ARCANUM – The Arcanum baseball team beat rival Franklin Monroe 5-1 on Friday to complete a perfect Cross County Conference season, just the second in program history.
The Trojans’ 10th CCC championship was a historic one as this year’s team joined the 2010 squad as the only teams in program history to finish the CCC season undefeated. It also gave Arcanum back-to-back CCC championships for just the second time in program history, matching the feat of the 1991 and 1992 teams.
“That’s awesome,” Arcanum coach Randy Baker said of his team completing a 12-0 conference season. “That’s tough to do. We’re seeing everybody’s No. 1 pitcher, and everybody is geared up for you since you won the league last year and to come back and do it again … we battled some tough games, you know, we had a 2-1 game against Covington, 1-0 against (National) Trail so we’ve been in quite a bit of close games. It feels good.”
To finish the conference season undefeated, the Trojans had to take down a Franklin Monroe squad that previously had shut them out in a non-conference game at Fifth Third Field in Dayton.
The Jets weren’t ready to hand the Trojans an easy victory as they came out of the gate and quickly scored.
Cade McGlinch led off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice grounder by Logan Ressler. Back-to-back singles by Zach Hyre and Landon Peters had FM up 1-0 and threatening to take a big lead early.
However, Arcanum pitcher Jordan Dubbs got out of the inning with a groundout and a strikeout to end the threat and strand two runners.
“That was huge getting out of the first inning,” Coach Baker said. “They had guys I think on second and third there when they got out of that inning. A base hit there and we’re down 3-0 to start the game.”
Not to be outdone, Arcanum quickly responded to Franklin Monroe’s run with three of its own.
Cole Burrell, Dubbs, Conner Pohl and Austin Baker led off the bottom half of the first inning with four consecutive singles, giving the Trojans a 2-1 lead.
After a one-out single by Nathan Kubik, he and Austin Baker both stole a base. An attempt to get Austin Baker out at third went into left field, allowing him to score for a 3-1 Arcanum advantage.
“Cole Burrell came up, first at-bat there and drilled one up the middle and started the at-bats there for us,” Coach Baker said. “I thought that was one of the keys to the game right there.”
After giving up three hits in the first inning, Dubbs surrendered two in the second. However, solid defense behind him turned a double play and ended Franklin Monroe’s threat.
“We played well,” Franklin Monroe coach Eddie Meyers said. “We came out and hit the ball. I give credit to Arcanum. They’re a good team; they had a good season. Dubbs on the mound threw well for them today. We just didn’t catch any breaks, hit the ball right at them.”
After being set down in order in the second, Arcanum got its offense going again in the third inning.
Dubbs led off the inning with a triple and scored on a RBI single by Pohl. Hunter Saunders then drilled a RBI double into left to drive in Pohl and put the Trojans up 5-1.
Franklin Monroe again had a scoring threat in the fifth inning but once again couldn’t drive in anyone after getting a pair of hits.
“We didn’t have too many situational hitting there,” Meyers said. “We got guys on first and second a couple times with less than two outs and just couldn’t get situational hitting in.”
After getting five innings of one-run baseball from Dubbs, Arcanum turned to Burrell to finish out the game. He pitched two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and one walk in the seventh, to complete Arcanum’s perfect CCC season.
“We came out and hit the ball really, really well,” Coach Baker said. “Jordan pitched a decent game. Left the ball up a little bit – that’s normally not his style – but he battled through it, gave us five innings, and Cole came in and shut the door.”
Arcanum finished Friday’s game with nine hits and no errors while Franklin Monroe had eight hits and two errors. Dubbs earned the win for Arcanum, and Bryce Filbrun was charged with the loss for FM.
“Bryce Filbrun today threw a hell of a game,” Meyers said. “Six innings strong, threw very well.”
For Arcanum Burrell was 2-for-3 with a double. Austin Baker went 2-for-3 with a RBI. Pohl was 1-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. Kubik went 2-for-3.
“(Filbrun) shut us down there at Fifth Third Field,” Coach Baker said. “We didn’t score any runs off him at all. And to come out like we did today and hit the ball like we did off of him, we were pleasantly surprised to see that.”
For Franklin Monroe Hyre and McGlinch both had a pair of hits.
With the regular season winding down, Arcanum and Franklin Monroe both are getting ready for the start of the Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament.
“Very confident,” Meyers said of his team’s feelings entering postseason play. “We’ve played a couple of these teams so far earlier in the year and if we keep playing our baseball we’re going to be fine.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.