Leipsic heading to baseball regionals


Miller City rally falls short after not getting first hit until fifth inning

By Tom Usher - [email protected]



Leipsic’s Blake Liffick safely reaches third third base before Miller City’s Brendan Barlage during Friday’s Division IV district final at Patrick Henry. See more high school sports photos at LimaScores.com.

Leipsic’s Blake Liffick safely reaches third third base before Miller City’s Brendan Barlage during Friday’s Division IV district final at Patrick Henry. See more high school sports photos at LimaScores.com.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Miller City’s Brendan Barlage bats during Friday’s Division IV district final against Leipsic at Patrick Henry.

Miller City’s Brendan Barlage bats during Friday’s Division IV district final against Leipsic at Patrick Henry.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Leipsic’s Mason Brandt fields a infield fly during Friday’s Division IV district final against Miller City at Patrick Henry.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Miller City’s Caleb Warnimont hauls in an infield fly during Friday’s Division IV district final against Leipsic at Patrick Henry.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Miller City’s Caleb Niese manages to catch a throw and get his foot on the bag ahead of Leipsic’s Quin Schroeder during Friday’s Division IV district final at Patrick Henry.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Leipsic’s Quin Schroeder bats during Friday’s Division IV district final against Miller City at Patrick Henry.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

HAMLER — Leipsic right-hander Mason Brandt was on cruise control through the first four innings.

But over the final three frames, Brandt had to keep performing magic tricks to escape serious damage.

Leipsic held off a late Miller City charge to post a 5-4 victory over the Wildcats to win the Division IV district baseball championship game Friday at Patrick Henry’s Garrold Parrott Field.

Leipsic (17-7) advances to the regional semifinals against the winner of today’s Lima Central Catholic/Lincolnview matchup at 5 p.m. Thursday at Patrick Henry.

It will mark Leipsic’s second straight regional appearance.

“It feels real good when you can beat two quality teams (Patrick Henry and Miller City in the district) and get to the regionals,” Leipsic coach Darren Henry said. “That’s fun.’’

Miller City ends its season 16-10.

“They (Leipsic) did a good job getting ahead and we didn’t quit,” Miller City coach Dusty Pester said. “We might go down, but we’ll go down swinging and we’ll go down fighting and they took that to heart, so I’m proud of them for that.

“All the credit to Leipsic. They came out ready to go. They deserved to win. They played well.’’

Both teams had to go with their No. 2 pitchers, as both team’s aces were on their mandatory three-days rest after throwing more than 75 pitches Tuesday.

Leipsic gave the ball to Brandt. He went all seven innings, giving up four runs, only one earned, on five hits. He struck out seven and walked two.

Brandt threw 87 pitches, 53 for strikes.

“Mason was good. He was real good,” Henry said. “They’re a good hitting team. We weren’t going to no-hit them. I knew it was going to be interesting.’’

Brandt had a no-hitter through the first four innings and didn’t allow a base runner.

“I was feeling good,” Brandt said. “You try not to think about it (the no-hitter), even though it’s in the back of your mind. The curveball was working nice.’’

The Vikings gave Brandt an early five-run lead with two in the first and three in the third.

Miller City’s Caleb Warnimont led off the fifth with a single up the middle to break up Brandt’s no-hitter.

Brendan Barlage reached on an error on the Leipsic third baseman.

Joe Deitering’s RBI double to the right-field fence brought the Wildcats within 5-1.

Dillon Peck’s two-run single to left made it 5-3, Leipsic, with no outs.

Brandt then got the next hitter to pop a bunt back to him at the mound. Brandt caught the bunt attempt and fired it to first to double off Peck.

“That was a huge momentum changer for us,” Brandt said.

Ethan Barlage popped out and Brandt was out of the inning.

Brandt struck out the first two batters to start the sixth. But Caleb Niese and Warnimont singled Brendan Barlage walked to load the bases.

Brandt then got Deitering to ground out to get out of the jam.

