Fort Loramie’s ACME season ends after dropping two games to Minster in the District 4 Regional finals

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CELINA — Fort Loramie fell in the ACME District 4 Regional finals after dropping back-to-back games to Minster on Sunday at Montgomery Park.

At the start of the day Sunday, Fort Loramie looked primed to take the championship as they needed to be beaten twice in the same day. They had only given up one run in their games from Friday and Saturday and had already beaten Minster the day prior.

Aiden Berning started on the mound for game one throwing a scoreless first. After a quiet bottom half of the first from Fort Loramie, Berning attempted to replicate his first inning success.

After a strikeout to start the inning, Berning gave up a single followed by yet another punch out. He surrendered another single to the next batter who then scored on a throwing error from shortstop Chase Bornhorst, giving Minster an early 1-0 lead.

The next two half innings were uneventful with both team stranding runners on base. But in the bottom of the third, Fort Loramie struck back.

Zach Dues reached base with a single and advanced when catcher Dylan Meyer notched a hit. Gabe Hart then walked to load the bases bringing up his brother Luis Hart, who tied the game up with a single of his own.

In the top half of the fourth, Minster negated Fort Loramie’s run and regained the lead on two doubles, a single and a walk making the score 3-1.

Fort Loramie was unable to fight back, going three up three down in each of their next two trips to the plate.

In the top of the seventh inning Minster struck again, kicking their inning off with three consecutive singles. The last of which brought home a run and extended the lead to 4-1 with one inning to play.

Dues reached base again in the bottom of the seventh with a walk but it was too little, too late as Minster took game one 4-1.

“We just didn’t look like we were attacking the baseball,” Fort Loramie head coach Jeff Sanders said. “You never want to go to a game two, you just want to finish it.”

Berning threw a complete game, giving up three earned runs on three strikeouts, two walks and 11 hits.

To start game two of the day, Minster kept their starting pitcher from the first game on the mound. A choice that they instantly paid for as Fort Loramie jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first.

The runs were scored after Meyer led the inning off with a single and G. Hart reached base on an error by the Minster second baseman. L. Hart then singled to bring in Meyer followed by another RBI single, this time off the bat of Jace Ruhenkamp.

Things seemed to be looking up for Fort Loramie when they got out of the bottom of the first with a clean 6-4-3 double play.

Despite getting a baserunner in the top of the second due to a walk, they were unable to capitalize heading into the bottom half of the inning.

After a lineout to center fielder Mason Boerger, the floodgates opened for Minster. After back-to-back walks and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases, Minster strung together three singles in a row, then a double, another single and a bases clearing triple that rolled to the wall. This was followed by a sacrifice bunt that scored another run.

The score after two innings sat at 9-2.

In the top of the third, Fort Loramie managed another baserunner on a walk to G. Hart, but he was left stranded following a strikeout and putout at second.

The hits kept coming for Minster in the bottom half of the third. An error on second baseman Dues let a runner on to start the inning who then scored on a single giving Minster an even 10.

This was followed by three more singles in a row, scoring another run and making the score 11-2. After a sharp lineout was caught by Dues, Minster scored two more runs on another single. At the end of three, the score was 13-2.

Fort Loramie went down 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth.

In the bottom half of the inning, Minster added four more runs to the total to give them a 17-2 lead with Fort Loramie needing to score six to keep playing.

Fort Loramie was only able to score one in the fifth when L. Hart hit a sacrifice fly to center for a final score of 17-3.

“ACME is a time for these younger guys to showcase what they can do,” Sanders said. “Some of these guys weren’t starters for our spring varsity team and it’s their chance to show what they can do.”

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