OTTAWA — An early 2-0 hole was no match for the Napoleon River Bandits as Post 300 advanced to the First District championship game on Tuesday with an 11-2 rout of Toledo Adams Post 553 at Memorial Park in Ottawa on Sunday.
The Bandits (26-9) will gt a rematch with Findlay in the district final at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in Ottawa. A Napoleon victory Tuesday advances the Bandits to the Ohio American Legion state tournament at Beavers Field in Lancaster on July 27-31.
Colin Patterson (Sylvania Southview) singled in the first run for Toledo in the second inning. Napoleon drew three straight walks in the bottom of the frame, all with two outs, but grounded out to squander the chance. Blake Gnepper (Ottawa Hills) added an RBI single in the third inning but that would turn out to be the final threat from Post 553.
A leadoff walk to Tylor Yahraus (Montpelier) set the table as the Loco grad stole second and took third on an error before an RBI knock from Breven Deckrosh (Bryan). A bunt by Caleb Frank (Fairview) allowed Deckrosh to score from second on a fielding error to knot things up before the floodgates opened.
Back-to-back walks loaded the bases and scored a run for the Bandits before three straight RBI singles from Dade Robinson (Defiance), Hunter Hamilton (Delta) and Austin Lichty (Antwerp) turned a 3-2 advantage into a 6-2 edge. Yahraus scored a run on a fielder’s choice in his second at-bat of the frame before Hamilton scored the final of the eight runs from third on a passed ball.
From there, Bandits’ starter Caden Craft (Ayersville) cruised with three straight scoreless frames and two outs in the seventh before Tanner Rubinstein came on for the final out to seal the deal.
Hamilton was the lone Bandit with multiple base hits with two singles and two runs while Deckrosh came around to score twice. Craft scattered seven hits but allowed just one earned run in 6.2 innings of work, striking out six.
Toledo 011 000 0 — 2 7 3
Napoleon 008 030 x — 11 6 1
Records: Napoleon 26-9, Toledo 10-16.
Winning pitcher: Caden Craft (6.2 innings, 2 runs, 1 earned, 7 hits, 6 strikeouts, 3 walks). Other: Tanner Rubinstein.
Losing pitcher: Colin Patterson (2 innings, 7 runs, 6 earned, 2 hits, 4 strikeouts, 7 walks). Other: Jake Cole.
Leading hitters: (Toledo) — Garrett Long double. (Napoleon) — Hunter Hamilton 2 singles, 2 runs; Breven Deckrosh 2 runs.