Tuesday, July 5th, 2011
Coldwater earns district berth by knocking off Celina
Mercer County ACME Sectional Tournament
By Gary R. Rasberry
Coldwater's Drew Klosterman connects for a hit during the Cavaliers' 8-5 win ove. . .
COLDWATER - The Coldwater Cavaliers secured a spot in the ACME district tournament by holding off a feisty Celina squad 8-5 on Monday at Veterans Field in the winner's bracket of the Mercer County ACME sectional tournament.
The Cavaliers now wait for the winner of tonight's elimination game between the Bulldogs and Flyers, which starts at 6:30 p.m. The Flyers got an impressive pitching performance from Reggie Wendel to send Parkway home for the season in the first game on Monday with a 9-0 shutout.
The county championship game takes place on Wednesday starting at 6 p.m. If Coldwater loses the first game, a second game will be played for seeding purposes in the district tourney.
Coldwater 8, Celina 5
The Cavaliers scored seven runs over the first two innings, which proved to be enough run support for pitcher Eric Schmackers. Coldwater was able to chase Celina's starter Kyle Berry after just 1 2/3 innings.
"We gave up four free passes in the first two innings and spot them seven runs," said Celina's coach Rob Howell. "You can't do that in tournament."
Turned out, Nate Mestemaker proved to be the tonic needed for the Bulldogs. Over the 4 1/3 innings Mestemaker was on the hill, the Cavaliers were held to two hits and one run, a Alex Stammen sacrifice fly to score Matt Selhorst in the fourth inning.
"Nate's a great team player," said Howell. "He'd do anything you ask him to do. As a senior, that's exactly what you want."
Mestemaker's relief work gave Celina a chance to rally. The best chance to dent the Cavaliers' lead came in the sixth when Schmackers gave up five hits and two runs (RBI singles from Riley Luebke and Alan Golden). The Coldwater defense, which had already turned two double plays in the game, got another superb effort when Celina's Derek Waterman singled to left. Celina's Shawn Stachler came around third and headed home as Coldwater's Grant Muhlenkamp fired to Stammen, who put the tag on with plenty of time to end the threat.
"It was a kind of a day where our defense hurt us, but also came up big for us," said Coldwater's coach Tom Brunswick. "We did have four errors, but we made two big plays: the double play being turned (to end the fifth) and also Grant's throw from left field was huge. We were having trouble finding outs at that point."
In the seventh, Celina got one more run when Luebke, who was 3-for-4 with three RBI, singled in Braden Billger, but Schmackers bowed his back and got Stachler to ground into a force out at second to end the game.
"Our guys hung tough mentally, stayed right in the ballgame and made a game of it," said Howell. "We had our chances."
"They battled to the end. Our guys knew they were going to," said Brunswick of Celina. "It was nice to have the lead early and we had to hang on at the end. Schmacks didn't have his stuff like he usually does, but he battled through."
Selhorst went 3-for-4 and scored three of the eight Coldwater runs. Drew Klosterman and Stammen each drove in two runs.
Waterman, Billger and Golden each collected two hits for Celina.
Marion Local 9, Parkway 0
Needing a win to stay alive in the postseason, the Flyers' Wendel came through with a stellar showing on the mound. Wendel scattered three hits, struck out nine and did not allow a Panthers' baserunner to advance past second base.
"He pitched well," said Flyers' coach Ryan Albers. "That's the best he's thrown all year. Nine strikeouts. ... he was dominant out there. Defense made some plays for him (Flyers played errorless baseball). He threw very well."
Marion got the only run it needed in the top of the first as Jordan Rethman singled, stole second and third and scored on Danny Liette's RBI single.
The Flyers added another run in the third and two more in the sixth before capping off the day with seven runs off reliever Jordan Stephenson in the seventh.
Liette went 4-for-5 for the Flyers, Rethman was 3-for-3 with three runs scored and Nate Hess added a 3-for-4 game with Lee Pierron going 2-for-4 with three RBI.
"Some big hits late. It seems we had some runners on in the early innings and couldn't get the big hit to get insurance," said Albers, whose squad stranded 11 runners. "Sixth and seventh innings, we got those big hits and poured it on."
Celina 1, St. Henry 0 (9 innings)
Cody Vogel scored on a wild pitch in the top of the ninth to give Celina its first win of the summer over the Redskins, who outscored the Bulldogs 13-2 in the two regular-season games.
Bulldogs' hurler Riley Luebke and the Redskins' Trey Rutschilling nearly matched each other pitch for pitch.
Luebke came out of the game after a runner got to third in the eighth inning. Braden Billger came on, and after loading the bases with intentional walks, struck out three batters to get out of the jam.
Derek Rindler, who one-hit Celina just a week ago, took the loss after Rutschilling pitched seven innings.
Vogel was 2-for-4 in the game for Celina.
Coldwater 9, Marion Local 2
The top-seeded Cavaliers used a five-run fourth inning to put away the Flyers and move in the championship bracket final.
Alex Stammen had two doubles and Jordan Klosterman belted a two-run home run in the fourth to pace the Cavaliers. Coldwater's Christian Schramm was the winning pitcher.
Parkway 13, St. Henry 8
The Panthers scored in every inning to eliminate the second-seeded Redskins from the tournament. A five-run first inning set the tone as Parkway collected 11 hits in the game.
Jonathan Fent, Brett Swygart and Cain Pontsler each tripled for Parkway. Derek Luth picked up the win on the mound for the Panthers.