Bradford stuns Fort Loramie on the road to move on to District finals


By Drew Terhall

FORT LORAMIE — It was a long time coming for Bradford baseball. After being knocked out of the playoffs by Fort Loramie two years in a row, the fourth seeded Railroaders got redemption with a 2-0 upset over the one seeded Redskins in the Southwest Division IV District semifinals.

Senior Landon Monnin and junior Tucker Miller both said it meant a lot to get this win over Fort Loramie. Miller also said they knew they had a chance with the talent on the team. With the last two years in the back of the their mind, the team came out and grabbed the shutout win.

“It’s amazing. We got knocked out by them two years in a row. We got run ruled. It was amazing to come back out, long time coming,” Miller said.

For head coach Bill Sturwold, he returned to his previous coaching stop. Sturwold was the head coach at Fort Loramie when they won Division IV state titles in 2007 and 2010.

After losing their last five games of the regular season, Bradford has won three straight postseason games. Sturwold said it was a tough stretch for his team to end the season, but he gives credit to his players for being resilient and bouncing back in a big way this postseason.

While it was an emotional game for all, the team will be back to work soon enough and focus on the District finals.

“I’m very proud of them. You can’t believe how I feel coming over here and winning this ball game. We gotta clear the slate here in a couple hours and we got a big ball game Wednesday,” Sturwold said.

Bradford scored one run in the second inning and one run in the third inning. Leading off in the top of the second, Monnin hit a solo home run to get a 1-0 lead. To Monnin, it was somewhat of a surprise to go yard. He said Sturwold taught him how to hit left-handed this season.

“I wasn’t even expecting it because I didn’t bat lefty until this year,” Monnin said.

Then in the top of the third, junior Landon Wills had a RBI double to go up 2-0. Bradford did show off their power as three of their five hits were for extra bases. But, they couldn’t get anything else going at the plate.

The defense and pitching clinched the game for Bradford. Sturwold said getting outs on the bases was huge for this team. He also said the team wasn’t getting those outs earlier in the season, but the players’ baseball IQ has been getting better as the season went on and it’s showing.

Fort Loramie had some bases runners during the game. They got their lead-off man on in the bottom of the sixth. With one out and the runner still at first, freshman Colton Gambill caught a line drive and then got the runner out at first for the double play to end the inning.

All game long, the outfielders made some plays and the infield gave it all they had to get to ground balls. They did everything they could to help back up Miller on the mound.

Miller, the WOAC player of the year, pitched all seven innings and had nine strikeouts while allowing two hits.

Bradford is now 20-10 as they continue to add to the school record for wins in a season. Sturwold said it’s there time now to make a run. They will play the winner of Twin Valley South and Troy Christian. Bradford has regular season wins over both of those teams this season.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]

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