Maumee Earns Sectional Baseball Title With 4-2 Win Over Bryan

Maumee junior leftfielder Devon Cleghorn reaches a fly ball during a May 10 sectional semifinal game against Central Catholic at Mercy Field. Two nights later, Cleghorn singled, scored a run and made a head-turning catch while helping the Panthers to a 4-2 sectional championship win over Bryan. MIRROR PHOTO BY JOE NEGRICH

BY ANDY ROWER | MIRROR SPORTS — Senior Tyler Archambeau threw a three-hitter while leading the Maumee baseball team to a 4-2 sectional championship victory over Bryan on May 12. “My off-speed pitches felt very good today,” Archambeau said. “I was very comfortable with them and had confidence that my defense could make plays behind me.” After throwing a pair of three-up, three-down innings to start things off, Archambeau was rewarded when his teammates combined for a quartet of Panthers runs in the bottom of the second. Senior catcher Matt LeCron, junior rightfielder Caleb Brown and classmate and leftfielder Devon Cleghorn started things off by loading the bases on a walk, a hit-by-pitch and a bunt single. Senior shortstop Jordan Key followed with a two-out, two-run double before sophomore designated hitter Blake Adams knocked two more runs in with an infield single. Now trailing 4-0, the Golden Bears clawed their way back within two with a pair of runs in the third stanza. Junior rightfielder Alex Morr drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second and third on a wild pitch and a groundout by freshman catcher Nate Miller. Morr next scored when Bryan’s next batter, junior leftfielder Eli Tressler, reached base on a Maumee error during a sacrifice bunt attempt. Tressler then stole second before scoring on a two-out double by senior centerfielder Sam Culler. The remainder of the contest turned into a pitchers’ duel, as both squads stranded a runner on base in each of the night’s final five frames. The Panthers left freshman second baseman Zach Marvin in scoring position in the fourth and marooned senior John Henry on second base in the sixth, but failed to add to its lead. The Golden Bears left Culler in scoring position in the third and senior third baseman Luke Nye on second in the fifth, but they were also unable to convert. Maumee’s defense helped out as well, as Cleghorn made a head-turning catch to end the sixth and Key, senior second baseman J.R. Helminski and classmate and first baseman Matt Burkett combined for a 6-4-3 double play to end the seventh. “That just makes pitching very easy on this team, because you don’t have to stress about anything,” Archambeau said. “With easy ground balls, the plays are going to be made every single time and with fly balls like that – you have a defense back there that can make those plays for you, too. It allows your confidence to get very high.” Archambeau struck three batters out and walked two in his complete-game performance and also went 1-for-3 from the plate. “Tyler has been our go-to guy in a lot of different ways,” said Maumee baseball coach Cam Coutcher. “I can’t say enough about the kid. He’s a great kid, he’s a great person, he’s a great student and he’s one of the best leaders I’ve ever coached.” Junior Ethan Langham took the loss after surrendering four runs on five hits and five walks, while striking out six Panthers during a complete game. Senior shortstop Bleus Creek joined Culler and Miller with Bryan hits, despite dropping to 13-11 with the loss. Maumee improved to 14-6 with the win and moves on to play Defiance at Patrick Henry High School on Thursday, May 18 at 5:00 p.m. It will be the Panthers’ second trip to the district semifinals in three years. “It means a lot, knowing that we can do something for the school and make a difference during my last year here,” Archambeau said. “It’s fun and exciting and I’m just glad we can do it again.” The Bulldogs advanced with a 5-4 victory over Bowling Green (13-4). “I have a lot of respect for both of those programs,” Coutcher said. “Tom Held is an incredible coach and he’ll have his guys ready to go. I hope our kids can continue to execute and we’ll see what happens.”

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