LIMA — Delphos Jefferson baseball coach Doug Geary felt pitching and defense would be the mainstays of his unit in 2014 and so far they have been. He figured how much his offense could manufacture runs would be crucial in the team’s success.

The Wildcats did just that at Lima Central Catholic High School on a windy Thursday, grabbing a 4-2 non-league victory.

“We had a number of chances to score more runs, but we came up with a couple of clutch hits. That’s going to be the key for our offense this year; timely hits,” Geary explained. “We got off to a good start and that forced them to bring in their number one, a very good pitcher. As we saw more pitches from him, we eventually timed him up and got the winning runs in the sixth inning.”

On the other hand, Thunderbird (3-4) coach John Schneiders wasn’t very happy with his crew this night.

“You aren’t going to beat a quality team like Jefferson with three hits and five errors, it’s that simple,” Schneiders said. “We had been playing much better to win our last three games after losing our first three, but we took a step back tonight. We have to learn to be ready to play every game from the start. We need to be focused every time out. Hopefully, we will get that lesson.”

Tied at 2-2 heading into the top of the sixth frame, Jefferson (4-2) put together a two runs off relief pitcher Colin Stolly . Number nine hitter Ryan Bullinger laid down a perfect bunt that traveled just far enough that catcher Brad Stolly couldn’t field it in time to nab Bullinger at first. He stole second. Two outs later, Ross Thompson was intentionally walked. Austin Jettinghoff sliced a liner to left that plated Bullinger with the runners moving up a base on an error. Third baseman Jake Williams fell down fielding Hunter Binkley’s slow roller, allowing Thompson to score for a 4-2 edge.

The Jeffcats went up 2-0 in the top of the first against LCC starter Liam Stolly. Leadoff hitter Jace Stockwell was plunked and Rice sacrificed. Thompson was also hit by a pitch. Jettinghoff’s infield single off the pitcher loaded the bases, and a throwing error on the play allowed Stockwell to score and put runners at second and third. Binkley hit a roller to third baseman Ethan O’Connor, who tried to get Thompson off third but was too late, loading the bases. Gage Mercer flied out deep enough to left to get Thompson home for a 2-0 edge, and the runners advanced on the throw home.

LCC tied it in the home half of the third. Colin Stolly was hit by a pitch, stole second, took third on a Williams grounder and scored on a Luke Baumgartner single to the left-field corner for a 2-2 scoreboard.

Jefferson visits Paulding on Friday in a game moved up from April 17.

“We have a lot of games in the next six or seven days, so we’re going to need everybody we can throw out there to step up. Tonight, it was Ryan,” Geary said. “We wanted to limit Tyler’s pitch count to about 50 because he will start Monday against Lincolnview. We’ve seen how Ryan can throw in the gym; we wanted to give them an off-speed look and he did a great job.”

Jace Stockwell ss 3-1-0-0, Tyler Rice p/rf 2-0-0-0, Ross Thompson 3b 2-2-0-0, Austin Jettinghoff 2b 4-0-2-1, Hunter Binkley lf 3-0-1-1, Gage Mercer 1b 3-0-1-1, Nick Fitch c 2-0-0-0, Jordan Herron ph 1-0-0-0, Josh Teman cf 3-0-0-0, Ryan Bullinger rf/p 4-1-1-1. Totals 27-4-5-3.
Colin Stolly ss/p 2-2-1-0, Jacob Judy lf/cf 3-0-0-0, Jake Williams cf/3b 2-0-0-1, Luke Baumgartner dh 3-0-1-1, Trevor Hoff 1b 0-0-0-0, Jamal Hairston lf 0-0-0-0, Drew Jennings 2b 3-0-0-0, Brad Stolly c 3-0-1-0, Ethan O’Connor 3b/ss 2-0-0-0, Liam Stolly p/1b 3-0-0-0, Alex Krumel rf 3-0-0-0. Totals 24-2-3-2.
Score by Innings:
Jefferson 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 - 4
Lima CC 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 - 2
E: E. O’Connor 2, Fitch, Jennings, L. Stolly, Hairston; LOB: Jefferson 11, Lima Central Catholic 4; 2B: C. Stolly; SB: C. Stolly 2, Binkley, Bullinger; CS: Fitch (by B. Stolly); Sac: Rice; SF: Mercer, Williams.