BASEBALL: 'Skins slide past Jays

The Wapakoneta Redskins got some timely hitting and took advantage of Delphos St. John’s miscues to pull out a 6-3 win in a varsity baseball game Monday at Wapakoneta High School.

Wapak erased an early 2-0 deficit with one run in the second and four in the third.

Junior Brandon Miller was 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and scored twice.  Junior Johnny Crawford’s double was the Redskins’ only extra-base hit.

Six different players drove in runs for Wapak.

Sophomore Chase Culver picked up the win with a complete game on the mound.  He allowed seven hits and four walks while striking out three.  All three runs were earned.

“We called it ‘a good, team win’ because Chase, by his own admission, didn’t have his best stuff,” Wapak coach Jason Brandt said.  “He probably threw a few more pitches [111] than we wanted him to.  But he gutted it out.

“His off-speed pitches, he couldn’t get the hang of and throw for a strike.  And on a cold day like this, we were fortunate that he could still work ahead on some batters and get them to hit the ball where we’re playing.”

The Blue Jays jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Curtis Geise drew a one-out walk and later scored on Austin Reindel’s two-out single to right.

The damage could have been worse.  But the Redskins threw out Troy Warnecke, who had drawn a walk prior to Reindel’s single, as he tried to advance to third on the hit.

Cody Kundert led off the top of the second with a single and Andrew Metzger drew a one-out walk.  With runners on second and third, Ryan Densel grounded to Josh Apple at short.  Metzger got too far off the bag and Apple fired the ball Alex Koch at second and the Redskins snagged him in the rundown.  But Kundert scored on the play to give the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead.

Wapak cut the lead to 2-1 in the home half of the second.  Miller led off with a line shot single to center.  Then Geise, who started on the mound for St. John’s, proceeded to walk three of the next five batters he faced.  Apple drew a bases-loaded walk to score Miller with two outs.

The wheels fell off for Geise and the Blue Jays in the third.

Koch was hit by a pitch to lead off.  Crawford doubled into the gap in left-center to put runners on second and third.

Miller grounded to Warnecke who held Koch at third before throwing to first.  But first baseman Alex Wehri pulled his foot off the bag and Miller was safe to load the bases.

“You can’t give good teams like Wapak extra outs,” Blue Jays coach Dan Metzger said.

Junior Marshall Gerlach grounded to third and Koch beat Wehri’s throw to the plate to tie the game with the bases still loaded and no one out.

Culver grounded out to second to score Crawford and A.J. Etzkorn plated Miller with a sacrifice fly to center.  Gerlach scored the fourth run of the inning on a wild pitch.

The Redskins added one more in the fourth.  Dylan Knoch drew a lead-off walk, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error.  Koch then reached on an infield single to score Knoch.

“We had a lot of good at bats, guys battled in the order, getting ahead in the count, working for strikes,” Brandt said.  “And when they got one they attacked it or made a play.  They (St. John’s) were indecisive on a couple plays, which helped us.  But we’ll take anything we can.”

Wapak improved to 3-0 on the season.  St. John’s fell to 0-1.

The Redskins return to action at 5 tonight at Greenville.