CELINA — Throughout its long high school and ACME tournament runs, the Minster baseball team has relied on its pitching and defense to carry it.
Both deserted the Wildcats on Wednesday night, as Bowling Green scored six runs on four Minster errors to defeat the Wildcats, 6-2, in the winners bracket semifinal of the 2011 ACME State Tournament held at Montgomery Field in Celina.
Minster now must work its way through the loser’s bracket with three straight wins in two days if it wants to earn an ACME state title.
“It was a bad time to do that,” Minster head coach Scott Sherman said. “We had four errors, we hit a few batters and walked four batters and that is just not our recipe for winning and when we do that we won’t be around long enough.”
Bowling Green got on the board first with an unearned run in the second inning. With one out, Rob Tyrell drew a walk and advanced on a wild pitch. Quin Donaldson drew a walk. After a fly out, Ricky Riggs shot a ball that was misplayed by the first baseman allowing Tyrell to score.
Minster went down in order the first three innings despite having singles in the second and third inning, but the Bobcats turned a pair of double plays to keep the Wildcats off the board.
Bowling Green increased their lead to 3-0 in the top of the third inning. Cody Lang and Andy Fisher led off with singles and Mason Mayberry reached on an error to load the bases.
Jake Ireland flied out to center to score Lang and Fisher scored on a single to right by Tyrell.
The Wildcats threatened in the fourth inning with a one-out walk to Austin Knapke and a two-out walk to Doug Huber, but Rob Wente grounded to short to end the threat.
In the top of the fifth inning the Bobcats added another pair of runs. Austin Knapke relieved starting pitcher Adam Niemeyer on the mound and gave up a leadoff triple to right by Fisher. Mayberry reached on a hit batter. With two outs, an errant throw to second on a stolen base allowed Fisher and Mayberry to score to make the score 5-0.
Minster tried to make a game of it in the bottom of the sixth inning. Jay Eilerman was hit by a pitch and scored on a double to center by Austin Knapke. Knapke advanced to third on a ground out and scored on a fly out by Huber to cut the lead to 5-2. The Bobcats ended the scoring with a run in the top of the seventh for the final 6-2 score.
“We battled a little bit at the end,” Sherman said. “We just couldn’t get enough offense. It was just a matter of us not finding the holes. You have to give their defense credit because they played a heck of a game. They made the plays and we didn’t.”
The Wildcats will play the winner of the loser’s bracket game between Toledo Central Catholic and Vandalia-Butler on Friday at 7 p.m.. The winner will face Bowling Green for the state championship on Saturday at noon. If the loser’s bracket team wins there will be another game immediately following.
BOWLING GREEN 6
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
BG 0 1 2 0 2 0 1 6 5 0
MIN 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 4 4
3B – Fisher (BG).2B – Knapke (MIN).
WP – Mankowski (BG).
LP – Niemeyer (MIN).