BASEBALL: Wildcats rally past Redskins


BATH TOWNSHIP — It’s the little things that add up.

An error here.  A walk there.

They caught up with the Wapakoneta Redskins on Friday night.

The Redskins didn’t make a lot of mistakes.  But the Bath Wildcats pounced on the ones they did for a 5-4 win in a Western Buckeye League varsity baseball game at Bath High School.

Bath took advantage of a lead-off walk in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring two runs to rally from a 4-3 deficit for the win.

It was the only walk Wapak starting pitcher Chace Culver allowed all night.

“They didn’t make any easy outs,” Redskins varsity coach Jason Brandt said.  “Unfortunately for us, we booted a couple balls early in the game and allowed them to score their three early runs.”

Bath second baseman Austin Best, the No. 9 hitter in the Wildcats lineup, drew the leadoff walk in the seventh.  Four pitches later, catcher Caleb Norton lined a triple over the head of center fielder Johnny Crawford to score Best and tie the game at 4-all.

“Johnny is one of the best outfielders in the area,” Brandt said.  “That ball was just hit well.  I don’t know if anybody would have caught that ball.”

Culver got the next two batters out before cleanup hitter Matt Wise cracked a single between short and third to drive in Norton for the game winner.

“Matt hadn’t had very many good at bats before that last one,” Bath coach Brian Jesko said.  “He was able to get one he could hit and was fortunate to get it through there.”

It was the second big hit of the night for Norton, who led of the top of the first with a double and eventually scored when center fielder Myles Holliday beat out a double-play throw to first.

Wapak had taken a 1-0 lead in the top half of the inning.  Second baseman Alex Koch led off with a single, moved to second on a passed ball, to third on shortstop Josh Apple’s groundout, and finally scored on first baseman Brandon Miller’s infield single.

The Redskins had runners on the corners with one out.  But Norton threw out Crawford trying to steal second for the second out.  Norton then gunned down left fielder Dylan Knoch in the second inning after Knoch reached on a one-out single.

“Those were two big outs for us early on,” Jesko said.

Wapak’s big inning was a three-run fourth.

Third baseman Marshall Gerlach reached on a one-out error.  Knoch lined a single to right.  They both scored when Apple smacked a single into the gap in left-center.

Apple moved to third in a single by Crawford and scored on a wild pitch to give Wapak the 4-3 lead.

Apple was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.  Knoch had two singles and scored once.

On the mound, Culver went the distance for Wapak but was charged with the loss.   He allowed eight hits while striking out seven and walking just one.  He hit two batters.

Bath starter Nate Heffner allowed eight hits, striking out six and walking two.

Wapak fell to 10-2 overall and 3-2 in WBL play.