|Knights hold off Cougars, 5-2|
|Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:25 PM|
By JIM COX
CONVOY - Crestview right-hander Venice Roberts stifled Van Wert for six innings, then barely held the fort in the seventh, as the Knights escaped with a 5-2 non-league baseball win Wednesday afternoon at the Crestview Athletic Complex.
Crestview is now 9-3, Van Wert 12-6.
The game started off promising for the Cougars. With one out in the top of the first, shortstop Nathan Stoller swung at a third strike in the dirt and reached when the ball bounced by the catcher. Leftfielder Brant Henry lined a single down the left-field line and rightfielder Tyler Williams bounced a base hit through the third/short hole to fill the sacks. Pitcher Andrew Todd’s fly to shallow left center, however, was snagged by shortstop Bryce Richardson, runners holding, and catcher Ryan Stoller grounded into an inning-ending force-out, Richardson unassisted.
Van Wert wouldn’t threaten again until the seventh inning.
Meanwhile, Todd, a lefty, cruised through the first three innings, throwing 27 strikes out of 31 pitches, but ran into big trouble in the bottom of the fourth. First baseman Jake Harmon led off by smacking a line single to right. Centerfielder Cam Etzler laid down a perfect bunt and beat it out. Roberts’ bouncer was booted, scoring Harmon and putting runners at second and third. Rightfielder Nick Thomas blooped an opposite-field single to right, plating Etzler. Catcher Nate Owens then lined a base hit up the middle, bringing home Roberts. Second baseman Brock Rolsten bunted the runners over to second and third. Third baseman Isaiah Simerman’s deep sacrifice fly to center drove in Thomas and leftfielder Damian Helm’s single to left plated Owens — 5-0, Knights, after four.
That five-run lead appeared to be more than adequate until the top of the seventh. Cougar catcher Ryan Stoller led off with a ground single up the middle. After relief pitcher Mason Krugh flied to center for the first out, third baseman Cody Keirns reached on an error and second basemen Justice Tussing grounded an opposite-field single through the first/second hole to fill the sacks. Centerfielder Joey Hurless brought home Stoller with a sacrifice fly to left and Nathan Stoller’s bouncer was thrown low, plating Keirns to make it 5-2. Henry filled the sacks with a single to left as Crestview fans started to get a bit nervous. Williams then brought a roar from the Cougar fans by scorching a line drive but it was right at shortstop Richardson, ending the suspense and the game.
In his seven innings of work, Roberts yielded two runs, neither earned, on six hits, while striking out two and walking one. He threw 78 pitches (20 in the seventh inning), of which 50 were strikes.
Todd worked five innings and took the loss, giving up five runs (2 earned) on nine hits, striking out three and walking nobody. Krugh threw one inning, giving up no runs and one hit, neither striking out nor walking a batter.
Knight hitters were led by Thomas (3-for-3, 1 run, 1 run batted in), Helm (2-for-3, 1 RBI) and Owens (1-for-3, 1 run, 1 RBI).
Henry was 2-for-4 for Van Wert.
Crestview hosts Ada tonight (5 p.m.); Van Wert hosts Defiance Friday.
Simerman 3b 3-0-0-1, Helm lf 3-0-2-1, Richardson ss 3-0-0-0, Harmon 1b 3-1-2-0, Etzler cf 3-1-1-0, Roberts p 3-1-1-0, Thomas rf 3-1-3-1, Roop rf 0-0-0-0, Owens c 3-1-1-1, Rolsten 2b 2-0-0-0. Totals 26-5-10-4.
Van Wert (ab-r-h-rbi)
Hurless cf 3-0-0-1, Nathan Stoller ss 4-0-0-0, Henry lf 4-0-2-0, Williams rf 4-0-1-0, Todd p/1b 2-0-0-0, Ryan Stoller c 3-1-1-0, Krugh dh/p 3-0-0-0, Contreras 3b 0-0-0-0, Agler 1b 2-0-1-0, Keirns 3b 1-1-0-0, Tussing 2b 3-0-1-0. Totals 29-2-6-1.
Score by Innings:
Van Wert 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 - 2 6 3
Crestview 0 0 0 5 0 0 x - 5 10 2
WP: Roberts; LP: Todd. DP: Van Wert 2. LOB: Van Wert 8, Crestview 5.