Tuesday, July 10th, 2007
By Gary R. Rasberry
Minster bats trounce Crestview by run-rule
COLDWATER - After suffering a run-rule loss on Sunday in their opening game of the District 4 ACME Tournament, the Minster Wildcats had two options.
They could go through the motions and end their season, or they could vent some frustrations and make Crestview pack it in for the year.
Minster took option two.
The hit parade started with the very first batter of the game as Minster stayed alive in the tournament with an 18-3 win in six innings over the Knights at Veterans Field in Coldwater.
The Wildcats (15-7) await the loser of Wednesday's New Bremen-Fort Loramie game for their next opponent on Friday at approximately 8:15 p.m. The first game on Friday will have Coldwater, which benefited from Anna's forfeit in the tournament, facing the loser of Fort Recovery and Van Wert on Wednesday.
"We played a whole lot better than yesterday," said Minster coach Mark Wiss. "We made the defensive plays today. We had good pitching (and) we hit a ton. We just hit a ton and it started in the top of the first.
"Guys were down after (Sunday's) game. I was down too. I told the guys the team we're playing (Crestview) is in the same boat: one game away from elimination. They're going to be coming in with the same attitude. If we jump on them early, they might fold. Guess what happened?"
Minster belted 14 hits on the night and took of advantage of seven walks issued by four Crestview pitchers.
Brian Mueller took the second pitch of the game to the right-centerfield fence for a standup triple, scoring later when Robert Gruber reached on an error.
The second inning was the only frame Minster did not score. That fact was compensated by five runs in the third, three more each in the fourth and fifth, then a run-rule triggering six runs in the sixth.
The top three batters in the Minster order - Mueller, Gruber and shortstop Aaron Heitbrink, did a lot of damage, combining to go 7-for-14 with nine runs scored and nine RBI. All four extra-base hits - three doubles and a triple - also came from the top three in Minster's batting order.
"That really set the tone," said Wiss. "You get Brian on base, we're going to score some runs (Mueller scored three runs). Aaron in the three hole, he's been playing ACME and Legion (for Sidney). That's just huge."
The day was also a reversal of fortune for Josh Corbit, who lasted just 1 2/3 innings in taking the loss against Fort Recovery. Corbit got plenty of help in his first three innings on Monday. Twice Crestview had a runner on third with less than two outs, only to have the Wildcat defense come up big.
The only hiccup in the game for the Wildcats came in the fourth when Corbit lost the strike zone. Corbit walked three of the first five batters he faced, with the third bringing in a run. Wiss brought on Eric Trushaw, who promptly walked Ian Clay to make it 9-2. Tony Springer followed up with a shot to shortstop that Aaron Heitbrink could not make a play on for the error to score Jordan Speaks.
From there, Trusaw went on lockdown, retiring the side in the fifth and sixth to earn the win.
"Brought Josh back out tonight after a rough start yesterday. He got a couple of good ones out of him," said Wiss. "Then Eric comes out of the pen and does a tremendous job throwing strikes. We played good defense behind them.
"Nice defense. Timely hitting. Very few walks. I couldn't be happier."
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