BY JIM COX
DHI Media Correspondent
CONVOY - With a district berth assured, Van Wert ACME coach Karlin Dunlap had two goals for Wednesday evening’s sectional final against St. Marys: (1) Get some at-bats for some players who haven’t had them recently. (2) Win the game.
He nearly got both. However, the Roughriders escaped with an 8-6 win.
In Saturday’s Elida district at 10 a.m., Van Wert (13-6) will play the loser of Wednesday’s Bath/LCC game.
At about 12:30 p.m., St. Marys (10-1) will play the winner of that game.
Van Wert had four regular starters — Justice Tussing, Joe Lisa, Gavin Gardner and Josh Braun — on the bench at the beginning and regular catcher Ryan McCracken was on vacation.
Tussing (as a pinch-runner), Lisa (substitute catcher), Gardner (pinch-hitter) and Braun (relief pitcher) eventually got into the game, although only Braun saw extended action.
“We have some good bats on our bench,” said Dunlap. “We have a lot of kids that haven’t gotten an at-bat in about a week, so I wanted to get them some at-bats. That way if we have to rely on them at districts, we’ll be able to do that.”