Saturday, May 26, 2001

Gedling hits Hamilton past Elder

By Dave Schutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FAIRBORN — Adam Gedling hit a one-hopper into left field in the bottom of the seventh inning to break a tie and give Hamilton a 2-1 victory over Elder in the Division I regional semifinals Friday at Wright State.

Hamilton teammates rush to greet Todd Richardson after he scored the winning run.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
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        The victory put the Big Blue in today's regional championship game against Lakota West at 1 p.m. at Wright State. It's the third time in the past five years Hamilton has reached the final.

        “I thought about squeezing on the last play,” Hamilton coach Dan Bowling said. “Adam was real tentative today, like a lot of our kids. But I decided to let him swing away.”

        Called for interference with Elder first baseman Eric Renzenbrink on an infield fly to open the sixth inning, Gedling could have been ejected, but the umpires decided against it.

        This gave Gedling his chance in the seventh.

        “I went up looking for a fastball, and that's what I got, and it was down the middle,” Gedling said.

        A Panthers error on a ground ball to open the bottom of the seventh enabled Todd Richardson to reach second base. Dustin Pearson was walked intentionally, setting up a force at first, second and third.

        Patrick Joss bunted down the first-base line. But Joss was called out for interference, sending the base runners back to first and second.

Elder SS Justin Wendling can't get to this pop fly.
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        Hamilton's Cody Worrell then hit a fly ball to deep center that was caught by Richie Jones. Richardson tagged and took third base. Gedling then followed with the shot that was too tough for Elder third baseman Matt Kahny to handle.

        “It was a great pitching dual which could have gone either way,” Elder coach Mark Thompson said. “(Gedling's) ball was a scorcher, and our guy tried to short-hop it.”

        Until the sixth inning, Elder's Matt McCloy and Hamilton senior Steve Polen were locked in a classic duel.

        Elder broke through when Brett Bolger led off the sixth with an opposite-field double and scored on a single by Craig Gates.

        Polen retired the next two batters before walking Kahny. On a 2-2 pitch, Polen retired Renzenbrink on a ground ball to shortstop that was cleanly fielded by Matt Wagers for the final out.

Hamilton 3B Matt Wagers dives to catch a bunt.
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        Hamilton responded with a run in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Tommy Begley singled and went to second on a wild throw. He scored with one out on a single by Wagers to tie it at 1-1.

        Polen, who had never pitched against Elder, was elated.

        “My fastball was all right, but the slider was my best pitch today,” Polen said. “I tried to keep them off stride by changing speeds and keeping the pitches down.”

        Hamilton and Lakota West split during the season.

        “We'll pitch either Todd Richardson or Nate Stewart against Lakota West,” Bowling said.

        Elder ....... 000  001  0-1  7  1

        Hamilton ....... 000  001  1-2  5  0

        WP-Polen. LP-McCloy. Hitting Leaders: E-B. Bolger 2B; Gates 3-3, 2B; McCloy 2-3. H-Gedling RBI; Mahon 2; Wagers RBI. Records: Hamilton 25-7, Elder 22-7.


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