Maumee Baseball Team Upsets No. 1 Wapakoneta

Maumee’s baseball team earned a district championship with a 5-3 win over No. 1 Wapakoneta at Patrick Henry on May 22. The 2017 team includes (from left) back row, assistant coaches Todd Ery, Brad Hoffman, Buzz Rothenbuhler and David McCrum; middle row, assistant coach Alfredo Serrano, Bryan Pouter, Hunter Duby, Blake Adams, Matt Burkett, Tyler Archambeau, Aidan Maxwell, Matt LeCron, Garrett Camp, Zach Marvin, Matt Dalton and head coach Cam Coutcher; and front row, Blake Hazard, Devin Schiavone, Justin Studenka, Devon Cleghorn, John Henry, Jordan Key, J.R. Helminski, Cameron Hahn, Caleb Brown and Austin Pauken. MIRROR PHOTOS BY JOE NEGRICH

BY ANDY ROWER | MIRROR SPORTS — Maumee’s baseball team upset Ohio’s top-ranked Division II team on May 22, when the Panthers advanced to the regional semifinals by topping Wapakoneta 5-3 at Patrick Henry’s Garrold Parratt Field. “I told them the other day that I don’t know what it is about them, but they just know how to win,” said Maumee baseball coach Cam Coutcher. “They grind and they don’t quit. No matter what, I know I’m going to get their best.” The Redskins actually led 3-0 when Maumee began its comeback in the top of the fourth inning. Senior first baseman Matt Burkett began the Panthers push by reaching base on a fielder’s choice. After advancing to second and third on a single by senior pitcher Tyler Archambeau and a walk from junior rightfielder Caleb Brown, Burkett put Maumee on the board by scoring on another fielder’s choice – this time by junior leftfielder Devon Cleghorn. Two innings later, the Panthers tied things up at 3-3 when senior centerfielder John Henry followed a pair of one-out singles by Brown and Cleghorn with a two-run double. “There were two outs and I knew I had to put it in play and do my job, and I got a curveball and drove it opposite field,” Henry said. Coutcher called Henry “a great kid.” “I was glad to see him get a big hit like that,” he continued. “He’s a total team kid and deserves that success.” Wapakoneta came back to load the bases on a one-out Wyatt Moyler walk, a Bubba Miller single and a Maumee error, but the Panthers escaped any real damage by ending the sixth with a 6-4-3 double play. Freshman second baseman Zach Marvin and senior shortstop Jordan Key next began the seventh with back-to-back singles and quickly advanced to second and third on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore designated hitter Blake Adams. Two batters later, Archambeau came through with a clutch two-out single that scored both runners and gave Maumee its 5-3 lead. “He hit the ball very hard and it kind of just snuck through there,” Coutcher said. “To go up two was huge, because it takes the other team out of a lot of offensive options.” Archambeau said he was just looking for something to drive. “He came with off-speed the first two, so I sat on it,” he said. “He came back with a little cutter fastball and I got a pretty good swing on it.” Having already pitched two scoreless relief innings, Burkett then slammed the door on the Redskins with a three-up, three-down frame that included a pair of timely strikeouts. “I wanted the ball,” Burkett said. “I was happy to get it. As long as I have my defense behind me, they’ll make plays.” Coutcher called Burkett one of the most confident kids he’s ever coached. “He’s an incredible competitor,” he said. “I knew he was going to go out and give us his best and he did.” Wapakoneta’s first run came in the second inning when second baseman Mitch Apple turned an infield hit into a hustling double, advanced to third on a Michael Burton sacrifice bunt and scored on a wild pitch. The third saw pinch-hitter shortstop Maddux Liles, who then doubled the Redskins lead by stealing second, taking third on a Maumee error and scoring on a Manny Vorhees single. Apple followed up by reaching on a fielder’s choice, taking second and third with a stolen base and another wild pitch and then scoring on a Burton single. “I’m never nervous with this group because they know how to take care of business,” Coutcher said. Burkett earned the win after a scoreless three innings, during which he allowed just a hit and a walk and struck out two Wapakoneta batters. Archambeau threw the first four innings for the Panthers, surrendering a trio of unearned runs on five hits and two walks in the process. “They were running on us a little bit, so I wanted to put Tyler back behind the plate,” Coutcher said. “Matt throws strikes and keeps people off-balance. That kind of was a thought of mine before the game started.” Maumee ended up outhitting the Redskins 11-6. Archambeau (two RBI), Brown (walk, run), Key (run) and Marvin (run) all recorded two hits in the win. “We know we’re good 1-through-15, so everyone knows the guy behind you is right there to pick you up if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do,” Archambeau said. “It makes things very easy on your mind.” Burkett agreed. “We’ve been wanting to win since the beginning of the season, and through tough times and through great times, we’ve always come through and we’ve been an absolute team,” he said. “I have faith in all the boys and it’s an amazing feeling knowing that 1-through-15, you can count on anyone doing something great.” Liles took the loss for the Redskins after allowing two earned runs over 1.1 relief innings. Junior Gage Schenk threw Wapakoneta’s first 5.2 frames and allowed three runs on eight hits and a walk. He also reached as high as 85 mph on the radar gun and finished with five strikeouts. Moyler paced the Redskins offense by going 2-for-2 and drawing a walk, despite the loss. The Panthers will next travel to Bowling Green’s Carter Park to square off against Padua Franciscan on Thursday at 5:00 p.m. “I’m just going to keep telling them the same thing – just keep taking it one pitch at a time,” Coutcher said. “We have to focus on one game at a time. We know the other team is probably going to have more talent than us, but we’re going to work harder than them.” Burkett said that this year’s team, which has already “upset” higher ranked teams such as No. 16 Central Catholic and No. 12 Defiance, has no limits. “We’re going to do what we do best and that’s upsetting everyone,” he concluded.

The winning Panthers explode into a celebratory pile-up after capturing a district championship with a 5-3 victory over No. 1 Wapakoneta at Patrick Henry on Monday.

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