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Monday, May 7th, 2007

Redskins lose a wild one; Panthers slip past Bearcats

By Gary R. Rasberry

St. Henry's Nick Bruns, left, and Josh Werling, right, converge on the ball in t. . .

COLDWATER - What looked to be the perfect situation for St. Henry turned out to be the cruelest of fates.
Down one run with one out in the bottom of the seventh with the tying run in scoring position and one of their best hitters at the plate, the Redskins took part in one of the oddest finishes in baseball as Crestview held on to end the Redskins' postseason with an 11-10 win in the second game of the Division III sectional tournament at Veterans Field in Coldwater on Saturday.
The Knights, beating St. Henry for the second straight season in the sectional, advance to Friday's second sectional final against Northwest Conference foe Lima Central Catholic.
The first game of Friday's twinbill will feature a MAC matchup with top seed Coldwater facing Parkway for the second time in less than a week after the teams play their conference matchup on Tuesday. The Panthers struggled early before taking down Spencerville 7-5 in the first game on Saturday.
Crestview 11, St. Henry 10
The game had twists that a pretzel maker could be proud of as Crestview scored five times in the top of the first inning and was up 8-4 through the top of the fourth, only to have St. Henry tie the game in the bottom of the fourth.
Crestview responded in the top of the fifth with two more runs off Jay Woeste, who was chased after getting just one out in the top of the first, then came back in to relieve Jon Clune after Clune got into a jam in the fourth. Tyler Post came in to try and stop the threat but Crestview went up 10-8, then added a run in the sixth to go into the bottom of the seventh up 11-8 and the bottom of the St. Henry batting order to deal with.
"That was the key there," said St. Henry coach John Dorner. "Dropping 5-0 and eventually coming back to tie it at 8-8, you have to go out there and throw out a zero and carry the momentum. Right away (Crestview) went right back up. You have to give some credit to Crestview. They came in here with a gameplan and carried through on their gameplan."
Scott Eickholt, who relieved Cody Michaud in the bottom of the fourth and kept the Redskins at bay for several innings, ran into trouble when Woeste led off the bottom of the seventh with a triple. Mike Gast followed with a walk and Brent Kremer stepped up and hit a hard shot to first base. Cory Michaud dove to the base to get Kremer out, allowing Woeste to score making it 11-9.
Josh Werling stepped up and reached base on an error down the third-base line before Kyle Bruggeman, 4-for-4 already with two doubles, a triple and four RBI, singled in Gast to cut the deficit to 11-10 and sending Werling to second with the tying run.
Andy Puthoff, one of the hardest hitters in the area, stepped in to try and either tie or win the game, but Eickholt's pitch hit the plate and bounced fair. Crestview catcher Josh Harmon quickly stepped out to get the ball and placed a tag on Puthoff for the out. Werling, not sure what was going on, got caught midway to third as Harmon threw over. The Knights got Werling in a rundown and finally got the tag to end the game.
"Just a fluke situation," said Dorner of the ending play. "Crestview doesn't hit it hard, they spray it around. They found holes and did what they had to do to end the game. We had opportunities. We made a bundle of mistakes.
"We tried hard. I'm super proud of the effort. We had multiple opportunities. We just didn't get the job done."
Crestview skipper Jim Wharton was also proud of his team.
"I think our kids grew up a lot today, even though they're predominantly seniors," said Wharton. "When you have two clubs like Crestview and St. Henry with the type of hitters both teams have, we knew it was going to be like a heavyweight prizefight. We were fortunate.
"Credit our kids, but also credit St. Henry. We put five up early and they responded and came back. That shows a lot of character on their part."
Parkway 7, Spencerville 5
Things looked rough early for Parkway as the Bearcats, who beat the Panthers 6-5 during the first week of the season, took a 2-0 lead through the top of the fourth inning.
Panther starter Jensen Painter, coming off a no-hitter of Versailles on Tuesday, had some struggles early, allowing five runs in five innings of work before giving way to Trevor Krogman in the fifth.
"We kind of came out here and went through the motions," said Parkway coach Eric Stachler. "It was one of those where we thought we could just show up and play, and walk off with a W.
"Jensen struggled and I have to give Spencerville a lot of credit. They made Jensen throw a lot of pitches early. Jensen couldn't locate his curveball and they were sitting dead-red on his fastball. They got a couple of key hits. We gave them extra outs and kicked the ball around a bit."
Parkway began to cut away at the lead with a run in the fourth followed by a three-run fifth.
The big blow came in the sixth with one out. Michael Baldauf led off with a single, followed by another single by Kyle Hamrick. Derik Snyder, who missed early week action with a sprained ankle, turned on a full-count offering from Matt Miehls and lofted a shot to left. The outfielder slipped moving in and the ball went to the fence, allowing Baldauf and Hamrick to score and Snyder to slide into third with a triple.
Painter later brought in pinch-runner Ethan Hayes for the final run of the game.
Krogman got the win with two innings of no-hit baseball, striking out five along the way.
"Trevor came in and pitched well. He was mixing his pitches up and got his curve ball over. That was really the key," said Stachler.
Snyder went 3-for-4 with two RBI for Parkway while Painter and Jordan Thompson each added two hits.
Additional online stories on this date
FORT RECOVERY - With elevated pulses and broken-in sneakers, a group of residents attempted to walk all the way from Indian Stadium to St. Louis ... figuratively anyway. [More]
NEW BREMEN - It took two days, but the Division IV sectional softball doubleheader is finally in the books.
Persistent rain forced a suspension of the second game after the third inning on Saturday, but blue skies on Sunday allowed the game to be finished under more favorable conditions. [More]
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