HAVILAND – Cooper Wenzlick threw a no-hitter and hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth to lead the Wayne Trace Raiders to a 6-1 victory in Division III sectional championship baseball action Friday night in Paulding County. It was a night that saw the red, white and blue get off to a slow start but finish strong as Wayne Trace improved to 19-5 overall on the season.

“It took us a couple of times through the lineup to get going offensively,” noted Raider head coach Ryne Jerome. “Cooper was a little more erratic than normal, but he just kept getting better as the game went along. That is a strength of his is that he tends to be at his best late in the game.”

The visiting Falcons struck first, getting an unearned run to take the early lead. With one out, Carson Young drew a walk before Alex Russler was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. Gauge King then hit a ground ball to Cale Winans who stepped on second base for a force-out. In trying to complete the double play, the ball became separated from Winans as he attempted to make the throw to first base and Young took advantage, coming all the way from second to score and put Riverdale on top 1-0.

The Raiders put two runners on in both the first and third but were unable to score before Wayne Trace dented the scoreboard in the fourth. Following a Kyle Slade strikeout to open the inning, Kyle Forrer reached on a Falcon error and stole second to get into scoring position. Tyler Davis then followed with a double to left field that plated Forrer to tie the contest at 1-1.

Evan Crosby then reached on a Riverdale error and Tyler Head walked to load the bases with one out. After Tucker Antoine popped out, Breven Anderson drew a bases-loaded walk to score Davis and put the Raiders on top 2-1.

Wenzlick shut down the Falcon offense in the fifth before the Raiders responded to push the margin to 3-1. Anderson singled with one out before Davis singled to left field with Riverdale’s Nathan Alge misplaying the ball and allowing Anderson to touch home for the Raiders as Wayne Trace opened a 3-1 advantage.

The red, white and blue put the game away in the sixth. Anderson singled with two outs and Cale Winans also singled, moving to second. Wenzlick then ripped a three-run homerun in the slavish with the schedule, setting the final at 6-1.

“I am proud of the way we kept battling,” Jerome continued. “It is about finding a way to get the win and we did that tonight.”

Breven Anderson chipped in two singles for Wayne Trace with Cale Winans, Kyle Slade, Kyle Forrer and Tyler Head all recording a single. Tyler Davis posted a single and a double for the Raiders. Wenzlick struck out a dozen hitters and gave up four walks on the mound. The 12 strikeouts helped the Raider junior set a new school record for strikeouts in a season with 82, breaking the old record of 73 by Ashton Duer.