ACME: Wapak rallies to edge New Bremen

If Tuesday night was any indication, Wapakoneta’s ACME tournament opener on Friday should be a good one.
Wapak rallied from a three-run deficit to post a 7-5 win over New Bremen at Wapakoneta High School. The two teams are set to face each other when tournament play begins Friday night at 6 at Hanover Street Park in Minster.
Trailing 5-2 after 4 1/2 innings, Wapak scored twice in the bottom of the fifth and three times in the sixth for the come-from-behind win.
“We wanted to send a message. We wanted to end Friday’s game tonight,” Wapak coach Nick Sammetinger said. “But they came to play and they know they can play with us. Give them credit. They’re a good ball club.”
Wapak had just two hits through the first four innings before knocking out three in the fifth and three in the sixth. Its first two runs came after walks.
First baseman Brandon Miller led the way with two hits in four at bats. He scored twice.
Left fielder Dylan Knoch was 1-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored.
Center fielder Andrew Hines went 2 for 3 with double and a pair of RBIs.
In the fifth, catcher Brandon Schreiber reached on a one-out infield single and moved to second on Miller’s single to left.
With two outs and the hit-and-run on, third baseman Marshall Gerlach singled to right to score Schreiber and advance Miller to third. Hines then hit a bloop up the middle to drive in Miller and get Wapak within one, 5-4.
In the sixth, second baseman Alex Koch drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a passed ball. Knoch hit a line-drive single to left, which got past the New Bremen left fielder and went to the wall, allowing Koch to score and Knoch to reach third.
Knoch scored on starting pitcher Josh Apple’s groundout to second, giving Wapak a 6-5 lead.
Wapak added one more when Miller singled with two outs, stole second and scored on designated hitter Chandler Kaeck’s bloop single to right.
It was not the best pitching performance for Wapak.
Apple started and gave up four runs, all earned, in four innings. He allowed just four hits, but walked six while striking out six.
He threw a first-pitch strike on just eight of the 20 batters he faced.
Hines relieved Apple in the fifth and gave up one earned run on four hits with a walk and a strikeout in one inning of work.
Kaeck took over for Hines with two on and no outs in the sixth. He struck out the first two batters he faced before giving up a walk to load the bases. But he recovered for a strikeout to end the inning.
He allowed a lead-off walk in the seventh but retired the side for the win, his second of the year.
“Our pitchers need to throw strikes,” Sammetinger said. “It is vital to get ahead in the count. And again, it shows. These past few games, we’ve been behind in the counts. We need to work ahead.
“I understand we threw some guys who haven’t pitched in a while and we went to the bullpen tonight. ... But they have to throw strikes if we want to win games.”
Wapak is now 14-2 on the season. It will face Crestview tonight at 6 in Convoy.