What a difference a week makes.
Seven days ago, the Wapakoneta ACME baseball team sent rival St. Marys home with its tail between its legs thanks to a 17-0 shellacking at K.C. Geiger Park.
Thursday at Wapakoneta High School, St. Marys jumped all over Wapak starting pitcher Andrew Hines for four first-inning runs.
But Hines settled down and Wapakoneta chipped away at the St. Marys lead to pull out a 5-4 win.
Wapak improved to 5-0 on the season. St. Marys is 3-4.
“The big difference was we threw strikes, made them put the ball in play, gave our defense a chance, and we didn’t give free bases,” St. Marys coach Alan Hueber said. “A 5-4 ballgame, you can’t be upset about that against a team that’s returning everybody from the state championship game.”
St. Marys sent 10 batters to the plate in the top of the first inning, scoring four runs on six hits, a walk and a hit batsman. The big hit in the inning was a two-run double by Isaac Fitzgerald on a misplayed ball in the outfield.
St. Marys’ final two runs came on back-to-back two-out bases-loaded singles by Codie Deaton and Nate Vogel.
“Andrew wanted the ball,” Wapak coach Willie Sammetinger said. “He came to me after the first inning and said, ‘Please, I want another inning.’ How are you going to take it away from a kid who wants the ball and it wasn’t his fault they scored?”
Hines threw two more innings, shutting St. Marys down on five pitches in the second and allowing just a pair of singles in the third.
Dom Campos pitched the final four innings in relief and held St. Marys hitless, walking three. He retired the final five batters he faced.
“If it wouldn’t have been for a fly ball that should have been caught, they wouldn’t have scored a run,” Sammetinger said. “Andrew did a good job. Dom came in and, in the seventh inning, was overpowering. He was throwing it by people.”
After loading the bases with no outs and failing to score in the bottom of the first, Wapak began to chip away at the St. Marys lead in the second.
Marshall Gerlach reached on a leadoff single and scored on Hines’ double to right. Hines moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch to make it a 4-2 game.
Wapak tied the game at 4-all in the third. Josh Apple singled to lead off and advanced to second on Brandon Schreiber’s sacrifice bunt. Brandon Miller singled to right to drive in Apple and moved to second on an error in right field. Gerlach then plated Miller with a single to right.
In the fourth, Apple drew a two-out walk, stole second, moved to third on a throwing error by catcher Brandon Coffey, and scored the go-ahead run on Schreiber’s single up the middle.
“We’re starting to hit the ball well,” Sammetinger said.
Despite the loss, Fitzgerald tossed a complete game for St. Marys, allowing fiver earned runs on 10 hits and three walks with three strikeouts.
“Even though it’s a loss, this could help us jump into a nice winning streak,” Hueber said.
Wapak will turn around and play its first of five games in the three-day Thomas Worthington tournament in Columbus.