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Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Minster slips past St. Marys in tourney

Auglaize County ACME Sectional

By Mark Ruschau
MINSTER - The Minster Wildcats clinched the first of two berths from Auglaize County in the District IV ACME tournament as they downed the St. Marys Roughriders, 6-5, in the winner's bracket final of the Auglaize County sectional on Monday night at Hanover Street.
The second district berth from the county will be determined tonight at 6:30 p.m. as St. Marys will play Wapakoneta in the elimination bracket finals. The winner of that game will have to defeat Minster twice to win the county title. The Redskins won their elimination game over New Knoxville, 18-6.
Minster 6, St. Marys 5
The Wildcats used timely hitting, great relief pitching and solid defense to, first rally from an early deficit, and then hold off the Roughriders.
St. Marys struck first, scoring twice in the bottom half of the first inning. Nick Vogel tripled with one out and scored on an RBI double by Michael Huber. After a wild pitch moved Huber to third, he scored on a bounce out by Brad Sawmiller.
Minster took advantage of some questionable defensive decisions by St. Marys to score four runs in the top of the second. Mitchell Poeppelman led off with a walk and went to third on a single by Doug Huber. Poeppelman then scored on a wild pitch, with Huber taking second. Huber then moved to third on an errant pick-off attempt by Mitchell Newbauer and then scored on a single by Brent Meiring to tie the score.
Devon Poeppelman then doubled with Meiring going to third. Austin Knapke followed with a groundball and the shortstop threw home late, allowing Meiring to score the third run. Lead-off batter Chase Paxson then laid down a great bunt and the throw home was too late to make the score 4-2.
St. Marys cut the deficit to 4-3 in the bottom of the second, thanks to a D.J. Manning RBI single that scored Newbauer.
The second-inning uprising by St. Marys would signal the end of the night for Huber on the mound for the Wildcats. Devon Poeppelman came on in relief and allowed just five hits and two runs over the final five innings.
The Wildcats added their final two runs of the night in the third inning. Mitchell Poeppelman walked to lead off the inning, went to second on an errant pick-off throw and went to third when Huber reached on a groundball. Poeppelman then scored on a fielder's choice by Brett Meiring to make it 5-3. Meiring later scored on a sacrifice fly by Austin Knapke.
"Everybody in the lineup, from one-to-nine, hit the ball hard tonight," said Minster coach Scott Sherman. "We had a couple of nice two-out hits to push runners across and we executed a squeeze play to get in another run. Any way to get a run and we did a nice job of doing it."
"We did not help ourselves with some of things we did tonight defensively," said St. Marys coach Dave Huber. "The fact of the matter is that we lost by just one run. With the way some of the things happened tonight, I really cannot complain, outside of the fact that we did not win."
St. Marys had Poeppelman on the ropes in the fourth as it loaded the bases with no outs but could come up with just one run to cut the deficit to 6-4.
Poeppelman and the Wildcats saved their best escape for the final inning to preserve the win. Sawmiller had a one-out single and stole second. Then with two outs, Wes Taylor laced a double to centerfield, scoring Sawmiller. Mitchell Poeppelman, the Minster centerfielder then threw behind Taylor at second base and got him in a run down for the final out of the game.
"I thought Devon came in and did a great job," said Sherman. "He was a little wild early on but he settled down and threw strikes.
"I cannot say enough about the defensive play of our outfielders," continued Sherman. "That play to end the game was a great play and it could not of been made without great chest-to-chest throws, and hitting the cut-off man."
Wapakoneta 18, New Knoxville 6
The Redskins stayed alive in the tournament, parlaying a great relief effort from Keyton Zweibel and wildness on the part of New Knoxville's pitchers to post the win.
After Wapak starter Chris Schwartz allowed the Rangers six runs in the first two innings, Zweibel came on in relief with one out in the third and shut out New Knoxville the rest of the way. Zweibel allowed just two hits, walked just one batter and struck out four.
"Keyton's performance was the stabilizer for us out there tonight," said Wapakoneta coach Willie Sammetinger. "He does not throw hard but he came in and threw strikes, changed speeds and kept them off- balance the rest of the night, he did a heck of a job.
"Again, I cannot say enough about Keyton tonight. I went to change pitchers in the third inning and I asked who wanted the ball and Keyton said I'll take it," continued Sammetinger. "That is the type of kid that you want, somebody who will take the ball and do the best they can. I very proud of him."
The New Knoxville pitchers had trouble finding the strike zone all game long, walking 13 Wapakoneta batters while hitting three more (10 of those baserunners scored). The Redskins also pounded 15 hits, led by Alex Koch, Johnny Crawford and Brandon Miller with three each.
"The first couple of innings were ugly but we settled down and started to put some runs on the board," said Sammetinger. "I still say we can hit with anybody. If we can play enough defense is another question. We live to play another day."
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