|Cavs oust Knights in 2-0 pitchers’ duel|
|Wednesday, July 24, 2013 12:09 AM|
By JIM COX
COLDWATER - Great pitchers’ duels are often decided by one pitch a little high in the strike zone.
Tuesday’s State ACME elimination game between Coldwater and Crestview was no exception. A 2-run first-inning homer by the Cavaliers’ Malave Bettinger accounted for all the runs in the well-played 2-0 game, which ended the Knights' summer at 18-6.
Coldwater (25-5) stays alive in the losers’ bracket and will play in today’s second game against the winner of Tuesday’s second game, an elimination contest between Anthony Wayne and Bellefontaine. Wednesday’s first game is a 6 p.m. winners’-bracket matchup between Lima Shawnee (20-4) and Defiance (20-6).
After the Knights went out 1-2-3 in the top of the first against Coldwater’s Greg Gilliland, the Cavs’ leftfielder, Brody Hoying, reached on a bobble. However, Hoying was gunned down trying to steal second and it appeared that Crestview pitcher Isaiah Simerman might escape with no damage. First baseman Mitch Heyne, however, kept the inning alive with a ground single up the middle and DH Bettinger pulled a 3-2 pitch over the 315-foot mark in right -- 2-0, Coldwater, after one.
The Cavaliers threatened again in the bottom of the second. With two out, centerfielder Mitch Schoenherr walked and third baseman Matt Kramer lined a single to right, putting runners on the corners. Rightfielder Grant Muhlenkamp flared one to shallow center but Cam Etzler got a great jump, robbing Muhlenkamp of a hit and RBI.
From that point on, Gilliland and Simerman were in total command, with one exception, the top of the fourth when the Knights mounted their only threat. Rightfielder Mitchell Rickard led off with a single up the middle. First baseman Damian Helm then beat out a bunt and when the throw to first was high, Rickard went to third, putting runners on the corners with no outs.
Simerman bounced to third and the throw home nailed Rickard easily, reducing the threat to runners at second and third and one out. Shortstop Bryce Richardson grounded into a force at second, putting Helm at third and Richardson at first with two outs. Gilliland’s wild pitch moved Richardson to second but Helm didn’t attempt to score on the play. The threat then ended on a fly to center by third baseman Adrian Camp.
“If we could’ve gotten one run there (in the fourth)...that was a key inning for them and for us, not being able to get anything,” said Knight coach Jeff Helm. “Hats off to Isaiah. He pitched well, gave up the 2-run homer, but still...three hits. The defense played solid behind him. Great plays in the outfield, all the way around the infield. Just couldn’t score with ‘em; that’s what it boiled down to. We beat some quality opponents to get here and I’m very proud of the kids.”
The game featured some fine fielding by both teams, especially by Coldwater centerfielder Schoenherr (six putouts) and Crestview shortstop Richardson (five assists).
With both teams having played on Saturday and Sunday, it fell to Gilliland and Simerman to keep their team alive -- and both were outstanding. During Gilliland’s complete-game shutout, he gave up four hits while striking out six and walking one. He threw 94 pitches, including 60 strikes.
Simerman was equally impressive, giving up two runs, both earned, and three hits in six innings, while striking out one and walking one. He threw 67 pitches, of which 41 were strikes.
“We always want our kids to get plenty of rest between starts,” said Coach Helm. “We’re blessed with a decent amount of pitching, so we don’t have to throw somebody on short rest. Isaiah did a great job. We’re blessed to have what we have.”
Crestview catcher Nate Owens was the only player on either team with more than one hit -- two singles in two official at-bats. The Knights’ other hits were singles by Rickard and Helm.
The Cavs’ other hits were singles by Heyne and Kramer.
It was Coldwater’s third tournament win over Crestview. The Cavs had beaten the Knights twice in district action, 6-0 and 5-3.
Etzler cf 3-0-0-0, Rickard rf 3-0-1-0, Helm 1b 3-0-1-0, Simerman p 3-0-0-0, Richardson ss 3-0-0-0, Owens c 2-0-2-0, Camp 3b 3-0-0-0, Lippi lf 3-0-0-0, Rolsten 2b 2-0-0-0. Totals 25-0-4-0.
Muhlenkamp rf 3-0-0-0, Hoying lf 3-0-0-0, Heyne 1b 3-1-1-0, Bettinger dh 3-1-1-2, Gilliland p 0-0-0-0, Spangler c 2-0-0-0, Thobe 2b 2-0-0-0, Klosterman ss 2-0-0-0, Schoenherr cf 1-0-0-0, Kramer 3b 2-0-1-0. Totals 20-2-3-2.
Score by innings: R H E
Crestview 000 000 0 - 0 4 2
Coldwater 200 000 0 - 2 3 2
WP: Gilliland; LP: Simerman. HR: Bettinger (CW). LOB: Crestview 5. Coldwater 2. Double Play: Richardson to Rolsten to Helm.