BLUFFTON — Heading into Friday’s nonconference baseball game against Bluffton, Miller City had reeled off five consecutive victories, after starting the season 1-2.
However, Miller City head coach Dusty Pester was still waiting for his team to start hitting the ball on a more consistent basis.
Pester finally got his wish.
Miller City pounded 10 base hits Friday, en route to a 14-0 run-rule victory in five innings at Bluffton.
With the win, Miller City improves to 7-2 overall. Bluffton slips to 2-7.
The Wildcats set the tone early, scoring eight runs in the first inning.
Not only did the Wildcats record some timely hits Friday, but they also received a stellar pitching performance from Caleb Warnimont.
Warnimont worked all five innings for Miller City. The senior right-hander struck out 10, walked one and hit a batter, while throwing 70 pitches. Warnimont gave up just one hit on the night – a single by Luke Jebsen in the fourth inning.
“The guys came out and swung the bats pretty well,” Pester said. “It’s always easier to go to the mound after they spot you eight runs. You can kind of relax and throw it over the plate. We’ve been struggling at the plate this season. Some of our bigger games this year, we’ve been fortunate enough to win, when only having a couple hits.
“We’re finding ways to win. … But our offense is better than that. Offensively, our goal is to not strike out. When you put the ball in play, good things can happen. We did a pretty good job of that (Friday).”
Warnimont also got the job done at the plate. For the game, Warnimont was 3 for 3 with an RBI and a walk.
Third baseman Connor Hermiller also had a two-hit day for Miller City (2 for 3 with a double). Austin Ruhe and Caleb Niese (1 for 3, 3 RBI) each pounded a double on Friday.
Pester was especially pleased at Warnimont’s efficiency on the mound.
“Caleb did a nice job today. He’s been pitching pretty well for us this year,” Pester said. “With a lot of games rained out, we’re also trying to get some other guys some work, who will be pitching a little more later on. He (Warnimont) did a good job today.
“His fastball was pretty good. He pounded the zone. The one thing we focus on, from a pitching standpoint, is throwing the ball over the plate. He did a good job of throwing the ball over the plate.”
On the other hand, Bluffton’s pitching staff struggled Friday.
Tyler Cupples got the starting nod on the mound for the Pirates.
Cupples lasted just 2/3 of an inning, before being lifted for Jaden Coonfare.
Cupples got tabbed for seven runs on three hits. He threw 38 pitches in his brief appearance.
Coonfare worked 2 1/3 innings, before being pulled. Coonfare gave up six runs. Brody Anderson, a left-hander, came in from his rightfield position to pitch the final two innings for the Pirates.
Pester is hoping his team will continue to hit the ball well, as Miller City will start facing more league opponents in the near future.
“We started 1-2, and we’ve now won six in a row. So, we’re starting to put it together. We have a big league (Putnam County League) game next week with Columbus Grove. So, we’ll have to be ready to go for that one,” Pester said.
Reach the Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.