MINSTER — Wapakoneta strolled through most of the Auglaize County sectional ACME baseball tournament without using its best available pitcher.
When top-seeded Wapak finally pulled its ace out of the back pocket, Chace Culver was unhittable.
Culver threw five no-hit innings and reliever Dominic Campos finished off the shutout with two scoreless innings as Wapakoneta wrapped up the Auglaize County sectional ACME title with a 7-0 win over Minster on Friday night.
The Redskins ran through the sectional title in the minimum three games, beating New Bremen on Sunday, Minster on Tuesday and Minster again on Friday.
Minster didn’t get its first hit until the top of the seventh inning, when a blooper into shallow right field fell in off the bat of Brandon Hoying. Matthew Trushaw added a single later in the seventh for Minster’s second hit, but Campos stranded the two baserunners by getting a pop up and a line out to shortstop to end the game.
Culver dominated with six strikeouts and just the one walk.
“Chace went five innings without giving up a hit and then Dom came in and gave up that hit that if we had our normal fielder out there might have made a play on,” Wapakoneta ACME coach Willie Sammetinger said. “I was really impressed with them, especially in this heat. They really did well.”
Both teams will move on to the district tournament at Minster next week.
Wapakoneta plays the second-place team out of the Shelby County sectional and Minster will play the winner of the Shelby County sectional on Monday at Hanover Street Park.
Only four Minster hitters reached base and none of those ever got to third base. Trushaw got to first on an error in the second and was stranded at second.
Minster’s Sam Bornhorst drew a two-out walk in the fifth before being stranded at first.
Wapakoneta opened the scoring in the bottom of the first. After Josh Apple’s one-out single and a stolen base, he came home on a Brandon Miller two-out single to left field.
Wapak’s Brandon MIller went went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Josh Apple was 2 for 4 with two runs scored.The Redskins added four runs in the second. Dylan Knoch’s RBI fielder’s choice groundout plated Andrew HInes. Alex Koch followed with an RBI single to left field. Josh Apple’s infield single put runners on the corners. A fielding error by Minster with two outs on a ground ball allowed two more runs to score to make it 5-0.
“We had some offensive spark and scored some runs early,” Sammetinger said.
After leaving the bases loaded in the third, Wapakoneta added two more in the fourth. Chandler Kaeck picked up an RBI on a grounder to third that turned into a fielding error. Marshall Gerlach drove in the seventh run with a groundout to shortstop.
Minster starter Andrew Knapke pitched four innings, giving up seven runs — only three of them earned — on seven hits and one walk.
Minster committed seven errors in the field, leading to those four unearned runs.
Clay Brown worked two innings in relief. The southpaw sidewinder gave up no runs and struck out one.
Minster needed to win the first game to force a second game on Friday night in the double elimination tournament.
Neither team had an extra-base hit in the game.
Wapakoneta ran wild on the basepaths, stealing five bases without being caught.