MINSTER — The Minster ACME baseball team scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth as Wapakoneta’s defense broke down. The Wildcats came back and defeated Wapakoneta 5-3 in the winner’s bracket of the ACME tournament held at Hanover Street Park in Minster.
The bottom of the sixth inning began with Max Huber being awarded first base on catcher’s interference. Blake Ahrns singles back up the middle. Garrett Hogenkamp loaded the bases when he reached on an error.
After a pair of strikeouts, Brad Walterbusch drops a single to third to score Huber and then when third baseman John Eaton throws the ball wide of first base Ahrns and Hogenkamp score with Walterbusch moving to third base and making the score 4-3 Minster. Clay Brown smacked a double to right that scored Walterbusch and make the score 5-3.
“It all started with the second catcher’s interference of the game,” Willie Sammetinger said. “It just snowballed from there and then we had that throw to first and he was a step and a half away from the bag. He should never had made that throw. He throws the ball and three runs score and we turn a 3-0 lead into a 5-3 loss. All five of their runs were unearned.”
In the top of the seventh inning Wapakoneta got a two out walk to Jordan Kaeck, but Chandler Kaeck flied out to left to end the game.
Wapakoneta got off to a fast start in the top of the first inning when they scored three runs.
Quinn Lotridge led off with a single to left and Jordan Kaeck drew a walk. Chandler Kaeck loaded the bases with a bunt single. Nate Kaeck drew a walk to force home Lotridge and Jordan Kaeck scored when Jake Bruns reached on an error. Chandler Kaeck was forced out at third for the first out. Taylor Gonzalez singled to right to load the bases and Nate Kaeck scored on an infield fly by Cody Morgan. Bruns was tagged out at second to end the inning with Wapakoneta having a 3-0 lead.
“After a lackadaisical start defensively in the first inning we were not ready to play against a good team,” Minster head coach Mark Wiss said. “We gave a good team a three-run lead and we will have to work that out. We had to wait until our pitching got good and it got good quick. Clay Brown really shut them down and Drew Ripploh came in like a hammer and our defense got better also.”
“We only had two strikeouts in the game,” Sammetinger said. “We hit the ball but it was right at them all night long. They played good defense.”
Minster got on the board with a run in the third inning to close the gap to 3-1.
Sam Bornhorst reached first on catcher’s interference to begin the inning and he advanced to second on a passed ball. Walterbusch singled to left and Bornhorst scored when the left fielder bobbled the ball.
Both pitchers threw well in the game. Jake Bruns took the loss for Wapakoneta giving up five runs, all unearned on seven hits. He struck out six and walked three.
Clay Brown pitched the first four innings for Minster giving up three runs on six hits. He struck out one and walked two. Drew Ripploh pitched the final three innings giving up no runs on no hits and he struck out one and walked one.
Minster will advance to championship game on Friday beginning at 6 p.m. Wapakoneta drops to the loser’s bracket and will face the winner of the St. Marys/ New Bremen game played tonight at 6:30 p.m.. Wapakoneta will play their game on Thursday at noon.