Wapakoneta ACME overcame a brief 3-0 deficit by scoring seven straight runs in a 7-4 win over Minster ACME on Tuesday in baseball action at Wapakoneta High School.
The two teams are battling for the top seed in the sectional tournament which starts Sunday.
Tuesday’s win gave Wapak a 10-6 record, while the loss put Minster at 9-3-1. Wapak’s first loss this summer came June 11 in a 5-2 defeat at Minster, so each team has a three-run victory over the other.
Wapak starting pitcher Jake Bruns had a rough first inning but rebounded to shut down the Minster offense Tuesday.
After retiring the first two batters in the top of the first, Bruns allowed a walk and three straight singles, giving Minster a quick 3-0 lead.
Bruns struck out his positional counterpart, Minster starter Matthew Trushaw, to end the first. The strikeout proved to be Bruns’ first of six against the next seven Minster hitters.
Wapak took its first and final lead of the game in the second inning, sending 10 batters to the plate.
Chace Culver led the inning with a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch. The next batter, Taylor Gonzales, reached first after Minster’s catcher Drew Ripploh misplaced a swinging strike three.
Bruns plated Culver with a single for Wapak’s first run.
Following two consecutive outs, Quinn Lotridge’s two-RBI single scored Gonzales and Bruns, tying the game at 3-3. Lotridge moved to second base on a single by Jordan Kaeck, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch to give Wapak the lead at 4-3.
Chandler Kaeck walked, while Nate Kaeck was awarded first base on catcher obstruction.
Culver, in his second at-bat of the inning, grounded out to shortstop for the third out, stranding the bases loaded with Kaecks.
Wapak resumed the scoring in its next at-bat, doing so with two outs.
Keaton Metz doubled, while Kodi Morgan walked, before Lotridge plated both with a double to increase Wapak’s lead to 6-3. The two runs gave Lotridge his fourth RBI of the game.
Jordan Kaeck singled to score Lotridge but was thrown out trying to reach second base, ending the inning with Wapak leading 7-3.
Bruns cruised until the seventh inning, when Minster was able to bring the go-ahead run to the plate.
Trushaw provided a leadoff single, stole second and reached third on a single by Josh Nixon, who was the last batter Bruns faced Tuesday. Chandler Kaeck relieved Bruns.
Lotridge made a diving catch in center field for the seventh inning’s second out against the first hitter Kaeck faced.
A single by Brandon Hoying scored Trushaw to make the score 7-4 in Wapak’s favor.
With the bases loaded, Clay Brown popped out to the catcher to end the game.
Taking the win, Bruns struck out nine batters Tuesday. He allowed seven hits, three earned runs and three walks.
“Jake pitched great,” Wapak assistant coach Chris Lotridge said. “Our pitching staff is getting a little thin. We’ve played a lot of games and have a lot of games this week. Him going into the seventh was absolutely huge.”
Lotridge explained why Bruns was able to rebound from allowing three runs in the first.
“He got into that groove,” Lotridge said. “In the first inning, he didn’t find the zone.”
Chandler Kaeck earned a save for his relief appearance.
Quinn Lotridge paced the Wapak offense Tuesday with two hits, two runs and four RBI.
“We hit the ball well,” Chris Lotridge said Tuesday. “The first time we played against these guys, the same pitcher went against us and threw a one-hitter complete game. We showed up much better tonight.
“We dealt with the curveball better,” he said. “Last time we did not handle it well.”
Wapak will host Lima Central Catholic today with a start time of 5:30 p.m. and face Sidney at home Thursday at 6:30 p.m.