MILLER CITY — Lucky No. 13.
Miller City pitcher Caleb Niese struck out 13 Leipsic hitters to help propel the Wildcats to a 4-1 win in a Putnam County League affair Tuesday.
With the win, Miller City improves to 3-1 in the PCL and 13-3 overall and Leipsic falls to 2-1 in league play and 11-6 for the year.
The sophomore southpaw Wildcat went six and two-third innings and scattered seven hits. In four of those innings, Niese fanned two or more batters and his only base on balls came in the seventh when he began to tire.
The Vikings’ lone score came in the seventh when Quin Schroeder, who was 3 for 3 on the night doubled to open the inning and then scored on a two-out single by Jaden Siefker.
Reliever Caleb Giesken closed out the game, fittingly enough by striking out the final batter.
“Caleb Niese did a nice job pounding the zone tonight,” Miller City head coach Dusty Pester said. “He mixed his pitches well. He gave us six and two-third solid innings. It was evident he was losing velocity. Not that I didn’t think he could get a guy out but he hit the 100 pitch mark, around 103 or so it was time. So Caleb came in and got that last strike out and it was big.”
Leipsic outhit Miller City 7-3 but it was the base on balls that spelled doom for the Vikings.
Base on balls were an issue for Leipsic pitching as the Viking hurlers combined for 10 for the game.
“You can never win walking that many, never,” Leipsic head coach Darren Henry said. “End of story.
“There was no hitting. We did not hit. A couple of guys did. He (Niese) was good today. Take your hat off to him.”
Leipsic Starter Trey Schroeder walked eight in his four and two-third innings on the mound and it was his first two walks that were part of the Wildcats taking a 2-0 lead in the first.
After Giesken and Austin Ruhe drew base on balls open the game, Joe Deitering hit a bloop single to right to load the bases. Back-to-back wild pitches allowed both Giesken and Ruhe to come home.
The Wildcats other two runs came in the fifth. T.J. Michel led the frame off with a home run over the centerfield fence and Caleb Warnimont, who had three walks on the night, scored on a wild pitch after making it to third.
Pester said it was big to get those early two runs.
“Everybody just settles down after that,” Pester added. “I think we had just one hit that inning but we took advantage of maybe a few wild pitches. It took a little bit of time for their pitcher to get into a little bit of a groove.
“All and all I am very proud of my guys, It was a good win and always a good win when you win a league game and Leipsic is a quality program and it is good to beat them. Miller City, Leipsic games are usually pretty good baseball games. “
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.