By Gary R. Rasberry
ST. HENRY -- Another night, another strong pitching performance for St. Henry.
Brady Schmitz allowed just two hits as the Redskins downed Celina 5-0 in Mercer County ACME play at the Wally Post Athletic Complex.
St. Henry improves to 2-1 overall and 2-0 in county ACME play. The loss for Celina came in their season opener.
Schmitz was in full control on the day, allowing just two Celina batters on by walks while striking out nine.
"You can't beat it," said St. Henry coach Joe Wourms. "That's two days in a row we've had fantastic pitching performances. (Wednesday) was Andrew Huelsman and Brady tonight. ... We played good defense. Keep your walks low and play great defense, you're going to be in every game." Celina coach Ron Fortkamp was full of praise for Schmitz.
"He pitched a real nice ball game," said Fortkamp. "He was in control the whole ballgame. Very seldom did he get behind. ... I wish he was wearing green."
Just as it was in Wednesday's win over Parkway, the second inning was big for the Redskins. After Caleb Byrley got the first two outs of the inning, Ryan Ranly drew a walk on four pitches. Brad Brophy followed up with a walk on four more balls out of the zone. Huelsman came up and singled home Ranly for the first run of the game. Rick Bergman came up with a single of his own to score Brophy. Schmitz added a third straight hit to score Huelsman. Fortkamp came calling for Byrley and brought in Jordan Heuker. Heuker gave up a single to Andy Puthoff before getting Matt Dippold to pop out to end the scoring.
"That's been our ballgame the last two games," said Wourms. "Last night we got three, tonight we got four. It's good to see. We finally got out of our shell and hit a bit tonight. We had a lot of baserunners tonight."
St. Henry got another run in the fifth with Heuker still on the mound. After Dippold grounded out, Alan Hartke doubled and moved to third on a passed ball. A wild pitch brought Hartke in for the final run of the game.
Meanwhile, Schmitz was cruising. Three times Celina runners were able to make it to third but Schmitz and the defense were able to end the inning with the runners stranded.
Huelsman and Schmitz each had two hits to pace the Redskins. Eric Braun and Doug Vorhees had the lone hits for the Bulldogs.
St. Henry travels to Maria Stein tonight for a 6:30 p.m. game with Marion. Celina has its first home game tonight against Parkway at Eastview Park, also at 6:30 p.m.