PBR Spotlight Game: No. 9 Minster at No. 22 Coldwater

By Dylan Hefflinger

COLDWATER- Division IV No. 9 Minster traveled to Coldwater to take on Division III No. 22 Coldwater in a clash of Midwest Athletic Conference powers on Tuesday. In what looked to be a quick hour-long pitching matchup turned into a 3-hour 15-inning epic.

Junior right-hander Adam Niemeyer and senior righty Eric Schmackers faced off on the mound, and neither pitcher budged, as each went the max 10 strong innings allowing 0 runs.

Niemeyer, the Wildcats' ace, did not allow his 1st hit until the 7th inning, a single by sophomore Grant Muhlenkamp. Niemeyer had great movement on his fastball that sat consistently in the mid 80s, 84-86 mph, topping out at 88 twice. Niemeyer also featured a nasty breaking ball during his 132-pitch outing.

Niemeyer allowed just 2 hits in 10 innings of work walking 1 and hitting 3 batters. Niemeyer, who punched out 14 Cavaliers in the game, now has 69 strikeouts in 42 innings of work this season with an ERA at a 0.00 clip.

Schmackers, who entered the contest with a 2.54 ERA in 33 innings, matched Niemeyer pitch for pitch featuring a sharp breaking curve that he was able to command on each side of the plate. Schmackers allowed just 4 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 4.

The first run of the game did not come until the 13th inning as 3rd basemen Austin Knapke reached on an error by Coldwater's shortstop. Drew Elson, the 9-hole hitter, then blasted a double to left center scoring Knapke.

But Coldwater matched the run in the bottom of the frame as lead-off batter Randal Muhlenkamp reached on a error, followed by a sac bunt. After a fly out senior Drew Klosterman came to plate with 2 outs and, with a 1-1 count, Klosterman roped an RBI single to left field knotting the game at 1.

After another inning and half of no-run ball, the Wildcats came to bat with the top of the lineup and Randal Mulhenkamp promptly hit a leadoff single. Number 2 hitter, sophomore Drew Otter, was then called out attempting a bunt when he was hit by the ball out of the' box on the bunt attempt.

A single by catcher Alex Stamman and walk to Drew Klosterman loaded the bases with 1 out before a called third strike brought Matt Selhorst to the plate. The junior 3rd baseman ripped an RBI single to left field scoring  Mulhenkamp and with it a victory in the epic 15-inning affair.

Drew Klosterman got the win on the mound for the Cavaliers going 5 strong innings allowing just the 1 run, while striking out 3.

Doug Huber, a side-arm thrower, took the loss for the Wildcats allowing 2 runs on 6 hits, while striking out 2.

The Cavaliers (13-6, 3-2 MAC) now head to New Knoxville on Thursday at 5 p.m. while Minster (16-4, 3-2 MAC), the defending Division IV state champions, travels to hook up with Lima Bath at the same time.