By Mark Ruschau
ST. HENRY -- St. Henry ACME continued its hot play on Tuesday night as it followed up its win over Coldwater on Monday night with a 12-2 run-rule win over Fort Recovery in Mercer County ACME league action at the Wally Post Athletic Complex.
With the win, St. Henry improves to 7-8 while Fort Recovery falls to 6-8.
The final score is a little deceptive as it was Fort Recovery that had the early chances to put runs on the board and failed to due so and suffered the consequences as the St. Henry bats came alive in the middle innings.
Fort Recovery had St. Henry staring pitcher Brent Bills on the ropes early but Bills was able to escape. For the game, Bills allowed seven hits, two unearned runs, walked two and posted seven strikeouts.
"Brent is going to be one of our top pitchers in the spring and to see him get himself into jams by giving up base hits and then getting out of them by making big pitches is nice to see," said St. Henry coach Joe Wourms. "The key for Brent was that he threw strikes when he had to. When he keeps the ball down, he's hard to hit." In the first inning, Chris Galdeen doubled and Bobby Rammel singled to start the game followed by a walk to Steve Trobridge to load the bases with one out. Bills worked out of the jam as Tony Diller struck out and Troy Metzger bounced out to end the inning with the bases loaded.
In the Indians' second frame, Kenton Sudhoff led off with a single and after Dave Schmitz struck out, Brad Fortkamp singled. Galdeen struck out for the second out and Rammel walked to load the bases before Steinbrunner flew out to end the inning.
"We had eight hits and left seven men on base and we had just two clutch hits," said Fort Recovery coach Brian Happy. "We not only did not get any timely hitting we did not even get any consistent contact. We had bases loaded twice and we just needed contact but we had too many men looking at strikes."
St. Henry got on the scoreboard as it scored four times in the second. Jordan Rutschilling, Jordan Woeste and Tyler Post singled to load the bases. Ryan Hartke then delivered the big hit as he blasted a triple to the gap in right center scoring three runs. Ryan Ranly plated the fourth run with a sacrifice fly.
Fort Recovery had another chance to get back in the game in the fourth as St. Henry committed three errors in the inning, but the Indians scored just once. Trobridge reached on an error and went to second on a sacrifice. Metzger then plated the first run for the Indians as he reached on an error, scoring Trobridge.
St. Henry put the game away scoring three times in the third. Bruggeman and Clune started the scoring with back-to-back home runs on consecutive pitches to make the score 6-0. With one out, Woeste walked and scored when Tyler Post and Ranly singled.
The St. Henry offense was keyed by the bottom of the order as Woeste, Post, Hartke and Ranly went 9-for-10, plating eight runs and combining for seven RBI.
"That kind of production is pretty incredible from the bottom of the order," said Wourms. "The bottom of the order produced tonight and that was great to see. We also got home runs from Jon and Kyle and when you get that and the production from the bottom of the order like we did, that's pretty hard to beat."