The Wapakoneta Redskins’ bats came alive Tuesday and the team got another solid performance from their top right-handed pitcher as the varsity boys captured a run-rule win.
Starting Redskin pitcher Chace Culver pitched 5 innings, giving up only four hits and zero earned runs, in the 11-1 win over the Greenville Green Wave.
Due to construction at the varsity field at Wapakoneta High School, the game was played at Legion Field, the former varsity field at Wapakoneta Middle School, but that didn’t stop the Redskins rom feeling right at home.
“It’s a different setting here at the middle school, not really what we’re used to, but my arm felt good,” Culver said. “My off-speed was pretty decent for my first time out.”
Culver struck out out four and walked one in the victory. His pitch count was around 80 pitches.
“My pitch count was a little higher than I’d like it to be, but not bad for my first time out,” Culver said.
The Redskins gave Culver plenty of run support, scoring four runs in the first inning. Chandler Kaeck hit a two-out, 2-RBI single to right field in the first frame to give the Redskins a 2-1 lead.
“He’s a very good hitter and he’s got a great set of hands,” Redskin varsity coach Jason Brandt said. “He can spread the ball around and go to all fields. He’s got a good eye to cover the plate. Good day at the plate for him.”
Kaeck finished 3-for-4 with 4 RBIs and a run. All his hits were singles.
“Today we had great approaches at the plate,” Brandt said. “This is a better hitting facility, here at the middle school, than it is at our school, just because of the way the field is set up. The kids came ready to play, right from the first inning.”
One of the runs Kaeck drove in, in the first inning was Josh Apple, who reached on an infield bunt. On his way through the bag, he was tripped by the first baseman, and hurt his upper leg on the play. Apple would remain in the game.
“My day wasn’t going well after I had that bunt base hit and hurt myself going down to first,” Apple said. “I was thinking to myself, ‘This is going to be a bad day.’”
Apple was cleated later by a player attempting to steal second.
“Later on a steal attempt, a guy sliding into second got all leg, no base,” Apple said. “That didn’t feel good,.”
In the fifth inning, Apple had another plate appearance and took full advantage of it, pulling a low fastball to left, clearing the wall for a two run shot.
“I got another at-bat, and I was thinking, ‘Can’t really get worse here,’” Apple said. “I got up there, and just a good approach. Hit a low fastball on a full count with two outs. It was just a good approach.”
Apple finished the day with those two hits and two RBIs.
The very next pitch from the Greenville pitcher, who had already hit three batters in the game, was a fastball thrown behind center fielder Johnny Crawford. The umpire issued warnings to both benches, and issued a warning to the pitcher.
After the short delay, the Redskins quickly scored the remaining runs needed to enact the run-rule, and the game was over.
“Everything starts in the first inning,” Brandt said. “We piled it on and made their pitcher throw a lot of pitches, and we went from there.”
The lone Green Wave run came on a throwing error on a steal attempt in the first inning.
The player took second base on a steal, and third on a throwing error. Two batters later, a sacrifice fly to right field scored the only Greenville run.
“We knew the top of the order liked to steal, had that scouting report on him,” Brandt said. “Brandon (Schreiber) made a nice throw, was just a little off line. That throwing error led to their only run. He made up for it though, later in the game he came back and threw out two more guys.”
Schreiber threw out two guys attempting to take second base, and he took second base twice on his own. With two steals on the day for Schreiber, he now has six on the season, through two games.
Schreiber went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI and two stolen bases.
“Our kids were ready and focused. This isn’t the best playing surface, but our kids came ready,” Brandt said. “Honestly, everybody had good, quality at-bats.”
Wapakoneta improves to 2-0 on the year. Thursday’s game against Lima Senior is questionable, due to a lack of players on the Spartan squad.
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