By Gary R. Rasberry
ST. HENRY -- For the first five innings, things seemed to be in control for the St. Henry ACME team as the Redskins held a 2-0 lead on New Bremen.
Then the Cardinals came back to score three times in the sixth to take the lead. St. Henry tied the game in the bottom of the inning but New Bremen came back again, using three St. Henry errors to get five runs across and pick up an 8-3 win at the Wally Post Athletic Complex.
The win is the first for New Bremen this summer in three contests. St. Henry drops below .500 for the first time this summer at 4-5.
"It was a great win for the team," said Cardinals summer coach Jim Firks. "We struggled early and hit a lot of pop-ups and couldn't hit the line drives we needed to."
Things looked bleak as the Cardinals came down to their potentially final six outs. Redskins starter Michael Hoying was able to get out of jams through five innings thanks to great defense and heads-up calls. A play in the fifth may have been the big play if not for New Bremen's rally. With one out and Scott McCollum on third for the Cardinals, Craig Eiting hit a long fly to left. Brady Schmitz made the catch and came up throwing. McCollum got in safely to tie the game at one. St. Henry coach Joe Wourms told Hoying to appeal the play at first, saying McCollum left early. The ball went to third and the home plate umpire ruled that McCollum left well before the tag.
In the sixth, Andy McMurray drew a lead-off walk, stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. Alex Leugers lifted a fly to right deep enough to score McMurray and cut the lead to 2-1. Todd Keller and Tyler Ranly followed with singles. Wourms called on Andrew Huelsman to try and end the threat. McCollum grounded to short, where Huelsman's replacement Ryan Ranly misplayed the ball, scoring Keller. Aaron Timmerman gave the Cardinals the lead with a deep fly to right to score Ranly's pinch-runner for the lead.
St. Henry came back in the bottom of the sixth. Rick Bergman led off with a double and moved up on Mike Gast's groundout. Pottkotter hit a long fly to center to score Bergman and tie the game.
In the seventh, after one out was recorded McMurray belted a triple to the rightfield fence and gave the Cardinals the lead for good by scoring on a wild pitch. After the second out of the inning, Todd Keller reached on a dropped fly ball in center. Tyler Ranly and McCollum walked and Timmerman reached on another St. Henry error. A dropped ball at first allowed Jason Keller to reach base and clear the bases.
"McMurray's triple kind of ignited the whole thing," said Firks. "That was big leading to the five runs."
"We didn't play bad for five innings," said Wourms. "The tide just turned. We had a few big errors that cost us a lot of runs. You have to give New Bremen credit. They got timely hitting and took advantage of everything we gave them."
Tyler Ranly started the bottom of the seventh by striking out Huelsman. Ryan Ranly was hit by a pitch and Schmitz walked. Firks brought McCollum in to close the door, getting Matt Dippold to pop to first and then getting Andy Puthoff to ground to shortstop to get the force at second.
"Fortunately, Tyler kept us in the game," said Firks. "He kept it close and those little pop-ups became line drives. Scott finished great for us."
Ryan Ranly had the big hitting day for St. Henry, going 3-for-3 with a run scored while Matt Dippold added two RBI.
St. Henry travels to Fort Recovery tonight for a 6:30 p.m. game.