Wapakoneta downs Firelands in regional semis

By: 
Mike Frank
Sports Editor

School may be out, but Wapakoneta is still offering lessons.
The "Redskins Express" continued to chug along Thursday, as Wapakoneta defeated Firelands 12-0 in five innings in the Region 6 semifinal of the Division II baseball tournament.
Gage Schenk was in full command, allowing just three hits and two walks. He had nine strikeouts on the day, with at least one in each inning.
At the plate, the Redskins were plenty busy, going down in order just once. Don Goodes had a triple and single, A.J. Campos doubled, Manny Vorhees had a double and single, Wyatt Moyler had three hits and a walk, and Schenk drew two walks and had a single. Bubba Miller had a single, walk and sacrifice fly.
Goodes, Moyler, and Miller had two RBIs each, while Schenk and Apple each had one.
Adam Lacey took the loss for Firelands, giving up four runs in 1 1/3 innings. He allowed four hits and three walks, and struck out one. Alex Brill pitched 1 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on three hits, with two walks. Jacob Newman pitched the final two frames, with four runs on five hits. He had one strikeout.
Coach Jason Brandt of Wapakoneta said, "We had a real good approach. The kids were patient, and we just continued to build (momentum)." He pointed to the fact that they caused Lacey to throw 34 pitches in just the first inning.
Brandt praised Schenk's effort, saying, "he's a three-year starter. He's pitched in a lot of big games." Schenk said that "my arm felt great. I had a great catcher behind the plate and a great offense behind me." He said he was eager for the opportunity. "I love a challenge," he said.
Wapakoneta batted first and got to work right away. Vorhees reached on an error, then stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. Walks to Moyler and Miller filled the other two bases. Schenk then got to a full count. The next pitch was ball four, forcing in Vorhees with the game's first score.
After a strikeout to open the bottom half, Colin Ransom walked. The next batter hit a popup which was caught in foul ground by first base. Ransom took off during the next at-bat, but Jett Makar's throw was straight and true, ending the inning.
Firelands got the first batter, but Joel Roediger was hit on the arm, then stole second. Going back to the top of the order, Goodes drove the ball well into right for an RBI triple. Vorhees then bounced one to third.
The infielder held the ball while looking Goodes back, then threw to first, but not before Vorhees' foot hit the bag. Moyler reached on a ball that short hopped the first baseman, which allowed Goodes to come around to score. Vorhees slipped after rounding third and retreated safely.
But he didn't have to wait long, as Apple singled to left, making it 4-0 and ending Lacey's day.
Brill came in and struck out two of three batters to prevent further damage.
Schenk put up two strikeouts before giving up his first hit of the day. He then got Jacob Millins swinging.
Makar led off the third with a single to left, and advanced when Roediger put down a sacrifice bunt. A single to left by Goodes brought Makar home. Vorhees then lifted a fly ball into the gap in left-center. The two outfielders converged, but were unable to find it against the bright sun. Vorhees wound up at second, with Goodes at third.
Moyler then lined a ball into left, scoring Goodes, and then taking second as well. A wild pitch allowed Vorhees to steam down the line with the line and make it 7-0. Following a walk to Apple, Miller put one up in the air. It was caught in right, but was deep enough to allow Moyler to score. A grounder ended the inning.
Schenk got a groundout and strikeout in the third. Austin Urban then singled to right, and the ball bounced toward the fence, allowing him to go to third. Colin Ransom walked, giving Firelands multiple runners for the first time. Schenk bore down and got Brill on strikes to preserve the shutout.
After Wapakoneta went in order against Newman, Firelands' Calvin Shull singled to right in the bottom half. A pinch runner, Tim Street, was sent in. Schenk got a flyout to left. The next batter, Myers, swung and missed at a pitch as Street took off for second. Makar popped up and zipped the ball there in time for the out. Myers then struck out on the next pitch to end the inning.
Goodes struck out to open the inning, but Vorhees cheered the Redskin faithful up with a double to deep left-center. A single to right followed by Moyler, putting Vorhees at third.
With a lefthander now pitching for Firelands, Wapakoneta pulled off a daring play. Moyler danced off first, and the catcher threw down to try and pick him off.
Vorhees, having been told by Brant to "be ready", streaked down the line and dove safely across the plate. Afterwards, Brandt explained, "Manny read it perfectly. He's a heady baseball player. We could afford to be a little aggressive at that point."
Schenk helped himself out with a single to left that found a spot in front of the fielder. Campos doubled to the gap in left-center, to score Moyler and Schenk, pushing the lead to an even dozen.
Schenk trotted out for the fifth, and kept it short and sweet. He needed just eight pitches to get a groundout and two strikeouts to put a cap on the win.

Game Notes
In 2012, Wapakoneta played at Tiffin, defeating Padua Franciscan in the regional semifinal, and Defiance in the regional final.

Wapakoneta (22-1) will meet Ontario, which defeated Lakewood 2-1 in the second game of the doubleheader Thursday. That contest will be today at 5 p.m. at Carter Park. The Warriors are 25-3 on the year.

The winner will face the Region 7 champion next Friday in the state semifinal at Huntington Park in Columbus. That final will see Steubenville (15-6) take on Circleville (18-5) at Ohio University today at 5 p.m.

Score by innings
Wapak 134 04 — 12
Fire 000 00 — 0

WP — Schenk. LP — Lacey
3B — Goodes;
2B — Vorhees, Campos.

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