WAPAKONETA — Both teams were in need of a pitcher who could throw strikes.
Then, in came Wapakoneta’s Tim Bruns to show the way in the fourth inning.
Bruns slammed the door on Ottawa-Glandorf and helped the Redskins post a 3-2 victory Tuesday over O-G.
The game featured 16 total walks, including 10 by O-G pitchers.
That’s why Bruns’ effort stood out.
Bruns, a junior right-hander, threw the final 3 1/3 innings shutout innings for the win. He gave up one hit and one walk. He struck out three.
Wapak is 3-2, 1-0 in the WBL. O-G is 2-2, 0-1 in the WBL.
Wapak’s Trevor Crow had the Redskins’ only hit and it was the game-winning hit. He delivered a two-out RBI double off reliever Jacob Balbaugh in the home fifth inning.
That gave Wapak a 3-2 lead.
For Bruns, it was his second strong outing of the year. The junior made his first-ever varsity pitching performance last week in a 2-1, six-inning loss to Ben Logan.
He followed that up with his outing against O-G.
Bruns pounded the strike zone with his big, breaking ball and fastball.
“He was the same way against Ben Logan,” Wapak coach Jason Brandt said. “He peppered the strike zone all day long. … and Jett (Makar) made several nice plays up the middle (at shortstop) and made some throws on the run. But hats off to Timmy.’’
Bruns continually got ahead in the count. He finished it with a 1-2-3 seventh inning, with two strikeouts.
“I’ve always been told by my father and the coaches that you need to pound the strike zone and let the defense do what they do,” Bruns said. “I wanted to hit the zone. Ben Logan was a great confidence for me.’’
Added Brandt, “He’s (Bruns) not going to overpower guys, but he’s going to keep guys off balance with what he did. He did a fantastic job for us. He’s aggressive.’’
O-G had plenty of chances, but the Titans left 10 on base.
The Titans also hit several balls hard, but Wapak shortstop Jett Makar made several outstanding plays up the middle.
“That’s baseball and their shortstop made many great plays that probably won them the game,” O-G coach Nick Miller said. “We hit a lot of balls up the middle that I thought were going to get through, but he played that middle really well.
“But when we have opportunities to score runs, someone has to step up and deliver that big hit for us.’’
Wapak took 1-0 lead in the second when Garrett Siefring walked with the bases loaded. That was O-G starter Ethan Alt’s fourth walk of the inning.
Alt was taken out with a no-hitter after 2 2/3 innings. While he didn’t allow a hit, he walked eight and struck out six.
“Even though he had no hits on the board, he was just in trouble every inning,” Miller said. “But he’s just getting out of basketball and we’re still young in the season. He’s going to get better every time he gets the ball.’’
O-G tied the game at 1 in the third.
Wes Davidson and Trey Nienberg both singled. Davidson scored on Logan Miller’s RBI single.
The Redskins took a 2-1 lead in the third when Jett Makar scored from third on a wild pitch.
Balbaugh scored from third on a wild pitch for O-G to tie the game at 2 in the fourth.
After Wapak starter lefty Brady Erb walked two straight in the fourth, he was lifted with two outs in favor of Bruns.
In the home fifth, Bruns led off by being hit by a pitch. Braden Goulet walked.
Then, with two outs, Crow hit an RBI double in the left-center field gap to score Bruns with the go-ahead run.
“Trevor put one in the gap and we got one off it,” Brandt said. “We’ll take it.’’
Bruns is wearing jersey No. 16 for his friend, Manny Vorhees, who wore it last year as the Redskins’ standout pitcher, who helped the Redskins to the Division II state championship game. Vorhees is now pitching at Ohio Dominican.
“I told him after the season that he’d been a great inspiration to me and I would love to wear his number,” Bruns said. “He said yes. He was like a bigger brother to me. He took me under his wing and told me what he liked to do in certain pitch counts.’’
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0468.