Minster Stuns New Bremen with 8th Inning Rally

Staff Writer

It was never going to be easy facing an arch-rival for the second time this season and both teams’ postseason lives on the line.

MInster added another degree of difficulty to the equation by falling behind by two runs in extra innings and being two outs from elimination on Wednesday at Wapakoneta.

The Wildcats then pulled off the stunning 4-3 comeback win, ending New Bremen’s bid at upending the Midwest Athletic Conference champions and state’s fourth-ranked team and setting up a re-match with Parkway for a district title on Friday at Wapakoneta.

Jenna Poeppelman’s single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning allowed Taylor Homan to score from third and cap a season-saving three-run rally in the bottom of the extra frame.

Minster appeared cooked after New Bremen put up two runs in the top of the eighth on a Molly Smith two-out, two-run single allowed Abbi Thieman and Marissa Topp to score and New Bremen got the first out of the seventh inning on a pop-up.

Down to their final two outs, Minster put together a rally. Karly Richard was patient, drawing a four-pitch walk. Danielle Barhorst followed by ripping a triple to center field that allowed Richard to score and put the tying run just 60 feet away at third base. Taylor Homan followed with a game-tying hit that allowed Barhorst to score and Homan went to second on the throw to home. When the winning run moved to third base on a pitch to the backstop,  New Bremen head coach Craig Griesdorn elected to try to set up forces at every base by intentionally walking two straight hitters, setting up Poeppelman’s heroics.

The two teams were no strangers to close games. Minster hosted New Bremen back on April 17 on a frigid day that featured ace pitching from Poeppelman and Smith, who were also Wednesday’s starters.

Minster won that game 1-0, and Wednesday’s game was much the same throughout much of the day. Minster led 1-0 on a Homan RBI single that brought home Barhorst.

New Bremen tied it up quickly in the bottom of the fourth when on a 1-2 pitch Taylor Paul blasted a home run over the left field fence to knot the game up, 1-1. It was the last run scored until the wacky eighth.

Poeppelman went the distance pitching for Minster, striking out five and allowed one earned run and two unearned runs on six hits.

Smith was a tough-luck loser pitching for New Bremen. she gave up four runs on seven hits while striking out five.

Minster, the No. 1 seed, will face No. 2 seed Parkway on Friday at 5 p.m. with a trip to the Greenville regional on the line.