Panthers rally past Redskins to win Div. II District crown

By: 
TOM STEPHENS
Sports Editor

George Harrison reminded us that all things must pass, and so it was for the Wapakoneta baseball season as the Redskins dropped a 5-3 decision to Maumee in the Division II District Final at Patrick Henry High School Monday afternoon.

The loss caps a wonderful season for the Redskins, who won their first Western Buckeye League baseball championship for the first time in 21 years this spring.

“We’re all disappointed and have a bad taste in our mouths,” Brandt said of the district final loss to the Panthers, “but we know that the sun will come up tomorrow.”

When asked what he told his team after the disappointing loss to Maumee, Brandt said he reminded them that, despite what they might feel in the moment, when they look back they will realize that they had a terrific season by any standard.

“Our saying all year was ‘Leave your legacy’ and we told our seniors that they definitely left their legacy,” Brandt said. “We won the WBL title for the first time in 21 years. We ended up state poll champs which no Wapak team has ever done in any sport, I don’t believe. We have nine players who made all-league or all-district, which is the most ever for a Wapak team. They have a lot to hang their hat on.”

The Redskins finish the season with a 20-4 record, the least amount of losses in a season in program history.

In Monday’s Div. II District Final at Patrick Henry, top-seeded Wapakoneta jumped on the scoreboard first with a run in the bottom of the second when Mitch Apple reached on an error, then made it around the bases helped out by hits by Wyatt Moyler and Bubba Miller and the Panthers inability to hold on to the baseball.

The Redskins added two more in the third under similar circumstances, as Maddux Liles was hit by a pitch and scrambled around to score following another Panther error and a single by Apple, who himself then scored again on by a single by Mike Burton to give the Redskins a 3-0 lead.

Maumee struck back for one in the top of the fourth, and then turned it around in the sixth, tying the score at 3-all when the Panthers plated two runs with two outs following a single, an error and a double.

Wapak loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the inning, but the Panthers turned a ground ball into a 4-6-3 double play ending the Redskins’ threat. The Panthers carried that momentum into the top of the seventh where they collected a single, took advantage of another Redskin error, and brought them both around with a two-run single.

Maumee advances to play Parma Padua Franciscan in the regional semifinals Thursday at Bowling Green’s Carter Park. Lexington will play Jonathan Alder in the other semifinal.

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