Tigers’ season ends 6-1 to Wapakoneta

COLUMBUS — A string of bunts marked the beginning of the end for Circleville in the school’s first-ever state semifinal game for baseball.

Wapakoneta’s first three hitters in the third inning each laid down bunts for singles to load the bases in what became a five-run inning that propelled the Redskins (24-1) to a 6-1 win.

With the bases loaded, Wapakoneta (24-1) scored with an RBI single and then a two-run double put the team up 3-0.

Then play was stopped, the ground crew raced to pull the tarp over the infield and, after a few minutes, the rains came causing a delay of just over an hour.

When play resumed, Wapakoneta kept scoring. The first batter was hit by a pitch to reload the bases and then a walk brought in another run.

That ended the afternoon for Tigers’ starter Jake Mancini and Andrew Barnhart came on to pitch.

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Relief pitcher Andrew Barnhart gets some words of encouragement from starter Jake Mancini after a pitching change in the third inning.

The Redskins added one more run in the inning on a sacrifice fly to centerfield.

Wapakoneta added another run with two outs in the fifth.

Circleville broke into the scoring column in its final at-bat as Brad Henry led off with a single, moved to second on a groundout by Garret Gray and scored on a single by Mancini.

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Brad Henry is congratulated by his teammates after scoring for the Tigers in the seventh inning.

Redskins starter Gage Schenk then sent his team to the state title game by recording his ninth and 10th strikeouts of the afternoon.

Circleville collected only three hits in the contest with Henry’s and Mancini’s in the seventh and a single from Cory Cline in the third.

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A sad group of Tigers walk off the Huntington Park field after falling to Wapakoneta 6-1 in a Division II state semifinal.

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