Baseball: Fort Loramie beats New Bremen, Minster for ACME sectional title


MINSTER — Fort Loramie ACME utilized great pitching and stellar defense to propel them to two victories Monday, en route to becoming the No. 1 seed in this weekends’ regional tournament.

“We want to take ACME seriously,” Fort Loramie head coach Jeff Sanders said. “This team plays loose and enjoys the moment.”

Fort Loramie lost 7-3 to Minster on Friday and faced New Bremen in an elimination game in the first contest on Monday.

The squad fought from behind early, as they entered the bottom of the first down 1-0.

At the plate, Fort Loramie was able to change the tides for good as they scored seven runs on five hits, one walk and two New Bremen errors. Sam Goubeaux led off the inning reaching on an error by the third baseman followed by a walk for Dylan Meyer.

Game one starting pitcher Gabe Hart then reached on another error, this time committed by the pitcher and scoring Goubeaux and tying the game 1-1. Louis Hart stepped to the plate and slashed a single, giving Fort Loramie a 2-1 lead.

Jace Rhuenkamp gave Fort Loramie the lead with a two-RBI single making the score 4-1. Following a strikeout, Spencer Knouff reached base on another single before another strikeout gave New Bremen just one out to get.

Zach Dues decided to extend the rally as he smacked a single and scored another run. This brought leadoff man Goubeaux back up to the plate where he kept hitting. He laced another single that scored two more runs and extended the Fort Loramie lead to 7-1 after the first inning.

After the exciting first inning, both teams mellowed out and it turned into a battle of the pitchers until the bottom of the fifth inning.

After Knouff walked and Dues hit a single, Goubeaux notched another RBI on a sacrifice bunt and made the game 8-1.

Gabe Hart was able to continue to shut New Bremen down at the plate and kept the game within run-rule distance heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.

It was there that Louis Hart was hit by a pitch and advanced to first before Ruhenkamp singled. Chase Bornhorst stepped to the plate and was also plunked, loading the bases for Knouff.

Knouff ripped a two-RBI double that took the score to 10-1. With Bornhorst on third, Eli Grudich laid down a bunt that allowed him to score and secure the game with a run rule 11-1.

Despite all the great hitting from Fort Loramie, Gabe Hart was nearly flawless on the mound, giving up three hits, three walks and striking out 11 in his complete game performance.

Game two was much more of a true pitchers duel when Fort Loramie faced off against Minster with a one-seed on the line.

The scoring didn’t kick off until the top of the third inning where Dues singled before being forced out at second from a Goubeaux ground ball. Goubeaux swiped two bags while Meyer walked and Gabe Hart was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Louis Hart then hit into a fielder’s choice that brought in Goubeaux giving Fort Loramie a 1-0 lead.

After a quick inning from Fort Loramie pitcher Aiden Berning, Bornhorst walked and was shifted into scoring position on a sac bunt from Knouff. Another walk to Dues and a hit-by-pitch to Goubeaux loaded the bases for Meyer to single and stretch the lead to 2-0.

In the top of the fifth, it looked as if Fort Loramie would score another when Knouff singled to center with Berning on second. However, a perfect throw from the Minster center fielder caught Berning and ended the inning.

Berning bounced back with another three-batter inning in the bottom of the fifth before sending his team back to the plate.

“I’m confident on the mound,” Aiden Berning said. “All the talk from the dugout and the field help me be comfortable.”

Dues led off the top of the sixth with another single. He was then forced out at second on a fielders’ choice that allowed Meyer to reach in his place. Gabe Hart then slashed a double that brought Meyer to third.

Louis Hart stepped up and sent a rocket to third that was bobbled and let Meyer score and gave Fort Loramie a 3-0 lead heading to the bottom of the sixth.

After a throwing error from Louis Hart, Minster was able to score a run and looked to be starting a rally with two outs and two runs to get. But that was shut down in the blink of an eye when second baseman Dues dove towards center and snagged a hotshot line-drive that was looking for trouble to end the inning 3-1.

That was all the help Berning needed as he set Minster down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh for Fort Loramie’s second complete game of the night. He finished with three strikeouts, two walks and surrendered only three hits.

“They throw with confidence,” Jeff Sanders said of his pitchers. “They control the zone and do a great job of minimizing damage.”

Fort Loramie is the one-seed heading into the ACME Regional tournament that kicks off this Friday. They will be playing at 5p.m.

Reach Harless at 937-538-4651.

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