CEDARVILLE — Indians baseball is hitting its stride for the second time this season, and a break isn’t as likely to halt their progress this go around.
A 10-0 win in the opening game of sectional tournament play for Cedarville against Legacy Christian on Monday is certainly as good of a time as any to show off the difference from early in the season up to now.
“It’s one game at a time right?” Cedarville head coach Cody Snyder said. “After the regular season ended over at Catholic, you said hey, one game at a time, one opportunity to time, one pitch at a time. You can’t look too far ahead, you can’t dwell on the past. Just take advantage of what’s in front of you and I think tonight they definitely did.”
Cedarville, the sectional’s No. 6-seed, got off to a 5-1 start before the poor spring weather the area has experienced limited not only the team’s ability to play, but also practice.
Daily poor field conditions made the Indians move practices inside the school gym where they could only get partial instruction and game situation work. Only three games were able to be played in a two-week span.
A frantic schedule followed to try and get the entire OHC run of play in for the season that saw Cedarville play nine times in 13 days. The team went 2-7 during that stretch as it tried to get its feet back under them.
“I think it’s just a little bit complacency honestly coming out of that,” Snyder said. “It just felt like we had a two week break. Once we came out of that, it was like we had to get going again. We had to kind of get that mindset that we’re starting our season over again and kind of get rolling because we were confined in the gym.”
The youth on the roster also brought its own set of difficulties in not getting the chances to play together it would typically experience without disruptions, according to Snyder. Cedarville has three seniors in Gunner Gannon, Caden McKinion, and Kyle Schroll, but the remainder of the roster is all freshman and sophomores.
The Indians also got the unlucky part of the league division structure this season. A 8-8 OHC record for Cedarville was only good enough for fourth in the South Division, as three league rivals ahead of them finished a combined 35-11.
Once Cedarville got a bit of rest and time to practice after the tough run, they won three of four to close out the season before hitting on all cylinders in Monday’s win.
“With the way they ran the bases tonight, we’ve been preaching to be pretty aggressive on the base paths, try to make teams, you know, make the plays that they’re supposed to,” Snyder, the first-year coach, said. “And sometimes, you know, it goes our way and it did tonight several times. We were able to swipe a couple extra bases and get ourselves in good spots to let our hitters swing the bat.”
After a RBI single by Gannon, Jackson Miller and McKinion both went to work for the Indians’ offense. Both had three RBI in the win to advance the lead out to 7-0 in the fourth before Jacob Winter nearly ended the game with a blast to left center field that plated two more.
Base running allowed the walk-off win in the fifth with runners on second and third, as a fielders choice grounder hit to second forced an errant throw home to allow the winning run to score.
Now a rematch with No. 1 Dayton Christian awaits Cedarville on Wednesday. The Warriors were the one loss during the Indians’ strong start to the season, and Snyder said it’s a matchup the team immediately wanted to play again after the first meeting.
“That’s a great baseball team and they’re playing really well,” he said. “They got hitters, they got kids that can throw, we’re really looking forward for the opportunity to kind of come back and get a chance to play them again. And these guys are really fired up about it as well.”