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Wapakoneta handles Elida for league win

April 18, 2014

Wapakoneta Redskins junior Keaton Metz (6) bunts Thursday in a Western Buckeye League varsity baseball game against the Elida Bulldogs at Wapakoneta High School. (Staff photo/Michelle Frank)

The Wapakoneta Redskins sent all nine batters in their lineup to the plate in the first inning and started with a 3-0 lead. They slowly but surely built on that strong start, while starting pitcher Chace Culver threw a very strong game against the Elida Bulldogs, as the Redskins recorded a 7-0 win Thursday in a Western Buckeye League varsity baseball game at Wapakoneta High School.

The win was Wapakoneta’s fourth in a row and kept the team one loss behind league leaders Ottawa-Glandorf and Defiance.

“All in all, it was a good offensive day, it was a good pitching by Chace once again and it was a really good defensive performance until the seventh inning,” Redskins varsity coach Jason Brandt said.

Quinn Lotridge led the first inning with a single, moved to second when Chandler Kaeck walked and scored from second base on a single by Chace Culver.

Kodi Morgan singled home Kaeck, and Culver scored the third run of the inning when Nick Bruns walked with the bases loaded.

Meanwhile, on the mound, Culver was working through the Elida lineup with ease.

Culver threw 87 pitches in the complete game shutout.

He allowed three hits and zero walks, striking out eight.

“I thought we played really well,” Brandt said. “When you get a big lead in a WBL game the way Chace was pitching, it’s really good.”

Back-to-back doubles in the second inning gave Wapak its fourth run, as Adam Henderson and Kaeck provided the Redskins’ first extra-base hits of the day.

Wapak stranded the bases loaded in each of the next three inning, as only three of the 12 baserunners in those innings scored.

The Redskins failed to convert any runs in the third. Nate Keack, who reached after being hit by a pitch, scored Wapak’s fifth run when Bruns was also hit by a pitch.

Culver posted an RBI double in the fifth, scoring Chandler Kaeck who was hit by a pitch. Culver scored from third on a sacrifice bunt by Kodi Morgan.

Brandt was displeased with his team’s focus on defense during the seventh inning.

The Redskins made a pair on mental mistakes before Brandt took a trip to the mound to address the infielders.

Wapak settled down thereafter, getting three straight outs to end the game.

“We took our foot off the gas in the seventh inning,” he said. “I was a little disappointed with our defense. I went out to take care of that real quick. We had some mental miscues right there, not knowing what we were doing in that situation.”

Culver finished 3 for 4 at the plate. Lotridge and Nate Kaeck each had two hits.

Morgan and Bruns each had two RBIs. Chandler Kaeck, Culver and Nate Kaeck all had one RBI.

The loss kept Elida (6-5) winless in WBL play at 0-3.

Wapakoneta is now 7-2 overall and 2-1 in the league.

The Redskins will play a postponed game from Monday at 10 a.m. today on the road against the New Bremen Cardinals.

They will then play a home doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. Saturday against the Sidney Yellow Jackets.

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