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Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Coldwater waits for Wapak, St. Henry winner

By Gary R. Rasberry

The baseball skips away from St. Henry's Nate Uhlenhake, back left, and Jordaon. . .

MINSTER - Coldwater punched the ticket to what has become a regular spot for the team over the past several years, a place in the ACME District 4 Baseball Tournament championship series.
The Cavaliers scored six runs early, giving pitcher Reese Klenke plenty of support to put Coldwater in the title game with an 8-1 decision over Wapakoneta in the winner's bracket final on Monday at Hanover Street Park.
Coldwater (18-8) knows it will face a group of Redskins in the final, but will have to wait to see if it's Wapak or St. Henry after St. Henry held off Crestview 5-3 in the loser's bracket semifinal.
St. Henry and Wapakoneta square off at 5:30 p.m. today in the loser's bracket final. The winner will play a second game tonight against Coldwater at approximately 7:45 p.m. for a berth in the State ACME Tournament starting Saturday at Shawnee. Should the winner from the loser's bracket beat Coldwater, a second championship game will be played Wednesday at a time to be determined.
Coldwater 8, Wapakoneta 1
The Cavaliers got things rolling right away as Chad Westgerdes led off with a double and Jordan Woeste walked before Aaron Rammel reached on an error to load the bases. Keith Wenning took one for the team by getting hit by a Kaleb Coil pitch to bring Westgerdes home for the opening run. Back-to-back sacrifice flies by Adam Rammel and Klenke gave the Cavaliers enough runs for the win.
Insurance came in the second with three runs as Westgerdes singled in Colin Paynter and Alex Kramer came home on a Woeste RBI groundout. Wenning brought in Westgerdes with a double.
"It was nice getting six runs in the first two innings," said Coldwater coach Tom Brunswick. "It helped the kids' confidence and I know it helped Reese's confidence. He was able to go right at the hitters with a lead like that. We had some good at-bats tonight."
  That was more than enough for Klenke to get through the game for the win. Klenke gave up a run in the second inning, but held Wapak hitless for the final four innings of the game, walking two batters and striking out seven to put the Cavaliers in the title game.
"It's important to know how to pitch with a lead," said Brunswick. "He kept the walks down and was able to go right at hitters. When you do that, your defense will make plays for you (Coldwater turned two double plays in the game). And we did tonight."
Westgerdes and Paynter each had two hits for the Cavaliers.
St. Henry 5, Crestview 3
The Redskins had nearly the same start as their Mercer County rivals, scoring three times in the top of the first thanks to an RBI double by Tyler Post sandwiched between sacrifice flies by Tyler Bruns and Cory Siefring.
But Knights starter Jordan Speaks rebounded and slowed down the Redskins for the next five innings, scattering two hits before being replaced on the mound after issuing a leadoff walk to Siefring to start the sixth. Nick Mengerink then retired St. Henry in order to stop a rally.
St. Henry starter Brad Kremer worked his way through four scoreless innings before the Knights got on the scoreboard when Evan Vining singled in Brad Miller to make it 3-1.
The biggest challenge of the night for Kremer and the Redskins came in the bottom of the sixth. Josh Staten led off with a double, followed by a single by Mengerink. Ian Zollars bunted to move the runners up a base each, but the Redskins tried for the force at third, and missed, loading the bases with no outs.
Stephen Semer came on to pinch hit, but Kremer enticed a strikeout for the first out. Miller came up and popped up a 1-1 offering near the backstop, where Kurt Koesters snagged the ball for the second out. Steven Rickard followed with a foul pop that Koester snagged to keep the Redskins two runs up.
"It's huge for us," said St. Henry coach Todd Franck. "I was hoping to get out of (the inning) with (Crestview) scoring one or two runs. We were able to shut them down."
St. Henry took advantage, scoring twice as Neil Schwieterman doubled in Jason Westgerdes, with Schwieterman scoring on a Tyler Bruns single to make it 5-1.
The insurance runs were needed, as the Knights got two runs off Kremer in the seventh before a fly ball to right ended the game.
"It got a little crazy at the end," said Franck. "I was glad we got a couple insurance runs because we sure needed them. Brad had a great game offensively (2-for-4 with a run scored) and pitching for us. Tyler and Neil came up clutch at the end of the game for us with big hits. We're lucky to escape out of here with a win."
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