BASEBALL: Wapak ACME rallies past Minster

For four innings, Wapakoneta’s big bats were quiet.

Too quiet.

In the fifth and sixth innings, they started to make some noise.

A lot of noise.

Brandon Miller and Chandler Kaeck, Wapak’s fourth and fifth hitters, combined to drive in six runs in two innings as Wapak rallied from behind for an 8-4 win over Minster in a key ACME baseball game Tuesday at Wapakoneta High School.

Miller and Kaeck were a combined 0-for-4 through four innings as Minster jumped out to a 4-1 lead.

In the fifth, Miller ripped a two-run single up the middle to drive in two runs and make it a 4-3 game.

He followed that up with another line-drive single to center in the sixth, driving in the go-ahead run.  Moments later, Kaeck smashed a bases-loaded double off the wall in right field to make it an 8-4 Wapak lead.

Minster took the early lead behind a solid pitching effort by starter Brandon Hoying.  Hoying held Wapak to just one run on two infield hits through the first four innings.

“I thought Brandon did a nice job all night,” Minster coach Scott Sherman said.  “He kept his fastball down at the knees, which really helps.  And he worked ahead on a lot of hitters. ... But he eventually wore down.”

Back-to-back doubles from Max Huber and Jay Eilerman drove in three runs in the second inning.

Devon Poeppelman reached on an error and later scored on an error in the third inning to give Minster the 4-1 lead.

“We got caught sleeping there in the second and third innings,” Wapak coach Willie Sammetinger said.  “But we came back and got them back.  These guys never say die.”

Sammetinger replaced starting pitcher Marshall Gerlach with Miller in the fourth.  Miller threw three innings, holding Minster scoreless on a pair of singles and a walk.

Keaton Zwiebel pitched the seventh and slammed the door on Minster, striking out two in a 1-2-3 inning for his second save.

“He’s done a heck of a job,” Sammetinger said.

Josh Apple and Brandon Schreiber got things started in the fifth for Wapak, drawing back-to-back one-out walks.

Miller’s single then scored both runners when it got past Eilerman in center.

In the sixth, Andrew Hines drew a leadoff walk off of Poeppelman, who had just replaced Hoying on the mound.

Dylan Knoch walked with one out.  Alex Koch reached on an error to load the bases with one out.

Josh Apple lined out to first baseman Clay Brown for the second out.  Brown tried to double up Knoch at second, but his throw sailed into left field allowing Hines to score.

Miller singled to score Knoch and load the bases, setting up Kaeck’s double to right.

“We started both those innings off with walks and gave them a few baserunners,” Sherman said.  “Then the gloves didn’t quite get us out of the jam that we needed them to.  They hit the ball when they needed to, so hats off to them.”

Wapak is now 4-0 on the season and will host St. Marys on Thursday.