Monday, July 16th, 2007
New Bremen wins district crown
Cardinals advance to ACME state tourney
By Gary R. Rasberry
New Bremen's Corey Barlage, top, dives back to third base to try and tag out Col. . .
COLDWATER - The ACME District 4 championship game featured a pitcher's duel between Coldwater and New Bremen, and as it turned out, both teams had just one bad inning.
All the runs in the game were scored in the third.
Coldwater put two across in the top of the inning to keep their hopes alive for a third straight trip to the state tournament.
New Bremen responded with five runs in the bottom of the inning. With solid pitching from Anthony Moeder and solid defense, the score held up as the Cardinals advanced to state with a 5-2 win at Veterans Field.
The Cardinals (19-6) head to Bryan next Saturday for a first-round meeting against District 6 champion Ben Logan at 5 p.m. New Bremen won the state title in 1964, ironically beating the Cavaliers. Coldwater, the state runner-up the past two seasons, ends its campaign at 25-7.
The first two innings were quick ones as Coldwater's Jordan Borgerding, who won the loser's bracket game earlier in the day against Van Wert, and Moeder were in control.
Coldwater caught a break in the third. Gavin Keck singled to left to start the inning. Alex Geier, who is usually hit for by Keck, pushed a bunt down the first base side and Moeder's throw to first was high, allowing Keck to score all the way from first while putting Geier on third. Chad Westgerdes brought in Geier with a single to right making it 2-0.
The New Bremen defense, though, made a big stop to get out of any more trouble. With Westgerdes at third and Keith Schoenherr at first, Keith Wenning grounded one down to third base, where Corey Barlage snagged the ball and immediately tagged a surprised Westgerdes for the second out. Wenning was safe at first, but Schoenherr was caught in no-mans land, getting tagged out to end the inning.
New Bremen struck back in the bottom of the third. Jared Cox drew a walk before Spencer Rohr put down a perfect bunt to reach base on the single. Coldwater coach Romie Schwieterman wasted no time in pulling Borgerding, who was over 100 pitches combined on the day, for Geier, who normally doesn't come in until save situations.
Kurt Brown stepped up and looked to bunt the runners over, but once Geier got the ball, the throw to first went into foul territory in right. Cox scampered around to tie the game and Brown went to third.
Corey Jutte stepped up and got a a single to put two runners on before a balk scored Brown to break the tie. Matt McCollum later singled to bring up Brad Wendel and the lefty put one into the gap in right-centerfield, bringing in Jutte and McCollum to make it 5-2.
"A couple of bunts worked well that inning," said New Bremen coach Gregg McCollum. "Our goal today was to believe and achieve. That's what we did.
"The key (defensive) play was at the end of (Coldwater's) inning, when Barlage caught the ball down the line, tagged the guy and got the guy going from first. That was a key play of the game. It seemed to change our momentum."
"At this point, we were spinning the wheel of fortune and seeing who was left," said Schwieterman, referring to the fact that the Cavaliers were running out of pitching. "Borgerding stayed cleaned enough where he thought he could throw one. Then he threw just nine pitches and the second inning he threw about 4-5. We brought him out and we knew we were dialing a bit."
From there, Zach Siefring shut down the Cardinals, scattering one hit over 3 2/3 innings and striking out three.
Moeder, who beat Coldwater 3-1 in first-round play the previous Sunday, breezed through innings four through six, allowing just two walks over the span.
"Worked through a lot of things," said coach McCollum. "Made a lot of key defensive plays. We played pretty good defense all year. It was a key to our win, I think. They believe in themselves. That's what it takes. And we believe in them too," said coach McCollum.
Loser's Bracket Final
Coldwater 11, Van Wert 3
The Cavaliers plated four in the first and two more in the third to put the game away in a hurry. Wenning broke the game open with a three-run triple and later scored on a throwing error.
Borgerding scattered five hits over seven innings, not allowing a walk as the Cougars scored one in the fourth and two in the fifth, but did not get many more chances as Borgerding retired the last seven batters of the game.
Keck, Wenning, Harlamert and Westgerdes each had two hits in the contest.
Karlin Dunlap had two of the five hits in the game for the Cougars, who ended their season at 24-5.
New Bremen 9, Van Wert 4
The Cardinals scored three runs in the third to take a 4-3 lead, then added three runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth to advance to Sunday's title game.
Brad Wendel came back from pitching two innings on Thursday to shut down Van Wert from the third inning on, scattering three hits and two walks in the complete-game win, striking out five.
The third inning saw New Bremen get four straight hits, including doubles by Anthony Moeder and Wendel. Four straight hits was also the catalyst for the fourth-inning scoring burst as Moeder, Matt McCollum, Wendel and Corey Barlage collected singles to make it 7-3.
Moeder and McCollum each went 3-for-3 with two runs scored while Barlage went 3-for-4 with an RBI.
Coldwater 11, Minster 1 (5 innings)
The Cavaliers made quick work of the Wildcats, who were missing several key players due to a family wedding back in Minster, by scoring three runs in the bottom of the first and four more in the second. Coldwater scored at least one run in each of the five innings, including Harlamert scoring on a Justin Goubeaux infield single in the fifth to trigger the run rule.
Wenning allowed a leadoff triple to Brian Mueller, who scored later on a Vince Fullenkamp sacrifice fly, then shut down the Wildcats by allowing just two more hits before giving way to Geier in the fifth. Wenning walked just one batter and struck out eight, including getting seven straight outs via punchout. Geier allowed a second triple to Mueller in the fifth, but left him stranded on third in getting the final two outs.
Mueller, who had an incredible tournament, went 3-for-3 with a run scored.
Westgerdes, Geeslin, Borgerding and Wenning each had two hits for the Cavaliers.