PERKINS TWP. — Vermilion has had lots of good baseball teams over the years, but the past three seasons have been something special.
The Sailors clinched the outright Sandusky Bay Conference Bay Division title Friday with a 6-1 win over Margaretta at Sports Force Park in the completion of a game that had been suspended May 1 in the bottom of the second inning.
The league title is the Sailors’ third straight, which, according to veteran coach Jeff Keck, is a first for the program.
“It’s awesome that we can be part of history and that it was this team to do it,” Sailors starting pitcher Mason Montgomery said after throwing a complete game with no earned runs, 11 strikeouts and just one walk to improve to 4-1. “I knew I had to get ahead of hitters right away with only five innings to play today. It was important to keep them off the board and for us to get the lead.”
When the game picked up, Vermilion’s only batter made the final out of the second, but the Sailors scored in each of the next four innings despite getting just five hits against four pitchers.
Vermilion scored the first run without a hit when Ethan Hendrickson (two runs, two RBIs) and Jack Wells walked and advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. Ridge Clark’s sacrifice fly to center drove in Hendrickson.
The Sailors only had one ball leave the infield in the fourth, yet pulled away with three runs.
Reese Miller and Noah Cacciatore walked and moved up on a double steal. Hendrickson then drove in two with a grounder to deep short for Vermilion’s first hit. Miller scored easily on the play and Cacciatore, running hard on contact, never slowed down rounding third and also scored.
“That was really good baserunning by Cacciatore,” Keck said. “He was running hard with two outs and I never had to say anything to him about going home. You just kind of assume that’s going to happen with two outs.”
Wells followed with a flare to left that made it 4-0.
Margaretta got an unearned run in the top of the fifth after a pair of errors on the same play put a runner at second, but Montgomery got a foul out to first to end the Polar Bears’ threat.
Vermilion added a pair of insurance runs late with Miller driving in a run with a single in the fifth and Clark doing the same in the sixth.
“I’m proud of our kids,” Keck said. “They came out and played hard and got the job done today. The strength of our team is our pitching and defense. We proved that again today. Any time you only give up one run, you have a really good chance to win.”