By SCOTT COTTOS
ADA — Alex Sierra seemed to get stronger on the mound as the game went on.
And by the time he was finished, Fostoria High School’s junior right-hander owned a one-hitter and the Redmen possessed a 6-0 victory over Ada in a first-round game of the Division III Elida district baseball tournament at War Memorial Park.
The 13th-seeded Redmen improved to 3-20 and earned a bid in Friday’s 5 p.m. quarterfinal contest at second-seeded Fort Recovery. Twelfth-seeded Ada finished its season at 5-15.
“It was a lot of fun,” Sierra said. “All of us came to play. We were really excited to play. We knew we had a chance to win. We came out and gave it 100 percent and just ended up on top.”
Fostoria coach Justin Gunka was happy for a strong all-around performance that included 10 hits in support of Sierra, who struck out 13, walked three and hit two batters.
“This was a good one,” Gunka said. “Alex Sierra did a great job on the bump. He came out throwing strikes. We scored some runs early; we got three in the first (inning). That always helps. For us to get up early and have a guy on the mound throwing strikes makes things easier.”
Sierra struck out the side in the last two innings, with 10 of his punchouts coming in the last four frames.
“I was kind of overthrowing at the beginning,” he said. “That’s why everything was kind of sailing on me. Then I just kind of tuned in — the laser focus that my dad and my coaches have always told me about. You just focus in, throw strikes and get the (win).”
It’s typical of Sierra to get better as the game wears on, Gunka said.
“When he gets loosened up … he does that,” he said. “That’s Alex Sierra. Sometimes it’s too many pitches and it puts us in a position where we can’t win, but (today) he was consistently in the strike zone and did a fine job.”
Count Ada coach Jason Campbell as among those who Sierra left impressed.
“That was a good team,” he said of the Redmen. “They hit the ball. The pitcher worked both sides of the plate. He threw a good game. He kept us off balance. They took advantage of some situations. I wish those guys good luck. I want to see somebody we play go pretty far in this tournament.”
Ada’s only baserunners came via three walks in the first three innings. It’s only hit came in the fourth when Colten Shafer beat out a one-out bunt that died immediately in front of home plate.
Shafer went to third on a fielder’s choice out, and Sierra stranded him by fanning Ethan Hall.
By that time, Fostoria already had three runs from a first inning that included a run-scoring single by Trey Groves and a pair of Philip Coulson balks that sent runners home from third.
The Redmen stole seven bases in a three-run sixth inning that also included Sierra scoring on another Coulson balk and a run-scoring double by Roger Hall.
Hall and Colin Drake each hit a double and a single for Fostoria, while Jesus “Goose” Garcia singled three times and Groves finished with a pair of singles.
Coulson went the distance on the mound, striking out eight and walking one.
Fostoria 300 003 0 — 6 9 1
Ada 000 000 0 — 0 1 2
WP — Sierra. LP — Coulson. top hitters: (Fos) Garcia 3-1B; Groves 2-1B, RBI; Drake 1B, 2B; Hall 1B, 2B, RBI. (Ada) Shaffer 1B.
records: Fostoria 3-20, Ada 5-15.