Baseball: Miller City holds off Ottoville

Apr. 30—OTTOVILLE — Miller City baseball coach Dusty Pester preaches to his team that baseball can be a simple game.

In Tuesday's Putnam County League matchup at Ottoville, Miller City kept it simple.

Miller City pounded eight base hits, and got a solid pitching performance from senior pitcher Brent Koenig, en route to a 4-1 victory over the Big Green.

With the win, Miller City improved to 8-5 overall and 4-1 in the PCL. Ottoville slipped to 3-10 in all games played and 2-2 in PCL action.

"We like to say, 'It's a complicated but yet a simple game, especially on defense'," Pester said. "If you make the pitcher throw strikes, and if you don't commit errors, you're going to be in the game."

Koenig did his part on Tuesday as he scattered five hits, struck out four and walked two in his complete-game effort. Koenig tossed 79 pitches in his seven innings of work.

"Brent (Koenig) has been our best (pitcher) all year," Pester said. "It's not because he's going to come out and throw 85 (miles-per-hour) and overpower you. He's in the (strike) zone. ... He mixes his speeds. We like to say that he's a bulldog when he's on the mound.

"He just seems to get the job done, and he's the ultimate competitor when he pitches. So, I'm very proud of him. I don't know what the total (pitch) count was, but he had been efficient the entire game, especially going into the sixth and seventh innings. His pitch count was low. He felt good and wanted the baseball. That's our guy, and he got it done today."

Ottoville recorded its first hit of the game in the fifth.

Keaton Schnipke led off the inning with a single to left field, snapping Koenig's bid for a no-hitter.

Schnipke also got the starting nod for Ottoville on Tuesday and worked all seven innings. He struck out five and walked just one on 110 pitches.

Miller City took the lead in the third, 1-0. Andrew Weis (2 for 3) led off the third with a single to left. Weis eventually came around to score, thanks to a throwing error and then a wild pitch.

Miller City added a run in the fourth to extend its lead to 2-0. Max Long (2 for 4) doubled to right and eventually scored off a throwing error.

Ottoville finally got on the scoreboard in the home half of the sixth.

Jace Langhals tripled to the gap in right. The next batter for Ottoville, Brandon Calvelage, hit a grounder to the left side of the infield that plated Langhals and cut the Miller City lead to one run, 2-1.

However, in the seventh, Miller City plated two runs on two hits to reach the final score.

"I just told our guys, 'You know, maybe we're not swinging it like we think we're capable of, but we showed some toughness late in the game'," Pester said. "They answered the run in the sixth and put a couple of runs on the board (in the seventh). ... I'm very proud of the guys for doing that. We need to have that kind of attitude and that kind of tough play to carry us through."

Koenig also got the job done at the plate by going 2 for 4 with an RBI.

For the game, Ottoville committed three errors, while Miller City made just one miscue in the field.

Both teams stranded six baserunners.

Box score (r-h-e)

Miller City 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 — 4-8-1

Ottoville 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 — 1-5-3

WP- Brent Koenig (4 strikeouts, 2 walks)

LP — Keaton Schnipke (5 strikeouts, 1 walk)

2B — Max Long (MC) 1

3B — Jace Langhals (OTTO) 1

Records: Miller City 8-5, 4-1 PCL; Ottoville 3-10, 2-2 PCL