OTTAWA – Scoring six runs on three hits fits the definition of taking advantage of your opportunities.
And that’s exactly what Leipsic did in a 6-4 win over Miller City in a semifinal of the Division IV baseball district tournament on Wednesday.
After beating one of the teams it shared the Putnam County League title, the Vikings moved on to the district championship game against Kalida, the other team which won a part of the PCL title, at 5 p.m. Friday.
Leipsic (21-5) took control of the game early with a five-run second inning. Miller City (17-5) fought back to within one run, 5-4, but that was as close as the Wildcats could get.
“That (the second inning) helped but they can hit. They’ve been scoring a lot of runs. In high school baseball on a windy day you’re never safe,” Leipsic coach Darren Henry said.
The most dangerous place for Miller City might have been when it was on defense.
Five Miller City errors played a big role in Leipsic getting six runs on only three hits. Two of them came in the second inning and two more were in the fifth inning when the Vikings got their other run.
“The difference in the game was we’ve been really good defensively all year and we weren’t good defensively tonight,” Miller City coach Dusty Pester said. “They put the ball in play and made us make the plays but we didn’t make enough of them.
“We’re under 1.5 (errors) a game all year. When you throw that number (five errors) out there, there’s a reason there are that many runs on the board.
“Leipsic is 21-5 for a reason. They’re well coached, they don’t make many mistakes. It was their night,” he said.
Leipsic started its big second inning by loading the bases on a hit by pitch and two errors.
Nick Schey’s single scored one run and Cole Rieman’s single brought in two more runs and the last two runs scored on infield grounders.
Jacob Schimmoeller’s two-run double in the top of the third inning cut the lead to 5-2. The Wildcats got to within one run, 5-4, in the fourth inning before Leipsic got its final run in the fifth inning without a hit.
“It seems like every time we play them, Kalida, any of those county schools, it’s always a battle, it’s always close,” Henry said. “It’s going to end up usually who makes the least mistakes. They’re a great team that was on a roll. We’re fortunate.”
Leipsic’s win reversed a 3-2 Miller City win during the regular season.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414 or on Twitter at @Lima_Naveau.