|Knights sweep Cougars to win Acme tourney’s top seed|
|Saturday, June 29, 2013 12:34 AM|
By JIM COX
CONVOY - In the 5-team Van Wert County ACME summer baseball league, Van Wert was 6-0 and Crestview 5-0 going into Friday night’s regular season-ending doubleheader.
The first game was the completion of a June 12 game suspended by darkness at the start of the 10th inning with the score tied 5-5. The Knights needed a win in both to gain the tournament’s top seed -- and they got them, 6-5 and 11-8. The games were moved to Convoy because of the wet field at Smiley Park.
Crestview ends its regular season at 10-1 overall and 7-0 in the league. Van Wert finishes at 11-7 and 6-2.
The second-seeded Cougars will play Lincolnview 4 p.m. Monday at Stadium Park (St. John’s home field), while Jefferson and St. John’s clash at the same time at Jefferson's Wildcat Field. The top-seed Knights will play the Jefferson/St. John’s winner Monday at 6:30 at Jefferson.
The opener resumed at 5-5 in the top of the 10th (Van Wert as the visiting team) and became a pitching duel between Crestview’s Damian Helm and Van Wert’s Brandt Henry. Helm set the Cougs down 1-2-3 in the 10th, 11th and 12th before giving way to reliever Cam Etzler.
In the meantime, Henry was threatened only in the 12th when the Knights got runners to second and third with two out before Henry shut the door.
Things changed in the 13th. Henry greeted Etzler with a single and went to second on a groundout. However, he was then nailed in a pickle and a flyout to deep center by centerfielder Tyler Williams ended the threat.
In the bottom half, centerfielder Preston Gerardot led off by drawing Henry’s first walk, which would prove to be fatal. Leftfielder Mitch Rickard bounced one to second, moving Gerardot to third -- Rickard’s ball was bobbled for an error but that would prove to be irrelevant. Etzler then lined a walk-off single to right center to win his own game.
First game (resumption of suspended June 12 game):
Van Wert 400 010 000 000 0 - 5
Crestview 000 005 000 000 1 - 6
Crestview was designated as the visiting team in the action-packed second game.
The Knights jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the second, all the runs being unearned. With two out, shortstop Bryce Richardson grounded a single up the middle, then stole second. Third baseman Adrian Camp smoked an infield single off the glove of pitcher Kevin Agler, putting runners on the corners. When Camp then took off for second, the Cougs caught Richardson in a pickle but threw the ball away, allowing Richardson to score and the inning to continue. Second baseman Brock Rolsten (single), centerfielder Jake Lippi (double) and pitcher Etzler (single) followed with RBI base knocks to up the ante to 4-0.
Van Wert got one back in the bottom of the second when DH Jake Braun reached on an error, went to second on a wild pitch, to third on a single by third baseman Ethan Williams and home on a 5-4-3 double play.
The Knights made it 5-1 in the third on a walk to first baseman Damian Helm, followed by singles off the bats of catcher Nate Owens and rightfielder Jordan Roop.
They added two more in the top of the fourth. Etzler started it with an infield single to deep short, then was caught stealing but the throw was dropped. Rickard lined a single to left center, driving in Etzler. Helm walked and Owens ripped a base hit up the middle, plating Rickard -- 7-1, Knights, after three and a half.
That’s when it got really interesting.The Cougar bats came to life off of reliever Camp in the bottom of the fourth. Agler, who had moved from the mound to first base by that time, led off by tomahawking a double down the left-field line. Braun blasted a double against the fence in left center but Agler only made it to third, waiting to see if the ball would be caught. Ethan Williams, who had relieved Agler on the mound, followed with a bloop single to left, scoring Agler, and leftfielder Jacob Williamson lined a sharp single to left center, filling the bags.
Left-handed hitting catcher Ryan McCracken poked a double to left, scoring both Braun and Williams. Shortstop Justice Tussing plated Jacob Williamson with a bouncer to third, McCracken moving to third. A perfect suicide squeeze off of reliever Jordan Roop by second baseman Cody Keirns brought in McCracken and made it 7-6. Van Wert still wasn’t done. First baseman Henry smoked a double to the gap in left center, then tied the game on ground single up the middle by centerfielder Tyler Williams.
Crestview led 8-7 after its half of the fifth. Lippi led off with a double to center, went to third on Etzler’s flyout to the base of the wall in left and scored on Rickard’s bouncer to second.
Van Wert then countered, however, with a run of its own. Braun led off by reaching first and second on a throwing error, then scoring on an Ethan Williams double -- 8-8 after five.
The Knights won it with a 3-spot in the sixth. Owens started the inning with a long double to the center-field fence. After Roop popped out to catcher McCracken, third baseman Isaiah Simerman doubled to the fence in right, bringing in Roop. At that point, Jacob Williamson relieved Ethan Williamson on the hill and fanned Camp for the second out but Rolsten singled in Simerman, took second on the throw and scored the 11th run on Lippi’s single.
Crestview used four pitchers in the game, with Roop getting the win and Richardson the save. Ethan Williams took the loss for Van Wert.
Knight hitters were led by Etzler (2-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI), Rickard (1 run, 2 RBIs), Owens (3-for-4, including a double, 1 run, 1 RBI), Rolsten (2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) and Lippi (3-for-4, including 2 doubles, 2 runs, 2 RBIs).
Van Wert was led by Tussing (2-for-4, 1 RBI), Tyler Williams (2-for-3, 1 RBI), Braun (double, 3 runs), Ethan Williams (3-for-4, including a double, 1 run, 2 RBIs) and McCracken (double, 1 run, 2 RBIs).
Etzler p/cf 5-1-2-1, Rickard lf/2b/ss 5-1-1-2, Hlem 1b 2-1-0-0, Gerardot pr/rf 0-0-0-0, Owens c 4-1-3-1, Roop rf/p 4-0-1-0, Richardson ss/p 2-1-1-1, Simerman 3b 2-1-1-0, Camp 3b/p 3-1-1-1, Rolsten 2b/3b 3-2-2-2, Lippi cf/lf 4-2-3-2. Totals 34-11-15-10.
Van Wert (ab-r-h-rbi)
Tussing ss 4-0-2-1, Keirns 2b 2-0-1-1, Henry 1b/cf 4-1-1-0, Tyler Williams cf/lf 3-0-2-1, Agler p/lb 4-1-1-0, Braun dh 4-3-1-0, Ethan Williams 3b/p 4-1-3-2, Lisa pr 0-0-0-0, Jacob Williamson lf/p 3-1-1-0, McCracken c 3-1-1-2, Mills rf 0-0-0-0. Totals 31-8-13-7.
Score by Innings:
Crestview 041 213 0 - 11 15 2
Van Wert 010 610 0 - 8 13 2
WP: Roop; Save: Richardson; LP: Ethan Williams. 2B: Lippi 2, Owens, Simerman, Henry, Agler, Braun, Ethan Williams, McCracken. LOB: Crestview 10, Van Wert 5. DP: Camp to Rolsten to Helm (CV), Rolsten to Helm (CV).