Huber delivers Minster a 1-0 win in ACME state opener

CELINA — Minster's Doug Huber finished what he started.

Huber delivered a game-winning bases-loaded walkoff single to validate his complete game 10-strikeout one-hitter on the mound in Minster's 1-0 win over Springfield on Saturday in the opening game of the 2011 state ACME tournament in Celina.

Huber smacked a 3-1 pitch into the right field gap to bring home Devon Poeppelman and win the game after Springfield intentionally walked the two batters in front of him to set up a force at every base.

"The pitch was right down the middle and I took it to right center," Huber said.

"I (took the walks personally) a little bit," Huber added. "But they hurt themselves in the end."

A master of control and mixing speeds on the mound, the strikeout entered Huber's arsenal on a sweltering Saturday, as well.

Huber chalked the big strikeout total to wanting to get back into the dugout to cool down as quickly as he could.

"The heat definitely had something to do with it," Huber said, chuckling. "I don't know. The curveball worked well and I was locating my fastballs. Whatever does the trick. I just wanted to get out of this heat."

Temperatures reached the mid-90s with the synthetic surface at Celina  heating up to over 100 degrees. Still, both starting pitchers went the distance in the game.

Huber struck out the final four Springfield batters he faced.

"Doug was phenomenal today," Minster coach Scott Sherman said. "On the mound especially... His ball had a little more tail and he was throwing harder today.  He threw his curveball well and today his strikeout pitch was the fastball."

Minster (16-6) advances to the second round of the winner's bracket of the state tournament and will face the winner of Lima Shawnee and Toledo Central Catholic at 5 p.m.on Sunday at Montogomery Field at Eastview Park in Celina.

Minster stranded 12 runners on base before Huber finally delivered the game-winner in the seventh.

"It seemed like we had guys on base in every inning," Sherman said. "We just couldn't get that two-out hit to fall in. We had balls hit hard all game."

Ryan Hoying twice made deep flyball bids to untie the game for Minster. Hoying flew out to deep right fieldwith men on first and third base in the bottom of the third inning. Hoying flew out to deep center field in the bottom of the fifth inning with a runner on third base.

Minster stranded a runner in scoring position in each of the first six innings of the game.

But Devon Poeppelman led off the seventh with a single to right field and moved up to second on a wild pitch. Austin Knapke bunted Poeppelman over to third, setting up the two intentional walks to Adam Niemeyer and Ryan Hoying and Huber's heroics.

Minster is looking to become just the fourth team to ever win the state championship in the spring and follow it up with the ACME state title the following summer. This is Minster's first trip to the ACME tournament since 2004.

For full results of the weekend games at the ACME tournament, pick up Monday's print edition of The Evening Leader.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E LOB
Springfield 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 4
Minster 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 8 0 12

WP — Doug Huber