BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER | MIRROR SPORTS — Just based upon body language and how the Panthers were preparing for the game, Maumee baseball coach Brian Nagy knew his squad was ready for a road game at Otsego last week.
A magnificent performance from sophomore Jack Dauer on the mound and a 15-hit effort at the plate proved Nagy right as the Panthers pounded out a 16-4 win.
“(Based on) the body language of the two teams in pregame, it just looked like our kids really wanted to play ball that day,” Nagy said. “It just felt like our kids wanted to be there.”
Of those 15 hits, 13 were singles, and six players each had two hits apiece — Caden Brown, Landon Patterson, Michael Dembski, Sam Archambeau, Chase Maulucci and Angelo Shepler.
Patterson and Maulucci each drove in four runs, and Shepler added three RBI. Maulucci and Archam-beau each scored three times and Brown and Dembski scored twice.
Dauer, a left-hander, threw five innings, allowing four runs on nine hits and one walk with three strikeouts.
“He was unfazed by the moment,” Nagy said. “He acted like he deserved to be there and that he had been there his whole life. He came out and commanded the strike zone.”
Nagy also mentioned how assistant coach Todd Ery has allowed his catcher to call pitches during the game. Nagy said Archambeau did a great job behind the plate.
“(Dauer) did a fantastic job of following Sam’s instructions,” Nagy said.
The week started well for Maumee. The Panthers led 3-0 through four innings against Lake, but the Flyers scored six times in the final three innings for the 6-3 win.
Then in the final game of the week, Maumee tied Whitmer 2-2 in the top of the sixth inning before allowing five unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth in a 7-2 loss.
“There are no such things as moral victories, but this year, we’re playing better early to get us into that ‘win the game in the sixth, seventh inning’ mode,” Nagy said.
“We’re trying to manage expectations. Instead of hoping we do things well and get the job done that we should expect we do the things well and get the job done.
“Once we turn the corner in our own brain, in our own mind, we’ll be much better off.”
It’s all still a learning process for the Panthers. Similar to every other team in the area, they are still playing catch-up in terms of development after losing a season to COVID two years ago.
“We are young-old in terms of our guys that are lettermen from last year,” Nagy said. “The juniors had to grow up in a hurry last year. They are proving that they have learned from and benefited from that experience last year. They are playing better – they are playing mature baseball.
“Instead of being there for a ride, they are controlling their destiny.”