LEWISTOWN — Wapakoneta improved its record to 12-2 with a pair of wins in a three-way ACME baseball doubleheader Saturday at Indian Lake High School.
Wapak blanked Indian Lake 6-0 in the opener before holding off Troy 6-3 in the second game.
Solid pitching and defense, and timely hitting were the key.
Brandon Miller threw an ultra-efficient 57 pitches in seven innings of work for the win against Indian Lake. Marshall Gerlach was able to work out of several jams for the win over Troy.
Chase Culver came in to relieve Gerlach in the seventh. He retired the first two batters he faced before Troy loaded the bases on a dropped third strike, a single and a walk.
But Culver struck out Troy’s lead-off batter to end the game.
Right fielder Andrew Hines provided the highlight of the day in the fifth inning against Indian Lake.
On back-to-back hits into right field, Hines came up firing and gunned down both batters for the force at first.
“I’ve only ever seen that happen maybe once in a season,” Wapak coach Willie Sammetinger said. “And it happened on two consecutive pitches. Our defense was spectacular. We played a great defensive ballgame.”
Against Indian Lake, Wapak scored four runs on six hits in the first inning and two runs on three hits in the second.
The Wapak bats fell silent the rest of the way. But with Miller on the mound it didn’t matter.
Miller had just two strikeouts. But he forced Indian Lake into 11 groundouts, including two double plays.
He threw just six pitches in the first inning, five in the fourth and five in the fifth.
“He worked ahead in the count,” Sammetinger said. “I don’t think he was behind more than 2-1 to any batter in the ballgame. That really helps.”
At the plate, Miller was 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
Left fielder Dylan Knoch went 2 for 4 with one run scored. Designated hitter Chandler Kaeck was 2-for-4 and scored a run. Hines was 2-for-3.
In the second game, Wapak scored one run in the first, two in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the sixth.
Miller went 2 for 4 and scored a run, as did shortstop Josh Apple. Hines was 2-for-3 and scored a run.
Troy had runners in scoring position in five of the six innings Gerlach pitched. But Wapak got the stops it needs and held Troy scoreless until it produced three runs in the sixth innings.
“The sixth inning, he was just tired,” Sammetinger said. “He threw 100 pitches. And that’s more than enough for any high school pitcher.”
Wapak has a big game tonight when it hosts St. Marys at 6:30. The top seed in the upcoming ACME tournament is on the line, as well as pride. St. Marys shelled Wapak 10-0 when they played on June 17.
“It wouldn’t matter if both of us were 0-20,” Sammetinger said. “It’s still Wapak and St. Marys.”