain, we knew it was wet, we just capitalized on their errors."
The Blue Jackets capitalized again in the fifth inning. Hall started the inning by reaching on an error and eventually came around to score the team's third run when Aaron Reinhart blooped a single into short right field.
Dryfuse upped the lead to 4-0 when he scored off a throwing error by Morter behind the plate.
"We got a great team here. I love these kids," Reesman said. "The way we play is, we've been on the other end of having faulty defense and other teams capitalizing. They always say in baseball it works out 50-50. Some go your way and some don't. And when they don't go your way, sooner or later they're going to go your way. And right now, that's just the way we're playing. We're playing good defense all the way around, putting the ball in play and we're capitalizing when other teams make mistakes."
New Riegel tacked on two more runs in the sixth off RBI singles by Hall and Nye. Hall rounded out the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the seventh to plate Acree.
"It feels great," Hall said. "The team came together tonight, had a good solid defense behind Jake Dryfuse pitching. He threw strikes and it was a great team win.
"Coach always stresses, 'put the ball in play.' When you're down two strikes you have to put it in play and we found some holes tonight."