The Wapakoneta Redskins’ much-needed break started a couple innings early.
After playing 10 full games and one rain-halted game in the first 13 days of the season, the Redskins deserved it.
Wapak easily dispatched the Kenton Wildcats with a 16-0 five-inning run-rule win in a Western Buckeye League varsity baseball game Thursday at Wapakoneta High School.
“We made it through our gauntlet,” Wapak varsity coach Jason Brandt said. “We’ve done a very good job offensively, defensively and pitching. Now we can get some guys some rest and get them back ready to go.”
The win lifted Wapak to 9-1 on the season and 2-0 in the WBL.
The Redskins scored three runs in the first inning before seizing control of the game with a seven-run third. They added six more in the fourth.
“We came ready to go,” Brandt said. “We made that adjustment because they weren’t throwing hard. It was probably the first guy we’ve seen all year who hasn’t thrown real hard. And we made a good adjustment. We went to the right side and got some good base hits, things like that.”
Sophomore Chace Culver picked up the win on the mound. Culver gave up three hits in five innings of work, striking out three and walking just one.
Culver, who has quickly built a reputation as a strikeout pitcher in his brief varsity career, had one of his more efficient performances. He threw just 67 pitches, 41 for strikes, and forced 10 ground balls.
“Chace was doing some things that we wanted him to work on today,” Brandt said. “His strikeout numbers weren’t high. But we were working on his off-speed pitches, to establish them as strikes, because he’s going to need those later on anyway.
“Our defense played great behind him once again. Our middle guys, I say it every day, but they made some nice plays again.”
Junior Brandon Miller led the way offensively, going 3-for-4 with a triple and five RBIs.
His bases-loaded triple off the wall in center field in the third inning put the Redskins up 10-0. He had an RBI single in the first and drove in a run on a fielder’s choice in the fourth.
Dylan Knoch came off the bench in the fourth inning and launched a three-run home run over the left field wall.
“That’s something we hope we can establish,” Brandt said. “We hope that we can get guys that can come off the bench and get us a key hit. We’re still trying to establish an identity for some of these guys and get the right mix in there.”
Kenton committed seven errors resulting in five Wapak runs.
The Redskins have the Easter weekend off and will return to action at 5 p.m. Tuesday when they host the Elida Bulldogs in a key WBL matchup.