|Helm tosses Knights past Titans in ACME|
|Sunday, July 21, 2013 11:45 PM|
BY CHARLIE WARNIMONT
COLDWATER – One inning defined the night Crestview pitcher Damian Helm had.
Facing a bases-loaded, no-out situation, Helm escaped the jam without giving up a run. Although he gave up two runs an inning later, his early success helped hold a Knight lead that the offense added to in an 8-2 win over Ottawa-Glandorf in the opening round of the state ACME tournament at Coldwater’s Veterans Field.
The win sent the Knights (18-4) to a second-round winners’-bracket game opposite Defiance Sunday evening. Defiance was a 5-0 winner over Bellefontaine in the nightcap Saturday. The Titans fell to 13-7 on the summer.
Crestview grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second inning with a 2-out rally.
Titan starter Tanner Schimmoeller retired the first five Knight batters he faced before Nate Owens lined a sharp single to left that was followed by an RBI double by Adrian Camp to right-center that scored Owens from first. Walks to Jordan Roop, Brock Rolsten and Cam Etzler plated the second run of the inning before a fly ball to right field ended the inning.
Having been handed a 2-0 lead, Helm looked like he might surrender it in the bottom of the inning as Schimmoeller opened the O-G second with a single before Austin Williams and Matt Warnecke walked to load the bases. Facing the bottom of third of the Titan lineup, Helm took over striking out all three batters to preserve the Knights 2-0 lead. The three strikeouts came after Crestview coach Jeff Helm made a quick visit to the mound to talk with his senior pitcher.
“That was a huge moment in the game,” coach Helm said. “Bases loaded and no outs and to get out of that with no runs was a big lift for Damian confidence-wise. I think he just settled down from there. He was getting ahead and trusting his defense.”
After Helm escaped that jam, the Knight offense put together another 2-out rally in the third inning to go up 3-0.
After the first two Knight batters in the third were retired, Bryce Richardson reached on a single to center and scored when Owens lined a triple up the right-center field gap. O-G had a play on Richardson at the plate but Titan catcher Ben Deitering was unable to handle the relay throw home.
After missing out a scoring opportunity in the second inning, the Titans made things interesting with a 2-run third inning.
Drew Schierloh and Brad Croy reached on singles to start the inning before the next two batters were retired. A 2-out double to right by Deitering made it a 3-2 game. Williams followed with a walk before Helm struck out Matt Warnecke to keep the Knights in the lead.
After the third inning, Helm allowed only one more Titan base-runner before being lifted to start the seventh inning, that on a Tyler Zender single in the fifth. Helm finished the game allowing two runs on five hits with six strikeouts and he walked three. Camp worked a 1-2-3 seventh inning with a strikeout.
“He kept us off-balance all game,” Titan ACME coach Ross Deitering said. “He mixed his pitches well and threw his breaking ball for strikes. He had our kids guessing all game. He pitched a really good game. That second inning was a big inning for him; it could have been a big momentum swing if we score but we didn’t and they regained the momentum the next inning.”
Crestview padded their lead in the fifth inning with two runs. Roop started the inning by working a walk before being sacrificed to second. Etzler followed with a walk and Mitchell Rickard dropped a single into shallow center that loaded the bases. A sacrifice fly by Helm made it 4-0 before the fifth run scored on a wild pitch. After a walk to Isaiah Simerman, O-G changed pitchers, bringing in Warnecke, who got a pop foul to first base to end the inning.
“We were able to peck away as the innings went along,” coach Helm said. “We were able to get a run here and there and put the pressure on them to make a play or two. We had 11 hits and were making good contact. I can’t say enough about our defense as we had only the one error behind Damian.
“Camp had a big night at the plate with the three hits. He has been hitting the ball hard, finding a hole here and there. His confidence is growing. We are not a bunch of home run hitters. We keep telling them ‘see the ball, hit the ball’.”
Crestview salted the game away in the top of the seventh with three runs. Two runs scored via two O-G errors, while Rickard had an RBI double that scored Etzler who had singled and stole second.
Camp had two singles and a double for the Knights, while Rickard had a single and double and Owens a single and a triple.
Schimmoeller took the loss for O-G as he went 3 2/3 innings allowing five runs on five hits with two strikeouts and six walks. Warnecke finished the game allowing three runs on six hits with a strikeout and one walk.
Deitering had a double and two RBIs as five different O-G hitters had their hits.
* * *
Crestview 021 200 3 – 8 11 1
Ottawa-Glandorf 002 000 0 – 2 5 5
WP-D. Helm; LP-Schimmoeller.