|Warnecke pitches Blue Jays into D-IV Regionals|
|Saturday, May 25, 2013 12:03 AM|
By JIM METCALFE
ELIDA — The weather Friday at Ed Sandy Memorial Field was brilliant and crisp for the Division IV District baseball final.
St. John’s needed an even more brilliant performance from senior starter Troy Warnecke if the Blue Jays were going to knock off the favored Miller City Wildcats and keep going in the postseason.
They got that, all right, as he twirled a two-hitter to go the distance in a 3-1 victory.
“He gives us a second solid starter behind Curtis (Geise). Troy was outstanding today with the movement he had on his pitches, the location and the change of speeds,” St. John’s head coach Ryan Warnecke said. “We thought he’d be solid all year and he started out with a solid fastball at the start of the year but I think he overdid it. He pitched a couple of games but then we had to shut that down some. He took that time to learn the curve ball and he used that very well today to keep them off-balance because we knew they could hit the ball well if you didn’t.”
The Jays (11-14) advance to take on the winner of Ottawa-Hills/Northwood at 2 p.m. Thursday in the Patrick Henry Regional semifinal in Hamler.
Warnecke (2-3) also walked two, gave up an earned run and fanned three, not giving up a hit after the second frame in his 84-pitch outing (56 for strikes).
“I don’t have an overwhelming fastball but the curve makes it more effective. I was confident today from the start,” Troy Warnecke explained. “I knew I could trust my defense, especially knowing how well Curt plays at short. I got stronger as the game wore on because I was just feeling it today, being in a district final and wanting to keep going.”
He outdueled Wildcat (17-8) freshman Jackson Lammers (93 pitches, 59 for strikes) as he went the distance (6 hits, 3 walks, 3 earned runs, 4 Ks).
“Jackson pitched very well today. This was the best we’ve seen him pitch this year. He knows how to use his fastball and curve well in tandem,” Miller City head coach Dusty Pester pointed out. “We just didn’t do well enough offensively to give him a chance to win. We had our chances but give credit to their pitcher. He did the same thing to us as Jackson did to them. When you give up three runs in a high school game, you have a good chance to win.”
Tied at 1-1 starting the bottom of the fifth, the Jays scored twice to take the lead for good. With one down, Curtis Geise — who played a brilliant defensive game at short with six putouts, including several outstanding efforts — beat out an infield hit on a chopper up the middle that shortstop Ross Lehman could not come up with. He stole second and scored as Ryan Buescher beat out an infield hit wide of first base. In the process, an error on the play allowed Geise — running all the way — to touch the dish. Warnecke (2-for-3) singled to right and a wild pitch moved both runners up a base. Andrew Metzger bounced out to short to plate Buescher for a 3-1 edge.
The Jays had a chance to add at least another run in the sixth. With one down, Drew Wagner walked and Andy May pinch-ran. He was forced out at second on a Craig Klausing ground ball. Ben Wrasman (2-for-3) doubled to deep right but a perfect Ross Kaufman-Adam Drummelsmith-Hunter Berner relay nabbed Klausing at home for the third out.
Miller City’s last threat came with two down in the top of the seventh as Logan Dukes walked but Warnecke finished strong as he induced a pop-up to Geise by Kaufman to end the game and send the Jays onward.
“We’re playing with a lot of confidence. Defensively, Curt had a great game but so did everyone else,” Coach Warnecke added. “We do make our errors but we are doing a great job of not compounding them. We’re getting good pitches and making plays to get out of the jams. At the plate, we’re not only getting runners on but we’re getting them home. We weren’t before.”
The Jays had the first opening in the bottom of the first as Warnecke singled up the gut with two down and a balk put him at second. However, Lammers got the third out.
Miller City drew first blood in the top of the second on a pair of one-out singles (Drummelsmith and Berner) — the last the final safety issued by Warnecke — that put runners on the corners and a forceout by Adam Niese that plated Drummelsmith.
A pair of one-out errors in the top of the third put two on: Kaufman (third) and Lammers (second); Warnecke retired the next two.
The Jays tied it in the home half. Klausing led it off with a walk and Wrasman singled to center. Geise forced Klausing at second to put runners on the corners and promptly swiped second. Buescher bounced out to second to get Klausing home. Geise was left stranded at third.
In the St. John’s fourth, they had another threat. Metzger got aboard on a 2-base error on his fly ball to the outfield. Two outs later, Wagner walked but both runners were left on base.
A 2-out miscue and a free pass put Kaufman on second and Lammers on first in the fifth frame. A diving nab of Jared Fuka’s liner by leftfielder Wrasman ended the threat. That began a run of six straight outs.
MILLER CITY (1)
Ross Kaufman rf 4-0-0-0, Jackson Lammers p 2-0-0-0, Jared Fuka 3b 3-0-0-0, Brent Riepenhoff cf 3-0-0-0, Adam Drummelsmith 2b 3-1-1-0, Hunter Berner c 3-0-1-0, Adam Niese 1b 3-0-0-1, Jeremy Balbaugh lf 3-0-0-0, Logan Dukes dh 2-0-0-0, Ross Lehman ss 0-0-0-0. Totals 26-1-2-1.
ST. JOHN’S (3)
Curtis Geise ss 3-1-1-0, Ryan Buescher c 3-1-1-1, Troy Warnecke p 3-0-2-0, Andrew Metzger cf 3-0-0-1, Clay Courtney rf 3-0-0-0, T.J. Hoersten 2b 3-0-0-0, Drew Wagner 1b 1-0-0-0, Andy May pr 0-0-0-0, Craig Klausing 3b 2-1-0-0, Ben Wrasman lf 3-0-2-0. Totals 24-3-6-2.
Score by Innings:
Miller City 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 - 1
St. John’s 0 0 1 0 2 0 x - 3
E: Lammers, Balbaugh, Geise, Hoersten, Klausing; LOB: Miller City 6, St. John’s 6; 2B: Wrasman; SB: Geise 2.
IP H R ER BB SO
Lammers (L, 4-2) 6.0 6 3 3 3 4
Warnecke (W, 2-3) 7.0 2 1 1 2 3
WP: Lammers; Balk: Lammers.
|Last Updated on Saturday, May 25, 2013 12:09 AM|