By Gary R. Rasberry
GREENVILLE -- It appears that nitro glycerine tablets are now a required part of the medicine bag for the Coldwater ACME coaches.
The Cavaliers advanced to the winner's bracket final of the 2006 State ACME Tournament with a pair of wild games over the weekend at GTI Field in Greenville.
After coming back to beat Toledo Central Catholic on Saturday, the Cavaliers nearly blew a four-run lead against Tiffin Columbian on Sunday. A spectacular throw by Ryan Geier to Keith Schoenherr got what would have been the tying run at the plate to end the game with a 6-5 win for the Cavaliers.
Coldwater (25-12) plays Defiance -- a team that the Cavaliers have faced on several occasions this season -- on Wednesday at 8 p.m. for a berth in the state championship game on Saturday. The Bulldogs (36-4) run-ruled both Bellefontaine (11-0) and Fairmont (11-1) over the weekend to advance.
What looked to be a routine Coldwater win at the start of the seventh inning turned into a whirling dervish of a finish. Jordan Borgerding, pitching his second inning in relief of starter Bill Geeslin, got off to a rough start as Phil Richard led off with a single. Borgerding then walked Josh Smith and Nick Montz back-to-back to load the bases for Brady Decker.
Borgerding enticed Decker to ground to second, allowing Rickard to score to make it 6-3. Aaron Hurd lofted a fly to right that Kyle Ahrens appeared to have for the second out, but Ahrens dropped the ball to allow Smith to score making it 6-4.
After Jake Peacock grounded out to move the runners up one base, Chris Sauber delivered a base hit. Montz scored easily as Columbian coach Curt Mellott waved Hurd around, but Geier grabbed the ball and came up firing to Schoenherr at home, who swiped the sliding Hurd to get the out and send the Coldwater fans into a frenzy.
After his pulse rate decreased, Coldwater coach Romie Schwieterman found a way to spin the final outcome before getting serious.
"Knowing Ryan's arm and the way it was hit, with two outs you have to send the runners and I thought a decent throw would get him," admitted Schwieterman. "Schoney did a nice job of getting it and blocking the plate. Coaches were actually off the ground and jumping in the air, with no springs or nothing."
Coldwater put two on the board in the bottom of the first as two of the three Cav hits in the inning never left the infield.
After adding single runs in the third and fourth, Geeslin, who scattered a hit through the first four innings, ran into trouble in the fifth. Columbian sent seven men to the plate in the inning and scored twice on a two-out single by Montz. Both runs were unearned thank to one of five Coldwater errors on the day.
Coldwater came back to get insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth. Tony Harlamert joined Riley Muhlenkamp with a three-hit day while James added a 2-for-4 day at the plate.
Schwieterman is ready for Defiance, a team the Cavaliers split a doubleheader with during the summer already.
"We look at teams that are in here, and we played Fairmont, Bellefontaine and Defiance," said Schwieterman, "We think Defiance looked, overall, to be the cream of the crop, besides us. They're a very solid ballclub."