A pair of teams opened the 2012-13 Wood County Dartball League campaign on Monday, Oct.1, with three-game sweeps to grab an early share of first place. Defending regular-season champion, Bethlehem No. 1, took all three of its affairs at BG Trinity United Methodist, while Bethlehem No. 2 did the same at home against Stony Ridge. Bethlehem No. 1 won its games by the scores of 8-1, 2-1, and 9-5. Bethlehem No. 2 came out on top of 5-4, 12-3, and 2-0 verdicts.
Additionally, BG St. Mark’s, BG Cloverdale, Pemberville Methodist, and Pemberville Presbyterian all posted series wins by earning two victories each against their respective foes.
BGSM took the first and third games at New Rochester, 7-1 and 6-3, but lost the middle contest 3-2. BGC lost its opener at home to Salem-Grace United, 5-0, but rebounded to win the last two by the scores of 2-0 and 5-4. Likewise, PM lost its first game at Zion Luckey, 5-2, but produced 1-0 and 13-4 conquests to end the evening. In continuing the trend, PP suffered a 6-2 setback at BG Nazarene to open play, but garnered 5-3 and 8-3 wins to take the series.
In Bethlehem No. 1’s wins over Trinity, Melvin Karns hot the hand going 9-for-16 (.563) with one RBI. Mark Melcher hit .471 (8-17) for the series with four triples and three RBIs. He finished the three games with 16 total bases. Melcher’s two-out triple in the bottom of the ninth of the middle game broke a 1-1 deadlock and gave Bethlehem No. 1 the win.
Ken Rahe led Bethlehem No. 1 with six RBIs on seven hits, including three triples. Manager Howard Brunk (HR, 3 RBI) and Bob Kreienkamp (3B, 2 RBI) also had productive nights with seven hits each.
Manager Andrew Janes paced Trinity by going 6-for-13 (.462) with a double. He also drove in one run. Dana Kratzer chipped in two RBIs to lead the host team. In the opener, rookie Andy Swaisgood hit back-to-back doubles in his first ever at bats.
At Bethlehem No. 2, manager Mike O’Brien sparked his team’s sweep hitting .571 (8-14) including a RBI triple. Teammate Ken Gerwin went 7-for-13 (.538) and finished the night with a league best 17 TBs. He had a pair of doubles to go along with a triple and a home run. Gerwin’s eight RBIs were also a WCDL high for the first week of play.
John Kiser of Bethlehem No. 2 was one of six players around the loop to drive in four runs on the evening. All of his RBIs came in the second game when he went 4-for-5, including three extra-base hits. His HR in the eighth inning was the second of three consecutive Bethlehem No. 2 bombs with one out. Gerwin had the first, a two-run shot, and Mike Coon, Sr., had the last. Coon ended the series with three RBIs.
SR was led by Ed Boelkens, John Schulte, and manager Earl Hagg who all went 6-for-14 (.429). Hagg had a triple and was his team’s co-leader in RBIs with two along with Fred Swihart.
Todd Kurfess was BGSM’s top hitter against NR. Kurfess went 6-for-12 (.500) with a triple and a pair of RBIs. John Kunstmann, one of three BGSM players who drove in two runs, had three doubles and a HR in two games played.
Jim Bockbrader went 7-for-13 (.538) at the line for NR, while Kevin Roberts turned in a 4-for-8 effort (all doubles) in two contests. Rich Lopez had six hits, including a pair of two-baggers and two center shots. Lopez, Roberts, and Dave Snyder all had two RBIs to pace their club.
PM had three individuals with eight hits apiece. Rick Ward and Chris Soals both went 8-for-15 (.533), while lead-off man Daniel Binion was 8-for-18 at the stripe. Of Ward’s hits, two were triples. He also drove in three runners. Binion produced two doubles and a pair of RBIs. Jim B. Jividen was his team’s top RBI producer with four, all coming on his no-out, second-inning grand slam in the finale. PM scored seven of its 13 runs for the game in that very productive frame.
Zion’s Dick Eilert was his squad’s top hitter going 6-for-13 (.462) with a double and a three bagger. His four RBIs were also a team high. Rookie Jeff Hahn went 3-for-4 in his debut in the third game of the night. He connected on a triple (RBI), double, and single in his last three trips to the line.
Despite being outscored on the night, 9-7, BGC managed two wins. Manager Rick Traver was his team’s top hit producer with four, including a double and HR. He finished the series with one RBI, one behind leaders Carl Hagemeyer, Craig Kleine, and Jerry Charles. Both of Hagemeyer’s RBIs came in the middle game on a double and a ninth-inning HR.
Klein belted a two-out, two-run HR in the ninth inning of the last contest, giving BGC a come-from-behind win. Salem had taken a 4-0 lead on RBI hits by manager Gene Fairbanks (2B), Don Taulker (2-run HR), and Bob Dierker (HR).
SGU’s Don Young finished the night at 7-for-12 (.583), good for the top spot in WCDL batting average after one week of play. He finished the series with a league best five doubles and a triple for 14 TBs. He also knocked home two runners. Taulker had a team high three RBIs for Salem.
BGN and PP each scored 15 runs and registered 33 hits in its series against each other. Manager Mike Barbour went 6-for-12 for the evening while Brendan Yowler finished with five hits. Barbour started the season with a bang, hitting for the cycle in his first four trips to the line. He drove in three runs in the opener with a solo HR and a two-run triple.
Dick Lindemeyer knocked home two runs in the first game on a pair of doubles and then plated two more runners with a two sacker in the second game. Chris Brunner hit the second grand slam of the night in the league with his bomb in the bottom of the fourth of the finale which temporarily tied the game at 5-5. Steve Bailey, another WCDL rookie, collected his first ever hits in the final game, going 2-for-4 for the Nazarenes.
Allen Trout drove in five runs for the night for PP, the third best total in the circuit. He hit a two-run HR in the second game, and added a two-run double and solo HR in the rubber match. Ron Curtis produced four RBIs for the series, while Dale Fahle had three.