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Truckers look to take that next step

Wes Douglas is scheduled to coach in the District 9 all-star baseball game Saturday at Mansfield St. Peter's Spartan Field. Staff
May 21, 2013

The Norwalk baseball coach will gladly trade that responsibility for another chance to coach the Truckers again.

If Norwalk tops Findlay Thursday, that means the Truckers are in the Division I district final at 1 p.m. Saturday Carter Park in Bowling Green.

The Truckers (24-4) are scheduled to play Findlay at 7:15 p.m. Thursday at BGSU in the second district semifinal.

Madison will go against Perrysburg in the opener.

The Truckers captured their third straight NOL title this season.

“This team has done every right,’’ said Douglas, who was selected the District 9 Division I Coach of the Year. “They’ve put themselves in the right spot. They definitely have the right attitude.”

Findlay edged Maumee 3-2 in eight innings and topped Anthony Wayne 6-3 to win a sectional title at Bowling Green.

Findlay ace Jimmy Orwick, a Notre Dame recruit, is out of the rotation, but will still contribute a .440 batting average in the lineup.

The Findlay coaching staff has three lefties in the rotation.

Nolan Atwood is 7-2 on the season.

Nick Bowden brings a 7-2 mark from right side.

“Atwood is a very good lefty,’’ Douglas said. “They beat a good Anthony Wayne team. They have a strong athletic school historically.’’

Douglas will counter with his own lefty in senior Michael Finch.

“We go with our lefty against their left-handed hitters,’’ Douglas said. “We scrimmaged Edison and they have some good lefties.’’

Finch has just under a 1.00 earned run average in 42 innings pitched. His 63 strikeouts led the Northern Ohio League this season.

He also picked up five wins to tie teammate Colin Obringer.

The Truckers have also shown the offensive punch this season.

Isaac Perry, the Division I District 9 Player of the Year, batted .495 in the league.

Joseph Hinckley swiped an NOL-leading 30 bases. He was also second in the NOL with 34 RBI, after teammate Ethan Rhodes.

Perry checked in fourth in the NOL with 30 RBI.

The Truckers pounded a league leading .375 batting average as a team.

“We broke school records in runs, RBI and doubles and tied for consecutive wins and total wins,’’ Douglas said. “This team has definitely left their mark.’’

Perry, Finch, Collin Souter, Hinckley, Rhodes and Obringer were all named to the District 9 team.

“That says a lot about the team and program,’’ Douglas said.

Last season, Norwalk reached the district semi in Division I and lost 6-0 in the semifinals to Maumee.

“They brought back the experience of playing on the field,’’ Douglas said. “Every step of the tournament ladder you face talented teams, especially from the Toledo area.’’

Norwalk played all of its 27 scheduled regular-season games in a six-week period.

They’ve had just one game in the last two weeks, downing Ashland 7-2 to win a Division I sectional crown at Mansfield Madison.

“We talk about how the week plays out,’’ Douglas said. “We’re working on little things. It comes down to a couple of little things. I’ve watched a lot of baseball recently and small ball is deciding games.’’

Norwalk hasn’t reached the district final since 2006, since falling to Perkins 3-0.

“This team is as good as any I’ve had,’’ Douglas said. “It’s definitely their goal.’’



Congrats WES !!!