MINSTER — The Minster Wildcats baseball team had to battle from behind Wednesday afternoon to emerge from the Division IV sectional tournament. The Wildcats scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to rally past the Spencerville Bearcats 7-4 in a sectional title game held at Hanover Street Park.
Minster once again is headed back to the district tournament, but not before getting a scare from a young, talented Bearcat team.
“I’m giving a lot of credit to our guys for learning how to battle,” Minster head coach Mike Wiss said. “But I’m also giving credit to a young Spencerville team because in one, two or three years they might get one of those seeds and it might be us playing them on their field.”
The Wildcats (15-12) will play Fort Recovery next Wednesday in a district semifinal at Coldwater at 4:30 p.m. The Wildcats beat the Indians 1-0 in extra innings two weeks ago. The Indians beat Lincolnveiw 15-0 on Wednesday.
“One of our goals every year is to get off of our own field,” Minster head coach Mike Wiss said. “Our goal is to host it and our goal is to get off of it. That is a big thing for us. Luckily we had a run midway through the season to get the number three seed.”
In the top of the sixth inning Spencerville took their only lead of the game as they scored a pair of runs. With one out, Shimp reached on an error and promptly stole second. After a walk to Ringwald, Wisher singled to left. Catcher Josh Nixon attempted to pick off Wisher but the throw went into right allowing Shimp to score. Mitchell Youngpeter drew a walk and Ringwald scored on a ground out to make the score 4-2.
Brandon Hoying went six innings on the mound for the Wildcats, giving up four runs, t— two earned — on five hits. He struck out seven and walked two. Matt Trushaw came on for a scoreless top of the seventh with a strikeout.
“Brandon battled and I’m going to give him this,” Wiss said. “After the 45 minute layoff five of the next six outs were strikeouts.”
In the bottom of the sixth inning Minster opened the floodgates scoring five times to regain the lead after trailing 4-2.
With one out, Brad Walterbusch drew a walk and Jacob Wuebker singled up the middle. Josh Nixon popped out, but Peter Falk walked to load the bases. Brandon Hoying walked to bring home Walterbusch and close the score to 4-3.
Bubba Shimp took over for Thad Ringwald on the mound and J. R. Nixon walked to bring home Wuebker to tie the game. Clay Brown singled to right to bring home Falk and Hoying and Brown advanced to second on the throw. Garrett Hogenkamp came in to run for Brown and Nixon scored on a wild pitch to make the score 7-4. Drew Ripploh lined out to end the inning.
Minster got on the board first with solo runs in the second and third innings.
In the second inning Clay Brown drew a walk and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ripploh. Max Huber doubled to left to bring home Brown with the first run of the game.
The Wildcats got an run in the third inning. Josh Nixon reached on an error. Following a fly out, Hoying laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Nixon to second and he scored on a single to center by J. R. Nixon.
“Spencerville is young,” Wiss said. “They have five freshman and three sophomores on the field. One of the things we wanted to do is to win the first three innings and tonight we did.”
But it didn’t take Spencerville long to catch up as they scored twice in the fourth inning. With one out, Hunter French singled to short and he scored on a double to deep left by Shimp. Shimp came home to tie the game when Ringwald reached on an error. David Wisher reached on a single to left and then the game was stopped because lightning.
After a 45 minute delay, play resumed and Hoying struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
Spencerville’s James Schaad started the game and pitched two and two-thirds innings giving up two runs, one earned, on three hits. He struck out none and walked one. Thad Ringwald came on and pitched three innings giving up four runs on three hits. He struck out five and walked five. Bubba Shimp pitched a third of an inning giving up a run on one hit and one walk.