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ST. HENRY — The Minster Wildcats are the lone team in the St. Henry portion of the district ACME bracket without a loss after a pair of wins over the weekend. A 10-4 win over Delphos St. John’s on Saturday and a 10-0 run-rule win over Van Wert on Sunday have Minster a win away from advancing to the finals of the district tourney.
Wapakoneta stayed alive on Sunday with a win over Delphos St. John’s on Sunday a day after falling behind early and losing to Van Wert 10-8 on Saturday at St. Henry.
Van Wert and Wapakoneta will meet again tonight at 7 p.m. at the Wally Post Athletic Center in St. Henry at 7 p.m. in an elimination game. The winner of that game will face Minster.
If the winner of the St. Henry and Celina portions of the district bracket both are without a loss, the two finalists will play a best of three series at St. Henry. If one or both of the teams from both sides emerging from the brackets have a loss, double elimination rules will apply.
Minster 10, Del. St. John’s 4
Minster scored six runs in the top of the seventh inning to break open a close game on Saturday.
The Wildcats batted around in the seventh with Ryan Hoying and Doug Huber delivering back-to-back two-out two-run hits in a rally that turned what was a lockstep battle into a comfortable win.
“It took us seven inning, but we finally got those big two-out hits,” Minster head coach Scott Sherman said. “Definitely helps putting extra runs on the board there.”
Hoying went 3 for 3 at the plate for Minster with two runs batted in.
Doug Huber pitched into the seventh inning to get the win before handing things over to Austin Knapke, who wiggled out of a bases-loaded no-out jam to seal the 10-4 victory.
“He was around the plate all day,” Sherman said.
The early scoring in the tight battle between Midwest Athletic Conference programs that both reached the state tournament this spring was call and response.
After Minster stranded the bases loaded in the top of the first, the Wildcats scored the game’s first two runs in the top of the second inning. Ethan Wolf came home on a double steal. Austin Knapke added the second run on a sacrifice fly to center field.
Delphos St. John’s responded right back with two runs in the bottom of the second. Austin Reindel singled up the middle to plate Isaac Klausing and a throwing error by the centerfielder bright home Ryan Buester to tie the game.
Minster again went up by two runs in the fifth inning. Doug Huber led off the frame with a single to right field. Rob Wente walked to set up Drew Elson’s sacrifice bunt. After Wolf walked to load the bases, Andrew Knapke delivered an RBI fielder’s choice and DSJ committed an error to make it 4-2.
Again Delphos St. John’s came back to tie things in the bottom of the inning. Jordan Bergfeld plated a run with an RBI groundout to third base and Troy Warnecke singled with two outs to right field tie the game, 4-4.
Minster stranded 11 baserunners in the game while the Blue Jays left nine runners standing.
Van Wert 10, Wapakoneta 8
The Wapakoneta ACME baseball team , a squad with an 18-2 record and all the momentum of a clean run through the sectional tournament last weekend, found itself knocked back on its heels by Van Wert with by an early display of Cougar power.
A pair of Van Wert home runs, including a second-inning grand slam by Matt Cucciare, keyed the Cougars in a 10-8 opening game win over Wapakoneta on Saturday.
Van Wert sent 13 batters to the plate — including 10 hitters after there were two outs in the inning — during a seven-run inning that put Wapakoneta on its heels.
Vincent Morland drove in the first run of the game with a single to score Brandt Henry and after a walk to load the bases, Cucciare blasted a home run into the teeth of the wind and over the left field fence to put Van Wert up 5-0.
A pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases again in the inning. A bases loaded walk and an RBI double made it 7-0.
“Seven unearned runs with two outs and we get beat 10-8,” Wapakoneta head coach Willie Sammetinger said. “We didn’t make plays when we had to. This time it bit us big-time. It kind of took it out of us.”
Van Wert went up 9-0 in the top of the third inning on a Terrin Contreras two-run, two-out opposite field home run to right field.
Van Wert led 10-0 after four and appeared to be ready to run-rule the flat Wapakoneta squad when the Redskins bats woke up.
Wapakoneta staved off the run-rule with a run in the bottom of the fifth inning on a Chandler Kaeck RBI fielder’s choice ground out.
Wapak scored three runs in the sixth. Dylan Knoch doubled in a run to send Van Wert starting pitcher Brandt Henry from the game. Josh Apple then brought Knoch home with a sacrifice fly to right field to make it 10-3. Brandon Scheiber walked and came around to score on a Van Wert error.
Wapakoneta almost made it all the way back before running out of outs in the seventh.
A pair of walks led off the bottom of the seventh for Wapakoneta and things got interesting when Knoch tripled in a pair of runs. Apple’s groundout to shortstop plated Knoch to make it 10-8, but a flyout and a grounder to second base ended the rally and the game.
Minster 10, Van Wert 0
Wapak beat DSJ
Minster run-ruled the Cougars and advanced to Tuesday without a loss in the district yet.
Wapakoneta bounced Delphos St. John’s from the district tournament with a win in the afternoon.