Quentin Harrington gets teased by his Sandusky American Legion Post 83 teammates for having the softest hands on the team.
One thing that isn't soft, however, is Harrington's bat.
Harrington – the Sandusky Bay Conference's Most Outstanding Performer for Perkins in 2013 – reached base in all four of his plate appearances for Sandusky Wednesday. He laced three singles and drove in three runs as Post 83 got back on track with a 10-6 win over Bucyrus Post 181 in a game played at Perkins High School.
Sandusky (9-12) entered the game 2-9 in its last 11 games after a loss at Toledo on Tuesday.
“We've been talking a lot recently about sitting back and hitting the ball hard towards the ground,” Harrington said. “We did a lot more of that today, instead of hitting pop-ups and making easy outs.”
Post 83 broke open a scoreless tie with a six-run second inning that saw it post four hits, draw three walks and have another batter get hit by a pitch. Tyler Puckrin (Perkins) had a bases loaded walk from the No. 9 spot scored Ryan Reed (Rossford), before Noah Asmus (Rossford) drove in two more runs with a single through the right side of the infield.
Two batters later, Harrington brought home Puckrin and Asmus with a single that dropped in shallow center field.
“Absolutely,” Post 83 coach Bobby Palsa said of the inning being a much needed adrenaline shot for his team's offense. “It was great to come out and actually get some base hits and drive some runners in, especially with two outs. I mean, those are the big ones. If you can get hits with two outs and runners in scoring position, those are the ones that hurt, and really bring momentum to your side.”
Reed, who finished 2 for 4, had a two-out RBI single in the second inning. Harrington and Thane Walton (Perkins) each had two-out RBI hits in the fifth.
Walton added a double in the fourth, going 2 for 3.
“Once we start hitting the ball, it starts to kind of carry on down the line,” Harrington said.
Hits with runners in scoring position had been tough to come by for Sandusky in recent weeks.
“We want to make the defense have to make plays,” Palsa said. “I think we saw our guys do a much better job (Wednesday) of driving the ball and having good plate approaches. Obviously, we can still get better.”
It would have been hard for Ethan Caudill (Seneca East) to get much better than he was last Friday in a 2-1 win over Napoleon. Against the defending state champions, he tossed a nine-inning complete game that saw him give up a single unearned run on five hits, while striking out nine and walking two.
On Wednesday, Caudill struggled with his command at times, walking four, including the leadoff batter in his final two innings of work where he gave up five runs.
In total, Caudill surrendered six runs (all earned) on nine hits. He struck out four, three of which came to consecutive batters in the third inning with the bases loaded to preserve a 6-1 lead.
“Ethan (Caudill) probably didn't have his best day on the bump, but he's a competitor,” Palsa said.
“He gets in jams and all of a sudden he buckles down. I never doubt him. He was able to get out of pretty much every jam he got in.”
Bucyrus (8-6) loaded the bases in the seventh with two outs. But new Sandusky pitcher Job Adkins (Norwalk) induced No. 2 hitter, Brier Stanley, into a fly ball that was run down in left field by Asmus to end the game.
Asmus recorded three putouts in the outfield, two that saved runs.
“Noah has been playing really good outfield for us,” Palsa said.
Sandusky and Bucyrus will again meet July 14 at Heidelberg University in the first round of the 5th district tournament.
“This was a big win,” Palsa said. “I told the guys beforehand that this was probably the biggest game of the year for us, considering where we're at with our record and with what's in front of us.
“Today was a must win game for us,” he added. “We had to come out here and get a win and plant that seed of doubt in Bucyrus' mind heading into the tournament.”