|Cougs hold off Knights in ACME tussle|
|Wednesday, June 11, 2014 8:01 PM|
By JIM METCALFE
DHI Media Sports Editor
VAN WERT — The first seven innings of Wednesday night’s ACME summer baseball game between “visiting” Van Wert and “host” Crestview was a pitcher’s duel, with the game needing extra innings after a 1-1 tie after the first seven.
The Cougars erupted for six runs in the top of the eighth and held on for a 7-5 victory.
The game was originally set for Crestview’s Athletic Complex but was moved to Russell Fisher Field at Smiley Park.
The first seven frames featured a battle of southpaws: the Knights’ Jordan Roop who looked in top-flight condition after their run to the Division IV State semis in the spring (7-plus innings, 3 hits, 3 runs, 2 earned, 4 bases-on-balls, 4 strikeouts; 89 pitches, 53 for strikes) and the Cougars Brant Henry (7-plus IPs, 7 hits, 5 runs, 4 earned, 3 BBs, 6 Ks; 117 pitches, 68 strikes).
In the top of the eighth, the Cougars chased Roop after two batters: an error on a Justice Tussing grounder and a walked to pinch-hitter B.J. Covey; bringing in flame-thrower Nathan Owens. He got two outs but in between gave up four walkes, a hit batter, a hit and struck out one. A 3-base throwing error on a Henry sacrifice bunt plated Tussing and pinch-runner Gavin Gardner for a 3-1 lead. A chop single to right past a drawn-in infield by Ryan Stoller made it 4-0. Then came a sacrifice (Caleb Fetzer), a walk to Mason Carr, a 2-out free pass (Ryan McCracken) and a run-scoring hit batter (pinch-hitter Josh Braun) that plated Stoller. A wild pitch scored Carr and back-to-back passes to Tussing and Gardner got McCracken home for a 7-1 edge. Third pitcher Mitchell Rickard got the final out.
The Knights were not done in the home half, though. A Colby Clifton single and three straight doubles: Roop, Owens (scoring 2) and Justin Overmyer (plating Owens) made it 7-4. That finished Henry for Stoller. A 1-out grounder by Rickard got Overmyer to third and a wild pitch scored him. However, a pop-up by Zach Simerman ended the wild affair.
Twice, the Cougars got a runner to third: Stoller in the second and McCracken in the third; but could not score.
The Knights got a runner to third in the first — Jordan Miller — but couldn’t get on the board.
Crestview got on board first in the bottom of the fourth on a leadoff liner up the gut by Roop that nearly took Henry’s head off, a 1-out liner to left by Overmyer and a grounder by Jake Lippi; it forced Overmyer at second but a 2-base throwing error on the relay plated Roop for a 1-0 edge.
Van Wert tied it in the top of the fifth with two outs. Jacob Williamson walked and Tussing hit a sinking liner to center; Preston Geradot tried to make a diving catch but couldn’t come up with it and it skipped by him for a run-scoring 3-baser.
Crestview got runners on the corners in the bottom half on a 1-out walk to Spencer Ralston, a sacrifice by Miller and an infield hit by Clifton but failed to score.
Van Wert got a leadoff knock to left by Henry in the sixth but he was picked off base by Roop. An out hence, Fetzer got aboard via a throwing error but was forced out at second by Carr.
Henry retired the last seven Crestview batters in the fifth, sixth and seventh to force extra innings.
Van Wert visits Jefferson Friday, while Crestview visits Lincolnview.
VAN WERT (7)
Justice Tussing ss 4-1-1-1, Gavin Gardner 1b/pr 3-1-0-1, B.J. Covey ph 0-0-0-0, Brant Henry p/cf 4-1-2-0, Ryan Stoller cf/p 3-1-1-1, Caleb Fetzer 3b 2-0-0-0, Mason Carr lf 3-1-0-0, Kaleb Jenkins rf 3-0-0-0, Gavin Cross ph/rf/2b 1-0-0-0, Ryan McCracken c 2-1-0-0, Jacob Williamson 2b/rf 1-1-0-0, Josh Braun ph 0-0-0-0. Totals 26-7-4-4.
Jordan Miller 3b/c 2-0-0-0, Colby Clifton 1b/cf 4-1-2-0, Jordan Roop p/1b 4-2-2-0, Nathan Owens dh/p/ss 4-1-1-2, Justin Overmyer rf 4-1-2-1, Jake Lippi lf 3-0-0-0, Mitchell Rickard ss/p 3-0-0-0, Preston Geradot cf 2-0-0-0, Zach Simerman 2b/3b 2-0-0-0, Spencer Ralston 2b/cf 1-0-0-0. Totals 29-5-7-3.
Score by Innings:
Van Wert 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 6 - 7
Crestview 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 4 - 5
E: Miller 2, Williamson Owens; LOB: Van Wert 8, Crestview 6; 2B: Roop, Owens, Overmyer; 3B: Tussing; POB: Henry (by Roop): Sac: Fetzer 2, Henry, Williamson, Miller, Rickard.
IP H R ER BB SO
Henry (W) 7.0 5 2 0 3 8
Stoller (S) 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
Roop (L) 7.0 3 3 2 4 4
Owens 0.2 1 4 0 4 1
Rickard 0.1 0 0 0 0 0
Roop pitched to 2 batters in 8th
Henry pitched to 4 batters in 8th
WP: Roop 2, Stoller, Owens; PB: Miller; HBP: Miller (by Henry), Braun (by Owens); BB: McCracken 2, Ralston 2, Tussing, Gardner, Covey, Stoller, Carr, Williamson, Lippi.