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Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Cavaliers earn spot in district tournament, Celina defeats St. Henry to keep season alive

ACME District 4: St. Henry Sectional

By Gary R. Rasberry

Celina's Justin Keeling waits for the ball as St. Henry's Mitchel Stammen heads. . .

ST. HENRY - Comebacks were made Monday night during the third day of action at the ACME District 4 St. Henry sectional tournament.
Coldwater survived Parkway's scoring four runs in the bottom of the sixth to send the opening game into extra innings. Jack Hemmelgarn's squeeze bunt single scored Derek Thobe in the top of the eighth to send the Cavaliers to the sectional title game and earn a spot in the district tournament with a 5-4 victory in the winner's bracket final.
In the nightcap, Celina struggled for three innings against St. Henry ace Ryan Mikesell, but strung together base hits and took advantage of two Redskin errors in the fourth to rally for a 4-2 win in an elimination game.
Celina and Parkway return to the Wally Post Athletic Complex tonight at 7 p.m. for the loser's bracket final. The winner, which earns the other qualifying spot to district, takes on Coldwater Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Coldwater 5, Parkway 4 (8 innings)
Brandon Kunk kept the Panthers off-balance for the first five innings. After allowing a leadoff single to Tanner Bates, the Coldwater left-hander retired the next 13 batters after getting a strikeout and a double play to end the first inning. Devin Stover broke the streak with a two-out walk in the fourth.
Coldwater got a trio of runs early off Hayden Abromavich as Brody Hoying doubled and scored on an error off Aaron Harlamert's single in the first. Chris Post singled in Derek Thobe in the fourth and Hoying's solo home run sparked a two-run fifth to make it 4-0.
The momentum changed in the sixth as Connor Morton, who relieved Abromavich in the top of the sixth, led off with a single. After a Bailey Rodriguez sacrifice bunt, Tanner Bates scored Morton with a single. After Kunk got the second out of the inning, Waytt Felver and Brandon Gibson had back-to-back RBI singles, followed by an RBI double from Abromavich to tie the game. Kunk was pulled for Kyle McKibben, who got the final out of the inning.
"Guys showed a lot of heart. I like to see the fight in them," Parkway coach Taylor Bates said.
"Brandon gave us a great outing," Coldwater skipper Tom Brunswick said. "He was very good the first four to five innings, then in the sixth got into trouble. ... All of the sudden (Parkway) started hitting."
Neither team scored in the seventh. In the eighth, Derek Thobe singled. Post laid down a bunt and reached safely. Dylan Thobe bunted the runners up to bring up Hemmelgarn. Brunswick called for the squeeze, which Hemmelgarn worked to perfection for a bunt single to score Derek Thobe.
McKibben retired the side in the bottom of the eighth to pick up the win.
"(This was) the third time we played Parkway," Brunswick said. "They have a good ball club. They had a lot of energy. Our guys did just enough. Got the squeeze down and executed. We're just happy to win and move on."
"They did a great job of hitting the ball tonight," coach Bates said of Coldwater. "They outhit us (12 to five)."
Post and Derek Thobe each had three hits for the Cavaliers. Hoying added two hits.
Elimination Game
Celina 4, St. Henry 2
Mikesell was firmly in control over the first three innings, allowing just a walk and a hit batsmen as Mitchel Stammen had a pair of RBI singles in the first and third innings to put the Redskins into the lead 2-0.
Jimmy Luebke, coming in to pitch after throwing four innings on Saturday, was sharp on short rest. Other than the six hits allowed in his six innings of work, hitting his innings limit of 10 innings over three days, Luebke allowed just one walk and struck out six.
"Jimmy threw a heckuva game," Celina coach Scott Montgomery said. "He threw fine. We made some mistakes early but shook it off."
In the fourth, Celina finally was able to get to Mikesell. After Luebke walked to start the inning and Mikesell struck out C.J. Kimmel, Jacob Homan and Shawn Rose had back-to-back singles to load the bases for Tanner Freeman, who took a 1-1 offering to right field to score Luebke. Jacob Smalley stepped in and hit a hard chopper down the third base line that could not be handled cleanly, scoring Homan to tie the game. Mikesell struck out Isaiah Eichler for the second out and looked to have escaped further damage when Justin Keeling hit a fly to center. The ball, however, was dropped, allowing Freeman and Smalley to score to make it 4-2.
"With this being our third time facing St. Henry over here, I thought we got things together," Montgomery said. "We capitalized when we needed to."
"It can happen in the blink of an eye," St. Henry coach Brent Koesters said. "Similar to Saturday (in St. Henry's loss to Parkway). One inning and four runs. Just a couple plays here and there. It's disappointing."
Luebke allowed a hit to start the fifth and then retired his last six batters. Seth Lonsway, who also pitched Saturday, came on to close the door, sandwiching a walk to D.J. Kunkler between three strikeouts for the save.
Mikesell struck out 10 batters in 5 1/3 innings with two walks and five hits. Stammen came on to pitch the final two outs.
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