Mike Wiss and John Dorner are not only great High Schools coaches, but good friends whose coaching paths crossed as they worked together with the St. Marys Legion team a number of years ago. Meeting in Thursday’s sectional tournament game this week, both coaches felt the game would be a close encounter once again.
Dorner told his squad, “There will not be many chances for runs tonight; there are two great pitchers on the mound who work fast.” Which reflects the coaching philosophy of both Dorner and Wiss. “We want our pitchers working quickly,” they’ll tell you. “We feel it keeps our defenses into the game”.
But Redskin hurler Parker Link, who entered the game with a 1.72 ERA, was up to the task as he induced Carter Hogenkamp to hit into a rally-ending double play, snuffing out the potential for a big inning.
Minster finally broke through in the bottom of the fourth on a Heitbrink single, a wild pitch that sent him to second, and a run-scoring single to center by teammate Adam Knapke. It turned out to be the game winner – the only run!
The irony? Both coaches had said before-hand that runs would be at a premium, and their instincts were correct. Great defense behind great pitching made for precious few opportunities to score and Ryan Knapke’s run in the fourth proved to make their pre-game predictions prophetic.