MINSTER — Rivals facing off on the opening night of the Auglaize County ACME sectional tournament made for a pair of exciting, one-run games.
Wapakoneta scored five unanswered runs to rally past the St. Marys ACME baseball team 5-4 to cap a doubleheader opening night at Hanover Street Park on Monday night. Top-seeded Minster used a stellar pitching performance from Matthew Trushaw to edge rival New Bremen 2-1 in the opening game.
The games were originally scheduled to be played on Sunday, but they were pushed back because of rain. Minster and Wapakoneta will now play in the winner’s bracket tonight at 6:30 p.m. St. Marys and New Bremen will face off on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m.
WAPAKONETA 5, ST. MARYS 4
Chandler Kaeck’s bases-loaded single to right field drove in the go-ahead run to cap Wapakoneta’s four-run sixth inning that decided the game.
“The mark of a good team is when the chips are down they find a way to win,” Wapakoneta head coach Willie Sammetinger said. “We did that tonight.”
St. Marys vs. Wapakoneta ACME baseball photos
St. Marys took an early 4-0 lead and looked to be sailing along with starting pitcher Brandon Coffey mowing down the Redskins.
The Roughriders put up three runs in the bottom of the second when Coffey walked to start the inning, Mason Gross singled and ninth-place hitter Collin Burke drew a free pass to load the bases.
Nate Vogel followed with a single to center that brought home both Coffey and Gross. A wild pitch then allowed Burke to come home for the 3-0 lead.
Marshall Lininger led off the bottom of the third with a double over the head of the centerfielder. Coffey moved him to third with one out on a sac bunt. Lininger came home after Mason Gross soft line drive towards second caromed off the glove of the second baseman and back to the pitcher, who threw him out at first. St. Marys led 4-0.
Coffey kept the Redskins off the scoreboard until the fifth inning, striking out three and allowing just one hit through the first four innings.
Wapakoneta broke through in the fifth with a Jordan Kaeck RBI groundout that brought Cody Morgan home with the bases loaded. But Coffey limited the damage, getting Chandler Kaeck to groundout to shortstop to maintain the Riders’ 4-1 lead.
Wapakoneta didn’t let a bases-loaded chance kept past it again in the sixth. Jake Bruns walked to lead off the inning, Taylor Gonzalez singled to right field. Cody Morgan cut the lead to 4-2 with an RBI single to right field. Martin walked to set up John Eaton’s two-run single that tied the game.
After St. Marys intentionally walked Quinn Lotridge for the second consecutive inning to load the bases and Jordan Kaeck flew out to center field, Chandler Kaeck delivered the go-ahead hit with a solid single to right field.
St. Marys put runners on second and third with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, but couldn’t push the tying run across.
“That was a good ballgame,” St. Marys head coach Rob Coffey said. “We had our inning and they had their inning. They started hitting the gaps and suddenly you look up and there’s five runs on the board.”
Chandler Kaeck pitched a perfect bottom of the seventh inning with two strikeouts for the save, as he held down the win for Wapakoneta reliever John Eaton — who worked two scoreless innings. Wapak starter Quinn Lotridge worked the first four innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and four walks.
Gonzalez led Wapakoneta at the plate with a 2-for-3 night with a run scored.
Mason Gross was 2-for-3 with a run scored for St. Marys.
Coffey pitched six innings for the Riders, stirking out four. Josh Young worked a scorless inning of relief with two strikeouts.
“I told these boys to keep their heads up,” Rob Coffey said. “If we play this way the rest of the tournament, we can come out on top.”
New Bremen’s Nolan Fox and Minster second baseman Max Huber synchonize dive in opposite directions during a stolen base at second base on Friday evening in the ACME sectional tournament. (Staff Photo/John Zwez)
MINSTER 2, NEW BREMEN 1
After Minster handed New Bremen a 10-run loss late last week, Minster coach Mark Wiss said the sectional match-up with the Cardinals would be a lot tougher. Even he probably didn’t know just how tough.
New Bremen pushed the top-seeded Wildcats, taking an early lead while starting pitcher Jacob Gilberg held the Minster bats at bay most of the game before Minster pushed a pair of runs across in the top of the fourth with Clay Brown’s key two-out, two-run hit to stave off the Cardinals 2-1.
New Bremen vs. Minster Photos
Minster’s Matthew Trushaw worked a complete game for the win, striking out seven and giving up just four hits and two walks. Trushaw threw six straight shutout innings to close out the game after a hiccup in the bottom of the first.
“That was the difference in the game,” Wiss said. “He absolutely bore down and pitched a great game with a lot of crucial strikeouts.”
New Bremen took that early lead on an unearned run.
Gilberg reached on an error to start the bottom of the first, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Nolan Fox and came home on Troy Siegel’s single through the box. Trushaw got a strikeout looking with runners on the corner to limit the damage. New Bremen wouldn’t get another baserunner to third base the rest of the game.
Minster left 11 runners on base in the game, but got the two runs it needed in the top of the fourth after the first two batters of the inning made outs. Brett Hoelscher began the two-out rally with a walk. Josh Nixon, who was the lone Wildcat with two hits in the game, then singled to left field. Brad Walterbusch’s single to right field loaded the bases.
Clay Brown delivered the game’s biggest hit, as he lined a single to right field that scored both Hoelscher and Nixon.
New Bremen’s Gilberg matched Trushaw almost pitch for pitch, working the complete game with seven strikeouts. He gave up six hits and walked six.
“He had our kids looking bad the first half of the game,” Wiss said.
New Bremen’s Siegel went 2-for-3 with a steal.