“He (Brandt) made some big pitches when he had to,” Henry said. “He hit spots and changed speeds.’’

In the seventh, Brandt struck out the first Miller City hitter, but C.J. Lehman reached on an error.

Ethan Barlage walked and both runners moved up to second and third on a wild pitch.

Evan Niese’s groundout to second brought Miller City within 5-4.

Brandt then got Austin Ruhe to pop to short to end it.

“It was a low fastball,” Brandt said of his final pitch of the game. “I was trying to keep it down and away and I hit my spot.’’

Leipsic came out firing with two runs in the first.

Vikings leadoff hitter Quin Schroeder opened the first with a parachute single to shallow left.

Blake Liffick followed with a line-drive RBI triple into the right-field corner. That gave Leipsic a 1-0 lead.

Brandt’s RBI groundout to second gave the Vikings a 2-0 lead.

Leipsic tagged on three ruins in the third to make it 5-0.

Ethan Zeisloft’s RBI single to left pushed the Vikings’ lead to 3-0.

Luke Spoors’ RBI single to center made it 4-0.

Tommy Offenbacher added a sacrifice fly to center and it was 5-0 Leipsic in the third.

For Miller City, its starter, Warnimont, went 2 1/3 innings and gave up five runs, three earned, on five hits. He struck out three and walked four.

At the plate, Warnimont went 2 for 2. Peck had two RBI.

For Leipsic, Liffick went 2 for 4 with a triple and one RBI.

Brandt will continue his basketball career at the University of Findlay. He said those pressure moments in basketball helped him on Friday.

“Playing in front of college coaches, there’s a lot of pressure and big games, there’s pressure,” Brandt said. “I think being in that situation before helped a lot. I tried to stay calm and control my breathing.’’

Leipsic’s Blake Liffick safely reaches third third base before Miller City’s Brendan Barlage during Friday’s Division IV district final at Patrick Henry. See more high school sports photos at LimaScores.com.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/05/web1_Leipsic-vs-MC-RP-06-1.jpgLeipsic’s Blake Liffick safely reaches third third base before Miller City’s Brendan Barlage during Friday’s Division IV district final at Patrick Henry. See more high school sports photos at LimaScores.com. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
Miller City’s Brendan Barlage bats during Friday’s Division IV district final against Leipsic at Patrick Henry.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/05/web1_Leipsic-vs-MC-RP-07-1.jpgMiller City’s Brendan Barlage bats during Friday’s Division IV district final against Leipsic at Patrick Henry. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
Leipsic’s Mason Brandt fields a infield fly during Friday’s Division IV district final against Miller City at Patrick Henry.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/05/web1_Leipsic-vs-MC-RP-03-1.jpgLeipsic’s Mason Brandt fields a infield fly during Friday’s Division IV district final against Miller City at Patrick Henry. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
Miller City’s Caleb Warnimont hauls in an infield fly during Friday’s Division IV district final against Leipsic at Patrick Henry.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/05/web1_Leipsic-vs-MC-RP-13-1.jpgMiller City’s Caleb Warnimont hauls in an infield fly during Friday’s Division IV district final against Leipsic at Patrick Henry. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
Miller City’s Caleb Niese manages to catch a throw and get his foot on the bag ahead of Leipsic’s Quin Schroeder during Friday’s Division IV district final at Patrick Henry.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/05/web1_Leipsic-vs-MC-RP-05-1.jpgMiller City’s Caleb Niese manages to catch a throw and get his foot on the bag ahead of Leipsic’s Quin Schroeder during Friday’s Division IV district final at Patrick Henry. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
Leipsic’s Quin Schroeder bats during Friday’s Division IV district final against Miller City at Patrick Henry.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/05/web1_Leipsic-vs-MC-RP-02-1.jpgLeipsic’s Quin Schroeder bats during Friday’s Division IV district final against Miller City at Patrick Henry. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
Miller City rally falls short after not getting first hit until fifth inning

By Tom Usher

[email protected]

Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.

Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.

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