Baseball: Leipsic earns District title matchup with Patrick Henry

May 23—HAMLER — Through six no-hit innings on Wednesday afternoon, Lincolnview starter Luke Bollenbacher was in complete control and Leipsic's offense looked dead-to-rights.

The seventh inning turned out to be a different story.

With its season on the line, Leipsic got a leadoff double from Ethan Zeisloft that started a three-run rally, culminating with a walkoff hit from Nick Schroeder that plated Mill Paniagua for the game-winning run.

After Bollenbacher dominated the Vikings 12 days ago in Lincolnview's 5-0 win, Leipsic turned what was another strong outing from the NWC Player of the Year into a 3-2 win in its last at-bat.

"He was lights-out all day," Leipsic coach Darren Henry said of Bollenbacher. "Maybe he was getting a little tired, but you have to take your hat off to him. He was tough.

"I thought we had some really good cuts in the sixth which made me feel pretty decent heading into the seventh. I thought maybe we could make it interesting in the seventh and we definitely did that."

Wednesday night's walkoff win was Leipsic's first over Lincolnview in the past four seasons. Two of those previous five losses were tournament games.

After Zeisloft's double that led off the seventh inning, Bollenbacher struck out Trent Siefker looking, then Ty Lammers singled to center, putting the tying run on first with one down.

Colin Niese then smoked the first pitch he saw to center, plating both runners and putting the go-ahead run on second.

Two pitches later, Nick Schroeder lined a ball through the infield and despite Lincolnview's quick relay back in, Henry sent pinch-runner Mill Paniagua home.

"In a normal situation I probably wouldn't have sent him because of how quickly they got the ball in," Henry said. "I realized that was our chance because we were at the bottom of the lineup and we couldn't wait just sit around and wait for another hit. There's no way I could have stopped him there."

The relay from the outfield rolled to catcher Myles Moody who was pulled away from home. Moody then attempted to flip the ball back to the plate but no one was covering and Paniagua slid in safely.

Following the win, Leipsic advances to Friday night's District Final against Patrick Henry. The Patriots blanked Delphos St. John's 2-0 in the second game of the night.

"Both teams are great teams at this point of the tournament, so it's going to be a tough game no matter what," Henry said. "I feel fortunate that we're there, so we're just going to go out there and have some fun. We earned it."

Leipsic's record improves to 22-2, while Lincolnview concludes its season at 19-8.

Lincolnview scored one run in the second and another in the sixth. Bollenbacher singled in Reide Jackson to break the scoreless tie, and then Jackson plated Gavin Evans prior to Leipsic's last at-bat.

John Dewar got the win in relief of starter Tommy Offenbacher who went six innings and limited the Lancers to two runs on five hits.

Henry said he's still undecided on whether he'll start Dewar, Nick Schroeder or Ty Lammers on Friday against Patrick Henry.

"They all do a little bit of the same things," he said. "They all pound the zone and mix it up like Tommy does. Whoever it is, our defense is going to have to make plays behind them."

Patrick Henry 2, Delphos St. John's 0

HAMLER — In a matchup of two dominant pitching aces, Patrick Henry's Mack Hieber shut down Delphos St. John's Wednesday night, tossing a three-hit shutout and leading the Patriots to a 2-0 District Semifinal victory.

Hieber allowed a leadoff single to Tyce McClain in the first inning but after that, the talented right-hander locked in and kept the Blue Jays' bats at bay for the rest of the game.

"He worked in the zone," Delphos St. John's coach Jerry Jackson said of Hieber. "He had us fooled and he can always pump a fastball by you. That looked like the pitch he trusted the most. He was also spot-on with his off-speed pitches."

Hieber struck out 10 batters and walked just one in the win. The Patriots were also responsible for handing Delphos St. John's starter Cameron Elwer his first and only earned run of the season.

Elwer went five innings and successfully worked his way out of trouble throughout the game despite not recording a strikeout, walking three batters and hitting one.

McClain, Aaron Moenter and Braylon Metzger were responsible for the Blue Jays' three hits.

Patrick Henry plated its runs in the second and third innings on a fielder's choice and an error.

"It was about opportunities," Jackson said of the loss. They took advantage of theirs and we just didn't get the big hit. We knew coming in that it'd be a struggle to get runs, but we just missed a few double plays that could have prevented them from scoring. You also have to score to win a game and that was the toughest part about today."


Box score (r-h-e)

Lincolnview 0100010 2-5-2

Leipsic 0000003 3-4-2

Lincolnview 2 (ab-r-h-rbi)

Chayse Overholt 4-0-1-0, Holden Price 4-0-0-0, Jack Dunlap 3-0-1-0, Myles Moody 3-0-1-0, Austin Bockrath 3-0-0-0, Aiden Hardesty 3-0-0-0, Reide Jackson 2-1-1-1, Luke Bollenbacher 3-0-1-1, Seth Brant 2-0-0-0, Totals: 27-2-5-2.

Leipsic 3 (ab-r-h-rbi)

Quin Schroeder 3-0-0-0, Tommy Offenbacher 3-0-0-0, Ethan Zeisloft 3-1-1-0, Trent Siefker 3-0-0-0, Ty Lammers 3-1-1-0, Colin Niese 2-0-1-1, Nick Schroeder 3-0-1-1, Myles Camareno 1-0-0-0, Avery Paris 2-0-0-0, Totals: 23-3-4-2

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so)

John Dewar (W) 1.0-0-0-0-0-0

Luke Bollenbacher (L) 6.1-4-3-2-1-10

Tommy Offenbacher (ND) 6.0-5-2-2-2-3


Box score (r-h-e)

Delphos St. John's 0000000 0-3-1

Patrick Henry 011000X 2-5-0

Delphos St. John's 0 (ab-r-h-rbi)

Tyce McClain 3-0-1-0, Braylon Metzger 3-0-1-0, Collin Feathers 2-0-0-0, TJ Werts 3-0-0-0, Cameron Elwer 3-0-0-0, Austin Moenter 3-0-0-0, Aaron Moenter 3-0-1-0, Andrew Elwer 2-0-0-0, Tyler Lindeman 2-0-0-0, Totals: 24-0-3-0.

Patrick Henry 2 (ab-r-h-rbi)

Cal Schroeder 3-0-1-0, Landon Johnson 0-0-0-0, Mack Hieber 2-1-1-0, Nash Meyer 1-0-1-0, Mason Jardine 3-0-0-0, Lane Biederstedt 3-1-1-0, Lane Jackson 2-0-0-0, Grant Schwab 3-0-1-0, Houston Miranda 2-0-0-1, Totals: 19-2-5-1

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so)

Mack Hieber (W) 7.0-3-0-0-1-10

Cameron Elwer (L) 5.0-3-2-1-3-0

Reach Chris Howell at 567-242-0468 or on Twitter/X at @Lima_Howell