Miller City's Jacob Schimmoeller connects for a run scoring single in the Wildcats win over Ottawa-Glandorf Tuesday evening in the ACME sectional. (Putnam Sentinel/Charlie Warnimont)
Miller City's Jacob Schimmoeller connects for a run scoring single in the Wildcats win over Ottawa-Glandorf Tuesday evening in the ACME sectional. (Putnam Sentinel/Charlie Warnimont)

MILLER CITY — Miller City’s baseball team has to be one tired bunch of players. But they are a happy bunch of Wildcats.

In the past two days the Wildcats have played 20 innings of baseball. And while available pitching arms were getting scarce, Miller City found a way to preserve and pull out two wins in the ACME sectional tournament.

Miller City started play Tuesday, defeating Kalida 10-9 in 11 innings. The Wildcats then turned around and outlasted Ottawa-Glandorf 11-9 in nine innings to force a winner-take-all game Wednesday evening at Miller City at 6 p.m. Miller City is 10-2-1 on the season and O-G is 5-8. Both of these teams will be advancing to the ACME district tournament action this weekend at Patrick Henry.
The winner of the South ACME sectional will play Patrick Henry at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, while the second place team will play Pettisville at noon. Pettisville defeated Patrick Henry Tuesday to win the North division of the sectional.

Kalida was eliminated from the tournament with a 9-4 record.

In their game with O-G, the Wildcats went with sophomore-to-be Calvin Stechschulte on the mound. Although Stechschulte didn’t get the win, he pitched seven plus strong innings, allowing the Titans seven runs in his time on the mound.

“Calvin threw real well,” Miller City ACME coach Beau Pester said. “He mixed his speeds up real well. He pitched a great game today.”

Miller City attempted to give Stechschulte a win as they scored four times in the top of the eighth.

Hunter Berner got the Wildcats started in the eighth with a double to right field. After an out, Ross Lehman walked before both runners advanced a base on a balk.

Jacob Schimmoeller gave the Wildcats the lead with a single to left that moved Lehman to third base. After Schimmoeller stole second base, Adam Niese plated two runs with a single to left. Niese stole second base and took third on a wild pitch before Logan Dukes singled to center giving the Wildcats a four run lead.

Ottawa-Glandorf didn’t go quietly in the bottom of the eighth as Jordan Diemer singled to center and Brent Ellerbrock was hit by a pitch ending Stechschulte’s day on the mound. Pinch hitter Evan Barrett worked a walk against reliever Lehman before Tory Schroeder doubled to right field scoring two runs. After an out, Chandler Kersh hit a groundball to first base making it a one run game. Down to their final out, Noah Recker tied the game with a sharp single to center. Deitering followed with a walk before a popup to shortstop ended the inning.

Having lost the lead, the Wildcats got their leadoff man in the top of the ninth as Jeremy Balbaugh reached on a wild pitch after striking out. Berner gave Miller City the lead with a double off the left field wall as Balbaugh scored from first base. Berner stole eventually stole third and scored on a wild pitch as the next three Miller City batters went down in order.

In the bottom of the ninth, Lehman struck out three batters and walked one to end the game.

“It’s been a lot of baseball played the last two days,” Pester said. “I think we are hitting our stride at the right time. We are playing our best baseball right and we could not have picked a better time to do it.”

“A lot of credit to Miller City for this one,” O-G ACME coach Ryan Zender said. “I don’t know where that pitcher (Stechschulte) as far as their rotation, but he pitched a heck of a game for them. He did a nice job mixing up his pitches and keeping us off-balance. I’m proud of my team down four, it would have been easy to roll over, but we put together some quality at-bats, maybe some of the best at-bats we had in the game. We had the mind set of being patient and look for some good things to happen.”

Lehman picked up the win for Miller City as he worked the final two innings allowing two runs on two hits with three strikeouts and three walks. Berner, Schimmoeller, Lammers, Adam Niese and Dukes all had two hits for the Wildcats.

Deitering took the loss as he worked four innings allowing six runs on six hits with seven strikeouts. Recker and Diemer both had two hits for O-G.

In the first game Tuesday evening at Miller City, Kalida and Miller City completed a marathon 11 inning game that started Monday evening at Columbus Grove and was called after nine innings, tied 9-9, because of darkness. On Tuesday, Miller City pushed across a run in the top of the 11th, then survived a scare in the bottom of the inning to claim an 10-9 win.

Jackson Lammers gave Miller City a one out base runner in the 11th with a bunt single down the third base line that just stayed fair. He took second base as the throw to first base was wild. Lehman followed with a walk before the next batter struck out for the second out in the inning. Adam Niese gave his Wildcats the lead when he lined a single through the right side of the infield allowing Lammers to race home with the go ahead run.

In the bottom of the inning, Kalida got their leadoff runner on when Trevor Maag singled to left. Maag attempted to steal second base, but was cut down by Berner in a close play. Brady Laudick followed with a walk before a popup to shortstop was hauled in by Lammers for the second out. Austin Klausing walked and the base runners moved up on a wild pitch. A strikeout ended the game.

Jacob Kuhlman picked up the win as he one of four Miller City pitchers to work in the game. He worked the two innings Tuesday not allowing a run on one hit. Lammers started and worked a total of eight innings over two trips to the mound. Lehman worked two thirds of an inning and Schimmoeller worked a third of an inning. Lammers had nine strikeouts in the game and allowed six runs.

Noah Lambert took the loss for Kalida as he worked the two innings allowing one run on three hits with two strikeouts. Brady Laudick went five plus innings striking out 12 batters, while giving up six runs. Austin Swift worked four innings in relief striking out seven Miller City batters while allowing three runs. He finished Monday's portion of the game retiring eight straight batters, six by strikeout.
After allowing two first inning runs, Laudick retired 12 straight batters before a fifth inning, two out walk ended the streak. The two hits he allowed were both of the infield variety. Twice in the first five innings he struck out the side.

Kalida built a 6-2 lead with three runs in the third inning and three runs in the fifth. Both times Kalida sent nine batters to the plate in those innings. Miller City regained the lead when they erupted for seven runs in the sixth inning for a 9-6 lead. Kalida tied the game with three runs in the bottom of the sixth as they sent eight batters to the plate.
“It was a tough game,” Kalida ACME coach Gary Zeller said. “Our kids played real well, I was proud of them. We had a long game yesterday. We toughed it and we played hard. I thought our pitchers threw really well. I thought Brady threw really well with the 12 strikeouts in five innings. Austin came in with a sore arm and pitched well. It was just one of those seeing eye singles. We had a really good season and I look forward to next year.”
Laudick had three hits for Kalida in the game, while Drew and Brent Hovest both had two hits. Lammers had three hits for Miller City.

* * *

Miller City 202 020 042 - 11 13 2

Ottawa-Glandorf 102 020 040 - 9 9 3

WP-Lehman. LP-Deitering.

* * *
Miller City 200 007 000 01 - 10 9
Kalida 030 033 000 00 - 9 11
WP-Kuhlman. LP-Lambert.