WAPAKONETA — With five runs in the last two innings the Wapakoneta ACME baseball team overcame a 5-2 lead to defeat New Bremen 7-5 Tuesday evening at Wapakoneta.
“It was an ugly game at the start,” Wapakoneta assistant coach Nick Sammetinger said. “We got it done in the end with clutch hits and got the runs when we needed them.”
New Bremen coach Logan O’Neil pointed to some mistakes late in the game but praised his team’s effort.
“We came out and hit the ball real well,” O’Neill said. “We had a couple mistakes but for the most part I’m proud of what the kids did tonight.”
Wapakoneta closed the game to a one-run deficit with a pair of runs in the fifth inning.
With one out, Brandon Schreiber reached on an error and Eli Miller singled. After a fly out, Marshall Gerlach and Andy Hines singled home runs to make the score 5-4.
In the top of the sixth inning Alex Koch drew a walk and went to second on a wild pitch. He scored to tie the game on a triple to left by Dylan Knoch. A ground out to second scored Knoch with the go ahead run and following a single by Miller and a stolen base, he scored an insurance run on a single to right by Kaech to make the score 7-5. Wapakoneta gave up a leadoff walk but retired the next three batters to get the victory.
“Our pitchers need to throw strikes,” Sammetinger said. “They need to get ahead in the count. It has shown in the last couple games we have had trouble throwing strikes.”
Wapakoneta started the game with a run in the first two innings.
In the first inning Knoch drew a walk and advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw. A bunt advanced him to third and he scored on a ground out to short.
With one out in the second inning Gerlach drew a walk and went to second on a wild pitch. He scored on a double by Hines.
“We came back and got a couple runs and took the lead,” O’Neill said. “We got three runs in the third and two more in the fifth so we produced some runs.”
New Bremen answered in the third inning to take the lead. Dave Zirkle singled but was thrown out trying to steal. Doug Kremer walked and Alec Friedeger singled.
Both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Codie Wendel walked to load the bases and everybody moved up on a wild pitch with Kremer scoring. Clay Bertke singled home Friedeger to tie the game and Wendel scored on a wild pitch for a 3-2 lead.
“For us it seems like we are in a different spectrum right now,” Sammetinger said.
“Our pitchers are getting down in the count at 2-0 or 3-1 and our batters are getting down 0-1 or 1-2 and we are getting ourselves’ in bad situations. As a hitter we need to work the count and as a pitcher we need to work the count.”
The Cardinals increased their advantage in the fifth inning.
Kremer led off with a double and went to third on a wild pitch after a walk to Friedeger. Both runners scored on a single to right by Wendel for a 5-2 advantage.
Both teams will battle again in the first game of the ACME tournament Friday at Minster.
“On any given day when the teams cross the line either team can win,” Sammetinger said.
“We wanted to send a message that we wanted to end Friday’s game tonight, but New Bremen came to play. They knew they can play with us and I give them credit because they are a good ball club. When it comes Friday we will go back out there and play our hardest and whatever happens will happen.”
Wapakoneta (14-2) travels to Crestview tonight and will meet New Bremen (10-5) in the first game of the ACME tournament at 6 p.m. Friday at Minster.