Redskins win nine-inning thriller

Manny VorheesMike Burton
Sports Editor

Mike Burton's aggressive base running in extra-innings proved to be the difference in Wapakoneta's nine-inning 4-3 win over host Celina a key Western Buckeye League baseball game Tuesday.

Tied at 3-all in the top of the ninth, the Redskins' Burton collected a two-out hit and made it to second when Wyatt Moyler drew a walk. Bubba Miller then hit a slow roller to short and beat the throw to first. Here Burton took over as he never slowed down in rounding third on the infield hit and made it home safely under the tag of the Bulldog catcher for what turned out to be the winning run. Maddux Liles, who pitched the final 5 1/3 innings for the Redskins, shut the door on the Bulldogs in the bottom of the ninth, sending the Redskins to their 15th win of the season.

More importantly, the win gives the Redskins sole possession of first place in the WBL baseball standings. Coming into the game, Wapakoneta and Celina were the only two teams in the WBL without a league loss, but by beating the Bulldogs Tuesday, the Redskins are now 7-0 in league play, while Celina falls to 5-1.

This doesn't mean the Redskins are out of the woods quite yet, however, when it comes to securing a league title. Wapakoneta has two league games left, as it hosts Defiance Friday and Ottawa-Glandorf Tuesday, both of which have winning records in the WBL.

Wapakoneta collected nine hits against Celina Tuesday, with Mitch Apple, Burton, and Liles each stroking two hits apiece for Redskins head coach Jason Brandt. Miller's infield hit in the ninth provided the game-winning RBI in the, while Apple, Liles and Nate Schroer also knocked in a run apiece for the winners.

Gage Schenk started on the mound for the Redskins and went 3 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out three. Liles took over in the bottom of the fourth and blanked the Bulldogs the rest of the way, striking out four.

Celina pitching racked up 10 strikeouts, but also coughed up 10 walks, including the ninth-inning freebie to Moyler which put Burton in scoring position.

As noted above, Wapakoneta hosts Defiance in another WBL contest Friday, then entertains Elmwood in a non-league game Saturday.