WAPAKONETA — Pitching duels are not uncommon in the postseason and that was the case after Wapakoneta downed St. Marys, 2-0, to win the Division II sectional title in game dominated by the men on the mound Friday.
Wapakoneta (17-4) advances to the district semifinals and faces another WBL foe in Celina who picked up a 7-0 victory over Lexington at Bluffton Thursday. St. Marys ends its year with a 7-16 record.
In a game where both teams managed three hits combined, it was Redskin Braeden Goulet firing a complete game, one-hit shutout while striking out 13 and walking three coming out-dueling Rider Ty Kiehl who went six innings and struck out seven while walking three.
Goulet’s main weapon in the first five frames was his fastball that hovered in the high 80s. The only time he ran into trouble came the fourth when he hit a batter with one out, struck out the next batter then preceded to walk the next two Riders. But Goulet reached back to fan the next batter to end the threat.
“Early on his (Goulet) fastball was dominant,” Redskin head coach Jason Brandt said. “He was 88 to 90. He didn’t have to throw his offspeed a lot but he did but threw his change up in some key situations. It was hard to control the curveball with this win. He was commanding the zone most every at bat except one inning and honestly I felt the pitches were pretty close but he was dominate on the hill and that is what I expect.
In his seven innings, he fanned two or more in four of those frames and struck out the side in two innings. He struck out the four of the final six batters he faced to close out the game.
“We knew coming into this game we were going to have to bring our A-game from the first pitch to the last pitch,” St. Marys head coach Adam Graves said. “Wapak is one of the best teams in the area and probably in the state. Braeden is a good all around player, a good all-around athlete to be honest, and we knew we were going to have to have good competitive at-bats and we did. We hit a couple of balls really hard there but had nothing to show for it.
“We had opportunities but didn’t take advantage of it and from a pitching standpoint Ty Kiehl pitched fantastic for us. It was probably the best game he has pitched all year. We talked about playing our best baseball at the end of the year and we put two good games together (St. Marys beat Galion 1-0 on Thursday), both yesterday and today.”
Small ball accounted for Wapakoneta’s two runs. In the fourth inning, Kaden Siefring , the No. 8 hitter laid down a bunt and reached first on a throwing error and then raced to second on the errant toss. Grant Baur then moved Siefring over to third on a bunt and Zach Rogers then brought in Siefring from third on a sacrifice fly.
An insurance run was added in the sixth after Goulet and Grant Jolley drew walks with two outs to put runners on first and second. Landon Brandt, who had struck out the two previous trips to the plate, laced a solid single to bring Goulet home.
“We scored that one run (in the fourth) on six pitches,” Brandt said. “We did the little things there and then in the sixth Landon had a great at bat. Ty had owned him the the first couple of at bats and he battled and put a curve ball into left field like he should and Braeden was running the whole way and we scored that run.”