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Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Wildcats rally for win

Hit batsman with bases loaded gives Minster 13-12 win

By Gary R. Rasberry

Minster's Alex Lehmkuhl, left, applies the tag to Crestview's Spencer Rolsten on. . .

MINSTER - After going 11 innings on Tuesday night to score one run, Minster got a little more offense during their annual Wednesday-evening non-conference game with Crestview.
After rallying to tie the game at 12-12 in the bottom of the seventh, Jon Niemeyer took one for the team and drew the game-winning, bases-loaded hit batsmen to pick up the 13-12 win at Hanover Street Park.
"By no means was it pretty baseball," Minster coach Mike Wiss said.
That would be an understatement.
The Wildcats (8-5) and the Knights (7-3) combined to issue 22 walks and two hit batsmen in the contest.
The difference came in the timing of the walks. Of the nine walks four Minster pitchers issued in the game, only three came in the final three innings with winning pitcher Carter Hogenkamp allowing just one walk over his three innings of relief.  
"When you're playing Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday-Friday and a double(header) Saturday, you have to go deep into the pitching staff," Wiss said. "We needed innings. Today, the best (innings) came from Carter. ... He threw the ball pretty well. He kept them off-balance."
In contrast, 12 of the 13 walks Crestview pitchers issued came in the final three innings, including three coming with the bases loaded as Minster rallied from being down 11-4 going to the bottom of the sixth. Jacob Painter, who came on in releif of Zechariah Simerman in the third inning, walked Jack Heitbrink and Bryce Schmiesing to start the sixth. After getting a strikeout, Hogenkamp walked to load the bases for pinch-hitter Isaac Dorsten, who drew the fourth walk of the inning to bring home a run. After Brant Richardson came on to try and get the Knights out of their jam, Isaac Schmiesing walked to score another run. Richardson got the second out on a strikeout, but Alex Lehmkuhl doubled in two runs to make it 11-8,
The Knights scored a run in the top of the seventh, but after Richardson walked Bryce Schmiesing and Nathan Schwieterman, Crestview skipper Jim Wharton called on Derek Stout to try and end the game, but Stout walked Ben Stubbs and Dorsten to bring home a run. Issac Schmiesing followed with his second straight RBI via the walk. Stout struck out Niemeyer before Lehmkuhl singled. Hogenkamp scored, but Jared Huelsman, who re-entered to run for Dorsten, was thrown out at the plate. Adam Knapke reloaded the bases with a single and then Heitbrink was hit by a pitch to bring home the tying run.
Crestview appeared to have scored the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth when it appeared Dylan Hicks had reached first when Heitbrink was unable to stay on the bag after getting the throw, allowing Painter to score. After an appeal and a meeting of umpires, the call was reversed to end the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Kody Shinabery led off by striking out. Hogenkamp and Huelsman followed with back-to-back singles and each moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch. With first base open, Wharton had Isaac Schmiesing sent to first on an intentional walk. Niemeyer, who had two hits in his first three at-bats but struck out in his last two appearances at the plate, worked the count to 1-1 before being hit on an inside pitch, which allowed Hogenkamp to score and end the game.
"We're trying to see how much baseball we can play this week," Wiss said with a chuckle. We played 11 innings (against St. Henry) last night and eight tonight. Maybe we are turning the corner and learning how to battle. Won't say it's pretty, but the word 'perseverance' is maybe what it is."
Bryce Schmiesing, Niemeyer, Lehmkuhl and Huelsman each had two hits for Minster.
Richardson had three hits for Crestview. Caden Hurless reached base every plate appearance and scored five runs. Rolsten drove in four runs.
The Wildcats have a quick turnaround as they host backyard rival New Bremen in an MAC contest today.
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