Archbold Defeats Evergreen 5-0 for Sectional Title in DJ/RJ Rematch
In April of this year, the Evergreen baseball team traveled to Archbold to kick off the NWOAL season with both teams having high expectations. The pitching match-up that afternoon featured two of the best arms in the league with the Vikings throwing University of Toledo commit RJ Schunk and the Blue Streaks countering with Bowling Green State University commit DJ Newman.
The game more than lived up to its hype with Schunk outdueling Newman for a dramatic 1-0 Evergreen victory. Because the NWOAL teams only play one official league game against each other, there was no assurance the two aces would square off again in their high school careers.
However, as expected, both teams won their respective sectional semi-final games, with neither needing to use their top starter, and set up a Schunk versus Newman rematch. Evergreen entered the tournament as a higher seed than Archbold which allowed the game to be played on their home field.
For the first three innings, it was “second verse, same as the first” as both pitchers were dialed in and almost unhittable. In the fourth inning, the Blue Streaks finally broke their scoreless streak against the Vikings when a sacrifice bunt attempt was misplayed, resulting in a poor throw to third base, allowing the runner to score for a 1-0 lead.
The Archbold hitters were able to get to Schunk, who began to tire, for three more runs in the top of the fifth inning and was eventually relieved by Landon Vance. “He’s a great pitcher,” said Newman, speaking of his pitching opponent. “He even struck me out once, almost twice.”
Meanwhile, Newman kept the Evergreen batters off balance and off the scoreboard through the sixth, when he also showed signs of fatigue after throwing 120 pitches. “I was getting tired at the end but my teammates kept telling to just throw strikes, that they had me and I trusted them,” he explained.
The Streaks were able to score one run against Vance for the 5-0 final and this day belonged to Newman and his Archbold teammates. “It was a gutty performance by DJ Newman. He was running out of gas and pitching on fumes,” said Archbold coach Tim Selgo. “But he’s a competitor and he’s going to give you everything he’s got. He got us through his last inning then (Zane) Behnfeldt came in and pitched well in the last inning.”
Archbold now moves on to face the second-seeded Tinora Rams on Thursday, May 26th, at 2:00 p.m. at Defiance High School in the DIII District Semi-finals.
Click on the link above to access photos from the game. Photos are in the jpeg format to allow for editing and can be downloaded for no charge courtesy of the fultoncountymedia.com website.