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Monday, June 15th, 2009

Siefker sacrifice fly lifts Celina over St. Henry in eighth

By Gary R. Rasberry

Celina's Josh Leonard, left, dives back safely into first base as St. Henry's Br. . .

It appears that St. Henry and Celina just are not satisfied with just seven innings of baseball.  
For the second time this week, the two ACME teams needed extra innings to decide their game.
This time, however, Celina, which was beaten by St. Henry in the 10th on Tuesday, came back as Mike Siefker's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth scored Caleb Shreves to give Celina a 7-6 win in the first game of Saturday's round-robin quadrupleheader at Montgomery Field.
"It's fun baseball," said Celina coach Rob Howell. "They're learning a lot and we're learning a lot. (St. Henry's) a real good team."
Both teams came up with strong starting pitching. Celina's Josh Leonard was solid, giving up a run without benefit of a hit in the first, then throwing four scoreless innings while holding a no-hitter over the Redskins. St. Henry finally got a hit in the top of the sixth, triggering a comeback.
"We're really keeping an eye on pitch counts early in the summer, to make sure we don't go too deep," said Howell. "No reason to burn out right now. A good challenging game on the mound as well."
St. Henry starter Tyler Bruns, coming off a rocky start against Coldwater last Wednesday, gave up four runs over the first six innings, but kept the Redskins in the game.
"He pitched the ball in the bottom of the strike zone like he needed to," said St. Henry skipper Todd Franck. "He kept us in the game as he could. A very nice effort by him."
In the sixth with Celina up 4-1, St. Henry finally was able to get a read on Leonard, getting three runs off the Bulldogs' starter to tie the game and forcing the Green and White to bring on Kyle Markle to get out of the jam.
In the seventh, St. Henry went ahead as Tyler Bruns, who got the game-winning hit in the 10th on Tuesday against Celina, belted a triple to score Brady Kremer to make it 5-4. Celina got the run back, loading the bases off Bruns and bringing a run in on Darin Waterman's sacrifice fly, scoring Leonard.
In the eighth, Brad Kremer doubled in Jason Westgerdes to make the score 6-5. In the bottom of the inning, Bruns gave up a single to Derek Waterman and an RBI double to Caleb Shreves, forcing Franck to call on Westgerdes to try and close things out. After walking Kyle Berry, then picking him off on a steal attempt, Franck elected to walk both Kahl LaRue and Leonard to load the bases for Siefker, who lofted a fly ball to right that was deep enough to score Shreves for the game-winner.
"We played great team baseball. That's all it was," said Howell. "You get on base, whether on an error or just moving the baseball on two strikes, we're moving guys over and getting guys in. That's Baseball 101."
"Defensively, we didn't take care of the game (like) we should have early in the game," said Franck. "We gave them a couple of runs we shouldn't have and it came back to haunt us."
Leonard, Siefker, Darin Waterman and Derek Waterman each had two-hit games for the Bulldogs. Tyler Bruns had two of the four St. Henry hits.
Shawnee 7, Celina 6
With the Indians' 9-5 win over Crestview in game three, the final game of the day pitted the lone unbeatens in Celina and Shawnee, both 2-0 going into the night.
Celina looked poised to make it a 3-0 weekend, taking a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third as LaRue scored when T.J. Sloan was unable to pick up the ball after a Hayden Heiby single. Markle brought in Heiby with a double.
Shawnee tied thing up in the fourth off Derek Waterman when Neil Schmiedebusch singled in Austin Anderson. The Indians took a 4-3 lead in the fifth on an RBI double by Neil Spencer that scored Bruce Roberts.
Celina got the run back in the bottom of the fifth when Heiby got a two-out double, then scored on a Darin Waterman double.
In the top of the seventh, the Indians got runners on early off reliever Austin Bell, prompting Howell to bring on Mike Siefker. Anderson greeted Siefker by reaching on a fielder's choice that resulted in no outs. Trey Runneals followed by blooping a single over the drawn-in infield to score Spencer. One out later, Virgil Ellett doubled in Luke Morgan and Runneals to make it 7-4.
Roberts came in to relieve Morgan, who scattered five hits over six innings, in the seventh. Celina got two on via errors, but Roberts enticed Markle to pop to Spencer, who took over at catcher for Roberts, to end the game.
Crestview 17, St. Henry 7 (5 innings)
The Redskins scored three times in the top of the first, but the Knights exploded in the bottom of the inning, sending 17 men to the plate and scoring 11 times. St. Henry needed three pitchers to get out of the inning.
Meanwhile, Kyle Balliet bore down and allowed just one run over the next three innings, holding the Redskins to four hits over the first four innings, striking out six batters.
Additional online story on this date
A Fort Recovery teen remains in critical condition after he fell from the bed of a pickup truck early Sunday morning. The 4:13 a.m. mishap occurred along Erastus-Durbin Road, north of Siegrist Jutte Road, according to Mercer County Sheriff's Office reports. [More]
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