Ohio Travelers pitcher Justin Langhill said he did the same thing he did last Friday.
Tiffin Saints manager Dustin Ritchie said his team, unfortunately, also did the same thing they did last Friday.
A week ago, Langhill dominated the Saints tossing a 10-inning complete game victory. The only thing that changed Friday at Peaceful Valley, was that Langhill was even better.
Travelers’ third baseman Kenta Nishii makes a play on a ground ball during Friday’s game against the Saints in Tiffin.
The knuckleballer tossed a two-hit shutout as the Travelers scored a 5-0 victory over the host Saints.
"Mr. Langhill has really been on here lately," Travelers manager Jay Zeiter understated. "Like I said to (the team), two dominant performances in a row. One run in 19 innings against the Saints here. Tonight with a two-hitter, wow. Couldn't ask for much more. If you combine those two games in there, there was probably close to a no-hitter in there for 27 outs."
Langhill gave up a single to Efrain Gonzales in the second inning and another to Justin Cureton in the ninth. And that was pretty much it.
"I remembered back to last game and how successful I was, and was keeping what I did from the previous Friday to this Friday. I didn't really change much," he said. "I see their lineup before the game and figure out how I'm going to attack it in the bullpen before the game. I figure out what I'm going to do and go from there. Me and (catcher Jody Robertson) again were in sync all game, taking each hitter at a time and take them down."
And for Ritchie, it equaled the same results for his hitters.
"Same story as last week, we just couldn't square it up," he said of Langhill's knuckleball. "He threw it well and got us out in timely situations. Their defense did a great job of being in the right place at the right time as well."
The last two outings have been a reversal of fortune for Langhill against the Saints. When he faced the club earlier in the season, it was the Saints getting the better of things. Langhill credits a boost in gym time as helping giving him the boost on the mound.
"I started working out a little more, that was one thing," he said. "Me and my roommates have been going to the gym a little more. Early in the year I wasn't really doing that so I just kind of build up good karma for myself. I have that in my mind on the mound and I go at it."
While Zeiter had no questions about his team's pitching when he gave Langhill the ball, Ritchie was busy piecing together today a staff for the day. To start things off, he gave the ball to the Saints' everyday shortstop.
Ernesto Punales got his first professional start on the mound and put out a good effort. He went five innings scattering six hits and allowing two earned runs. He also struck out one.
"It was pitcher by committee today," Ritchie said. "We're pretty short in the bullpen and with our starters as well. That was our shortstop that started the game for us today. Pretty unorthodox, but you gotta do what you gotta do to try to win baseball games. He did a great job. Kept us in there and threw really well.
"He kept us right in there. He was a bulldog on the mound out there, did a great job."
But no bulldog, or any kid of dog was a match on the day for the Travelers' Kenta Nishii, who had three hits on the day including a two-run home run in the sixth inning that broke the game open.
Nishii also made a few defensive gems at third base that backed Langhill on the mound.
"Kenta Nishii making that play at third, making that defensive play, then with his bat, incredible," Zeiter said. "Him and Masa (Miyadera) both, our two Japanese kids really have hit the ball extremely well this year. Can't ask for much more out of our players than that."
Miyadera, the Travelers' lead-off hitter, also had three hits on the day.
Ohio took an early lead plating two in the second inning. Anthony Ragos drove in Dan Johnston for the first run, then forced a rundown that allowed Anthony Waterloo to score.
The final Travelers run came in the seventh when Ray Frias singled home Miyadera.
The Travelers finished the day with 15 hits. A good performance, even though Zeiter felt his team should have pushed a few more runs across.
"When you have 15 hits you ought to at least score five runs," he said. "Probably left a few too many on base again but as a whole, a 5-0 win is a nice night of baseball."
Both teams now sit with 14-15 records.