Redskins edged in state title game

Mike Frank
Sports Editor

COLUMBUS — Down to the wire — and just a bit shy.
The Wapakoneta baseball team saw its dream of a state championship come close, with a seventh-inning rally by Chaminade-Julienne leading to a 3-1 win and the Divison II state title.
It is the second state title in school history for the Eagles, the other having come back in 1970. They were the runner-up a year ago.
For Wapakoneta, the loss came six years to the day of their previous championship appearance in 2012.
Saturday's contest was dominated by pitching, as the teams were locked in a scoreless duel through 5 1/2 innings. Each side had opportunities, but were unable to capitalize.
In the bottom of the sixth with one out, Don Goodes singled to center. He then stole second, and was awarded third on a balk. After a strikeout, Wyatt Moyler got to a 3-0 count. The next pitch was wide for ball four — so wide it eluded the catcher and allowed Goodes to race in and dive across the plate.
Down to its final at-bat, the Eagles got a leadoff walk, then a sacrifice bunt. A pinch-hitter then drew another walk to put runners on the corners.
Going back to the top of the order, junior Andrew Simones put a grounder to the right side of the infield. The throw to second went into shallow left, allowing the tying run to score. The next batter was intentionally walked, and another base on balls loaded the bases. Sophomore Sebastian Gongora then singled to center, putting the Eagles ahead.
Bubba Miller of Wapakoneta created some hope with a leadoff triple, but was left there as two strikeouts and a flyout ended the game.
Coach Jason Brandt of Wapakoneta said, "It was a great game — just what you'd expect (in a state final."
He gave praise to Chaminade-Julienne's Nick Wissman, the winning pitcher. "We didn't swing the bats that well. He kept us off balance." Wissman pitched the full game, with two walks and one hit batter, and nine strikeouts.
Joel Roediger started for Wapakoneta, his first action in nearly a month after an arm injury. "He got through the lineup once. He battled and preserved," said Brandt.
Roediger pitched two innings, allowing two hits and two walks, Manny Vorhees threw the other five innings, giving up just the one hit, along with five walks and one hit batter. Roediger had two strikeouts and Vorhees got three.
Offensively, Goodes had two hits, Wyatt Moyler had a single and walk, and Miller had the three-bagger.
Chaminade-Julienne led off the game with a big threat. Simones drew a walk, and Ryan Peltier followed with a single up the middle. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third. After a strikeout, Wissman worked the count full, then got ball four to put runners at each station. Roediger then induced a grounder to second, ending the inning and avoiding an early deficit.
Goodes opened Wapakoneta's night by beating out an infield hit. Two batters later, Moyler drove one up the middle. Both moved up on a passed ball. However, a groundout by Mitch Apple, then Miller called out on strikes shut things down.
In the bottom of the third, Roediger drew a leadoff walk. He then tried to steal second, but was tagged out after overshooting the base just a bit, and Wissman retired then next two batters.
The next inning, Apple was struck in the back to get aboard with one out. Miller reached as the Eagles chose to get the force play at second. Miller then stole second, but was picked off to end the inning.
In the top of the fifth, Vorhees hit the leadoff batter. After a sacrifice bunt moved him over, the Eagles put in a pinch runner. Simones drew a walk. Vorhees then dug down, getting Peltier looking. AJ Solomon worked the count full, fouled the next pitch off, but then swung and missed on an 88 mph heater.
Wapakoneta went 1-2-3 in the fifth, as did Chaminade-Julienne in the top of the sixth.
After Goodes worked his way around without benefit of an additional hit, his dive brought the large contingent of Redskins rooters to their feet.
The Eagles' DH, Jack Huffman, drew the walk to start the seventh, and was replaced by Zack Scott. The next man, Ben Thomas bunted Scott over to second. The Eagles brought Elliot Seelig off the bench, who got the second walk, then was replaced by Kyle Benoit, who he had batted for.
The grounder and misplay was next, with Benoit going to third. After Simones stole second and Vorhees went 2-2 to Peltier, Wapakoneta conceded the walk. Solomon's pass filled the bags, and Gongora came through with what proved to be the game-winning hit.
After Miller's triple, Schenk struck out swinging, Campos was called out, and Jett Makar's fly to left fell into the outfielder's glove.

Game Notes
Excellent crowd on hand from Wapakoneta, as they filled the majority of seats on the first-base side behind the Redskins dugout.

In other state championships on Saturday, Fort Loramie won the Division IV title over Hicksville 8-4, scoring all eight runs in the fifth. In Division III, South Range defeated Coldwater 3-2, while Olentangy Liberty defeated Anthony Wayne 8-1 for the Division I title.
It was the first appearance in the state tourney for Olentangy Liberty and South Range, and thus their first titles. Fort Loramie claimed its third title, having previously won in 2007 and 2010.

Wapakoneta finishes 24-2 on the season.

Completing their high school careers for Wapakoneta were seniors Mitch Apple, Wyatt Moyler, A.J. Campos, Joel Roediger, Rob Gerstner, C.J. Reser, Manny Vorhees, Bubba Miller, Don Goodes, and Gage Schenk.

Score by innings
CJ 000 000 3 — 3 3 0
W 000 001 0 — 1 4 1

WP — WIssman; LP — Vorhees.