SIDNEY — Troy Christian catcher Camden Koukol was just tall enough.
That was the difference on the final play of the game that allowed Troy Christian to hold on for a 6-5 victory over Lehman Catholic Wednesday.
Troy Christian improved to 14-3, while Lehman Catholic dropped to 7-9.
Troy Christian had taken a 6-5 lead to the seventh inning.
But, three walks had loaded the bases with two outs.
A 1-0 pitch to Lehman’s Hayden Sever was high and headed for the backstop.
But, Koukol was able to reach up and get just enough of his mitt on it to have it drop to the ground.
When the runner on third tried to scored, Koukol was able to grab the ball and tag him out to end the game.
“I would say Camden (Koukol) did a nice job on the final play,” Troy Christian coach Tony Ferraro said. “It was that close (to being a tie game). Ethan Twiss struggled with his control a little in the seventh, but Camden made a nice play.”
For a young Lehman team who had taken a 5-3 lead after one inning, it was a tough way to lose.
“That just shows you it is a game of inches,” Lehman coach Justin Tucker said. “It was an inch or two (from being a tie game) and us still playing. The kids battled. This a young team. We are learning and getting better with every game.”
Troy Christian had taken a 3-0 lead in the first.
Gavin Blore walked and scored on Charlie Knostman’s single, but Knostman was thrown out trying to go to second.
Lucas Day then hit a towering shot over the right-field fence.
Day was intentionally walked on his second at bat and almost hit another homer to the same spot in his third at bat.
“He almost had two,” Ferraro said. “We had some other guys that almost hit it out. Camden (Koukol) hit one that was close.”
Two walks and an error led to a third-run for the Eagles, but the lead didn’t last long.
Lehman batted around in the first, scoring five times.
Seth Kennedy and JD Barhorst had RBI singles and Will Voisard had a two-run double.
“We scored three to go ahead, but then they scored five in the bottom of the inning,” Ferraro said.
Troy Christian pitchers would blank Lehman the rest of the way, but Lehman pitchers David Brunner and Kennedy weren’t giving up much.
In the third, Day brought a run in with a sacrifice fly on a ball hit to the fence.
The Eagles took the lead in the fourth.
Koukol started the rally with a double.
Charlie Knostman had a RBI single, then Blore scored on a balk for what would be the eventual winning run, putting the Eagles up 6-5.
“We scored the winning run on a balk and then there was the play at the end of the game,” Ferraro said. “That shows you how crazy baseball can be sometimes. We just have to find a way to score runs. We are used to putting up crooked numbers and we didn’t do that tonight.”
Brunner and Kennedy combined on a seven-hitter, combining for five strikeouts and five walks.
Blore, Day and Ethan Twiss combined on a seven-hitter for Troy Christian, striking out 12, with four walks and two hit batters.
“I thought our pitchers did a nice job,” Ferraro said. “They were all on a pitch count. They are going to be all week because we are playing every day.”
Tucker sees the progress his team is making.
“We were right in there and that (Troy Christian) will be the one or two seed in the sectionals,” he said.
In a game that ended up being decided by inches.