Lincoln Mueller of St. John's struck out 10 in their win over Jefferson on Monday. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)
Lincoln Mueller of St. John's struck out 10 in their win over Jefferson on Monday. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)

CONVOY — The superb pitching of St. John’s lefthander Lincoln Mueller and some shaky Jefferson defense spurred the Blue Jays to a 4-0 win over the Jeffcats in District 5 West Division Acme sectional action Monday.

The win eliminated Jefferson and advanced St. John’s to this weekend’s District 5 tournament at Lima Shawnee. The Blue Jays, West Division 2nd seed, will play the East Division’s 1st seed at 5:00 Friday. Van Wert, West Division 1st seed, will play the East Division’s 2nd seed in the second game at approximately 7:15.

Because of weekend rainouts, the East Division sectional is behind schedule. Due to the backed-up East Division schedule and coaches’ mutual agreement, the originally scheduled West Division Tuesday night championship game(s) between Van Wert and St. John’s will not be played at all, leaving the Cougars as the top seed and the Jays as the 2nd seed.

Mueller went 6 1/3 innings, blanking Jefferson on three hits while striking out 10 and walking four. He threw 115 pitches, including 67 strikes. As Mueller approached the maximum 125 pitches, he was relieved by Blake Fischbach with two on and one out in the seventh. The next batter lined into a double play to end the game.

Jefferson’s biggest threat came in the bottom of the first inning when centerfielder Braxton Scalf led off with a walk and, after the next batter struck out, advanced to second on a walk to third baseman Colin Bailey. Shortstop Logan Herron then ripped a liner that one-hopped off the glove of shortstop Trent Lindeman but was flagged down by second baseman Braysen Schulte, who threw Scalf out at the plate.

St. John’s took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third. Braysen Schulte started the inning by reaching second on a dropped fly ball. Catcher Gavin Fittro bunted Schulte to third and was safe at first when the throw pulled the first baseman off the bag. Centerfielder Zane Wertenberger’s single to left plated Schulte.

Trent Lindeman then singled to fill the bases, and third baseman Brady Kerner’s force-out grounder drove in Fittro. On that same play, Wertenberger and Kerner got caught in pickles, resulting in multiple throws and a triple play of sorts, temporarily keeping the Jeffcats within striking distance.

St. John’s added two more, one earned, in the top of the seventh. Rightfielder Gavin Becker reached on a booted grounder. Fischbach, the DH at that point, then hit an opposite field double to right. Becker scored when first baseman Avery Schulte’s grounder was thrown home late. Braysen Schulte’s grounder then drove in Fischbach.

Jefferson starter Logan Gallmeier took the loss, although he didn’t give up an earned run. He left in favor of Herron in the middle of the third inning. Two of the St. John’s runs were charged to Gallmeier, and two were charged to Herron.

The only player in the game with more than one hit was Fischbach who went 2 for 3, including the double, and scored once.

St. John’s (ab-r-h-rbi)

Braysen Schulte 2b 4-1-1-1, Gavin Fittro c 3-1-0-0, Zane Wertenbergerr cf 3-0-1-1, Trent Lindeman ss 3-0-1-0, Brady Kerner 3b 1-0-0-1, Lincoln Mueller p 3-0-0-0, Devin Lindeman pr 0-0-0-0, Gavin Becker rf 3-1-1-0, JJ Bonifas lf 0-0-0-0, Blake Fischbach dh/p 3-1-2-0, Avery Schulte 1b 3-0-0-1, Isaac Fairchild pr 0-0-0-0. Totals 26-4-6-4.

Jefferson (ab-r-h-rbi)

Braxton Scalf cf 3-0-0-0, Colin Bailey 3b 4-0-0-0, Roy Almonte rf 2-0-1-0, Logan Herron ss/p 3-0-1-0, JT Taviano c 3-0-0-0, Braylon Scalf 2b 2-0-1-0, Chase Bailey lf 0-0-0-0, Jackson Ream dh 3-0-0-0, Jacob Simmons 1b/ss 2-0-0-0, Logan Gallmeier p/1b 2-0-0-0. Totals 24-0-3-0.

Errors: Kerner, Bailey 2, Gallmeier 2, Trent Lindeman. PB: Fittro. DP: Bailey to Taviano, Trent Lindeman to Braysen Schulte. SB: Braxton Scalf, Herron. Sac Bunt: Fittro. HBP: Simmons (by Lincoln Muller). Double: Fischbach. LOB: DSJ 5, DJ 8.

St. John’s 002 000 2 - 4 6 2

Jefferson 000 000 0 - 0 3 4

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so)

Mueller (W) 6.1-3-0-0-4-10.

Fischbach 0.2-0-0-0-0-0.

Gallmeier (L) 2.1-4-2-0-1-0.

Herron 4.2-2-2-1-1-3.

Pitches/Strikes: Mueller 115/67, Fischbach 2/1, Gallmeier 39/23, Herron 49/29.