By Charlie Warnimont
Sentinel Sports Editor
MILLER CITY - It didn't take long for Ottawa-Glandorf to get an upper hand on Leipsic in their losers bracket game at Miller City Monday evening.
The Titans scored a run in the opening inning and continued to add to that as they downed the Vikings 12-5 in the losers bracket final.
The win sends the Titans to the District 2 district tournament this weekend at Patrick Henry. The district tournament starts Saturday with games at 1 and 3:30 p.m. Pairings for the tournament have not been determined as the two sectionals feeding into the tournament have not been completed. Patrick Henry and O-G have advanced from the local ACME sectional tournament.
Ottawa-Glandorf opened the scoring in the first inning as Drew Schierloh was hit by a pitch nd stole second base. After a popup to short, Schierloh took third on a groundout before scoring on a wild pitch.
The Titans took control of the game in the second inning as they added three runs to their lead.
Austin Verhoff reached to start the inning on an error. After an out, Austin Williams was hit by a pitch before Chandler Kersh lined a triple to the wall in right-center making it a 3-0 game. An RBI single by Andrew Wischmeyer made it a 4-0 game. Wischmeyer stole second base, but was stranded there as two infield outs allowed the Vikings to escape the inning without any further damage being done.
"We scored the early runs and kept it going," O-G ACME coach Ross Deitering said. "We hit the ball hard tonight. That's the best I've seen our kids hit the ball."
While the Titans built an early lead, O-G starting pitcher Brad Croy kept Leipsic at bay through the first three innings as he allowed just one base runner. The Vikings lone base runner in the first three innings came in the first inning as Justin Ellerbrock worked a two out walk. A strikeout left Ellerbrock stranded at first base. Croy had three strikeouts through three innings and had only one out recorded by an outfielder.
After three solid innings on the mound, the Vikings touched him up for two runs in the fourth inning.
Alex Ellerbrock opened the Leipsic fourth with a single up the middle for the teams first hit of the game. Justin Ellerbrock was hit by a pitch before Gavin Cupp walked to load the bases. A walk to Dylan Schey forced in a run before Croy regained control of the game getting two strikeouts and a forceout to end the inning. A wild pitch allowed a second run to score.
After the Vikings cut into the O-G lead, the Titans responded with a three run fourth inning.
O-G's leadoff batter was a strikeout victim before Williams lined a single to left and took second base on a wild pitch. Kersh worked a walk before Williams reached on an error. After a popup to second base, Croy helped his own cause with a two run single to center and when Leipsic's centerfielder misplayed the ball Williams was able to take third. A single to left by Tyler Zender scored a run for the Titans and forced Leipsic to make a pitching change.
Schey came on in relief of starter Neil Haselman and quickly ended the inning by picking off an O-G runner at second base.
"That was huge," Deitering said. "They scored a couple of runs and we came right back and answered their challenge. That's what you have to do. You can't let teams think they can stay in the game.
"There were a couple of times we chipped into their lead and were getting close and they come out in the bottom half of the inning and tacked on to their lead. Once you give a team like O-G a few runs it's going to be hard to catch them," Leipsic coach Luke Haselman said.
O-G increased its lead in the bottom of the fifth as Ben Deitering and Austin Verhoff had doubles to open the inning. After a groundout to third base, Williams picked up an RBI with a triple to right-center. Williams was stranded at third base as a popup to first and a line drive to short ended the inning.
After Croy retired the Vikings in order in the fifth, he was unable to survive the sixth as the first three Leipsic batters had hits producing two runs.
Justin Ellerbrock opened the Viking sixth with a double to left field and Cupp picked an RBI with a single to left. Schey followed with a triple to right that scored Cupp and ended Croy's evening on the mound.
Matt Warnecke took over for O-G on the hill and he allowed the Vikings final run on a groundout to third base by Logan Selhorst. Warnecke faced seven batters in the game allowing on a seventh inning single by Alex Ellerbrock. He struck out one and had four groundball outs.
"Our pitchers did a great job," Deitering said. "Brad came out and threw strikes. That was probably the best I have seen him throw. Then Matt came on and closed it out. He did a good job. We didn't have any errors as we played good defense and didn't give them any extra chances."
O-G closed out the scoring in the sixth as Zender had an RBI single and Warnecke had a two run single.
"We knew coming into today against a team like O-G when they have everyone, we had to play to play pretty close to perfect baseball and we didn't," Haselman said. "We had five errors, some walks and a couple of hit batsmen. When you give a team as good as O-G a few runs and your trying to play catchup, it's going to be a long hard game for you. We ran out of gas ad couldn't catch up. I was proud of the kids for never giving up and battling back the way they did."
* * *
Leipsic 000 203 0 - 5 5 4
Ottawa-Glandorf 130 323 x - 12 11 0
WP-Croy. LP-N. Haselman.