ACME: Error-prone Wapak escapes with win
MINSTER — Two errors is human.
Nine is just ridiculous.
Even when you win.
Wapakoneta almost ruined Brandon Miller’s nearly pristine pitching performance with nine errors but pulled out a 7-6 win over New Bremen in the opening round of the ACME baseball sectional tournament Friday at Hanover Park in Minster.
Miller drove in Josh Apple with a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Wapak the win.
Despite four innings of no-hit baseball, Miller and Wapakoneta trailed 5-4 after four innings.
The Wapak defense committed eight errors before New Bremen ever got its first hit.
“I’ll tell you right up-front, we didn’t deserve to win that ... ballgame,” Wapak coach Willie Sammetinger said. “No way.”
New Bremen erased an early 1-0 Wapak lead in the top of the third inning, scoring a run on three errors, all of which came with two outs in the inning.
Wapak responded with three runs in the home half of the inning to retake the lead at 4-1.
Then, after Miller struck out the first batter he faced in the fourth — well, “train wreck” might be a bit generous.
As the miscues mounted, Wapak coach Nick Sammetinger directed his entire bench to start warming up.
Wapak fumbled, bumbled and overthrew its way through the next five batters as its 4-1 lead turned into a 5-4 deficit.
New Bremen’s line through four innings?
Five runs, no hits, eight errors.
“We vapor-locked in the fourth inning,” Willie Sammetinger said. “And it ... near bit us.”
Wapak knotted the score back up at 5-5 in the bottom of the fifth, appropriately enough, on a New Bremen error.
In the sixth, New Bremen retook the lead 6-5 thanks to, of course, an error.
Alex Koch drove in Marshall Gerlach with a two-out double to tie the game up at 6-6 in the sixth.
Chandler Kaeck relieved Miller on the mound with one out and one on in the seventh and quickly retired the next two batters.
Apple led off the home half of the seventh with a bunt single and moved to second, yep, on an error.
Brandon Schreiber moved him to third on a sacrifice bunt before Miller lined a 1-2 pitch into right field for the game winner.
“We did a great job of playing small-ball in the seventh inning,” Willie Sammetinger said. “Good teams make their luck. And we definitely made out luck today.”
Kaeck (3-0) picked up the win on the mound.
Miller threw 6 1/3 innings, allowing six runs, all unearned, on three hits. He struck out eight and walked just one.
“His curveball was working real well for him,” New Bremen coach Logan O’Neil said. “A couple times he got us looking. ... Hats off to him. He did a good job.”
Lead-off hitter Dyaln Knoch walked, singled and was hit by a pitch in four plate appearances. He scored all three times.
Apple walked, had a sacrifice bunt and a bunt single and scored twice.
Schreiber went 2 for 3 with a sacrifice bunt and two RBIs. Kaeck doubled and drove in two.
Sunday at 3:15 p.m., Wapak will face the winner of the Minster-St. Marys game, which is today at noon. New Bremen goes to the loser’s bracket, where it will face New Knoxville today at 2:15.