ACME: Wapak bows out
ST. HENRY — For four innings Tuesday night, Wapakoneta pitcher Brandon Miller was virtually flawless.
Unfortunately for Wapak, Minster ended that in a big way in the fifth inning.
Minster pounded out five straight hits to erase a 2-0 deficit and pull out a 3-2 win in the ACME baseball Auglaize County district final at the Wally Post Athletic Complex in St. Henry.
Wapak ended its season with a 20-4 record.
Miller had held Minster to just one hit and one walk through the first four innings.
But Minster had him figured out in the fifth.
Doug Huber lined a lead-off single up the middle. Then Rob Wente launched a double into the gap in right-center to put runners on second and third.
Drew Elson followed that up with a double to right-center of his own. It looked like right fielder Andrew Hines might be able to make a play on the ball and Wapak seemed to catch a break when Wente held up at second and only Huber scored.
But Ethan Wolf connected on Minster’s third straight double to score Wente and Elson. And Jay Eilerman’s infield single gave Minster runners on the corners with no outs.
“We didn’t look good for four straight innings,” Minster coach Scott Sherman said.
Chandler Kaeck replaced Miller on the mound and got some help from catcher Brandon Schreiber to get out of the inning.
Minster tried to run a double delayed steal. As Eilerman raced toward second, Schreiber caught Wolf napping at third and picked him off. Eilerman rounded second base on the throw to third and third baseman Marshall Gerlach quickly fired the ball to shortstop Josh Apple, who placed the tag on Eilerman.
Kaeck then got a strike out to end the inning. He scattered three hits over three innings of work and, thanks to a couple nifty defensive plays, held Minster scoreless.
“Defensively, we played really, really well,” Wapak coach Willie Sammetinger said.
But the damage was done.
Wapak scored two runs in the second inning to take an early 2-0 lead.
Kaeck led off with a double to left and moved to third on Gerlach’s sacrifice bunt. Hines drew a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Dominic Campos.
Alex Koch then smashed a double into right-center to drive in Kaeck and Hines.
But Minster’s Adam Neimeier held Wapak to just one hit — a third-inning single by Miller — the rest of the way.
Neimeier picked up the complete-game win. He struck out seven while allowing just three hits and two walks.
“As the game went on, he was throwing the ball harder and he was locating the ball well,” Sherman said.
Miller was tagged with the loss.
Before it could face Minster, Wapak had to get past Van Wert.
Wapak and Van Wert had to complete the losers’ bracket final, which had been suspended due to lightning the night before.
Wapak scored five runs on four walks and two singles in the sixth inning and added an insurance run in the seventh to erase a 7-6 deficit and pull out the win.
Chase Culver picked up the win in relief for Wapak.