MINSTER — Jay Eilerman and the Minster ACME baseball team did almost everything needed to move on in the district tournament in just the first inning.
Eilerman threw a no-hop strike from centerfield 275 feet away to a spot near the plate to gun down a Fort Loramie baserunner, and he then doubled and tripled in the first inning to spearhead a seven-run top of the first for Minster.
The Wildcats’ pitching took it from there in Minster’s 7-3 win over Fort Loramie on Thursday night at Hanover Street Park.
“It was a good first inning by Minster,” ACME coach Mark Wiss said. “We put seven runs up and a little pitching and defense.”
The victory sets up yet another match-up between unbeaten Wapakoneta and Minster in a rematch of last Friday’s sectional title game. Minster will need to beat Wapak twice tonight to advance to the best-of-three district finals against the winner from the Coldwater bracket. Wapak needs just to win one of the two to move on.
Fort Loramie bows out of the ACME tournament with the loss.
Eilerman finished the game 3 for 4 with two runs batted in, a run scored and was a home run shy of the cycle.
Along with Eilerman’s two extra-base hits in the first, the bottom three hitters in the Minster order — Matthew Trushaw, John Baumer and Jacob Wuebker — delivered RBIs. Eilerman capped off the seven-run first with a triple over the head of the left fielder to bring in two more runs.
Baumer was 1 for 3 with an RBI single to left field. Wuebker went the other way with a looping liner down the first base line that scored two in the first.
Minster used a combination of starting pitcher J.R. Nixon and reliever Trushaw to hold Fort Loramie to three runs on five hits. Nixon pitched five innings, giving up two runs on five hits. He struck out two and walked one. Trushaw worked two innings giving up a run on no hits. He struck out one and walked three.
Tonight’s game between Minster and Wapakoneta starts at 6 p.m.