VAN WERT — Ottawa-Glandorf put together four extra-base hits in one
inning, and got some help from the Van Wert defense, to build a five-run
lead and roll to a 9-4 Western Buckeye League victory over the Cougars
at Smiley Park on a blustery Thursday night.
The Titans and
Cougars traded runs in the first two innings before Ottawa-Glandorf took
advantage of some good fortune in the top of the third, and broke the
game open with a five-run inning.
After Van Wert hurler Brant
Henry retired the first batter of the frame, lead-off man Brad Croy
lofted a fly ball down the right field line. The gusting and swirling
wind at Van Wert’s Smiley Park pushed the ball that appeared to be well
foul back toward the line and it landed safely just inside fair ground.
Croy wound up on second with the double and scored when Austin Williams
drive to deep left-center narrowly escaped the reach of a diving Mason
Carr in left field for the Cougars.
Even with the two close plays
that went against him, Henry bounced back to record a strikeout of Tyler
Zender, but the Titans again caught a break when strike three went to
the backstop, allowing Zender to reach safely. Zender promptly stole
second, leaving runners at second and third with one out and the Cougar
infield drawn in.
Henry got the ground ball he needed and the
third baseman fielding it cleanly and looked the lead runner back before
firing across the diamond. His throw was low and couldn’t be scooped
up, allowing both runners to score and the hitter, Ben Dietering, to
make it all the way to third. Dietering would come home two batters
later when Matt Warnecke doubled into the gap, making it 6-1, Titans.
was good to see, because we have not been scoring runs this year,” O-G
coach Nick Miller said of his team’s big third inning. “We’ve hit the
ball hard sometimes and we haven’t gotten the breaks, but today we did.
We took advantage of some cheap hits and some miscues by them that led
to a few runs for us. Hopefully, that will get us out of this little
slump we’ve been in, offensively.”
The Cougars could have folded the tent at that point, but the young Van Wert squad instead began chipping away.
singles by Justice Tussing and Nate Stoller opened the bottom of the
third, and Tyler Williams brought Tussing home with a slow roller to
first, cutting the lead to 6-2.
After the Titans got the run back
in the top of the fourth, Van Wert again found a way to scratch out
another run in its half of the inning. Carr and first baseman Gavin
Gardner drew walks to start the rally and Josh Braun’s line single to
left-center plated the Cougars’ third run of the game.
eventually loaded the bases in that inning with only one out, but a
comebacker and a fly ball ended the frame with no further damage.
the bottom of the sixth, a lead-off double by Ethan Williams and
another Braun single put runners at the corners with nobody out in a 7-3
game. Tussing’s fly ball to right plated a run to bring the margin to
three, but Croy retired both Henry and Tyler Williams via strikeout to
stifle the Cougar uprising.
“(Croy) usually comes out and throws
strikes and is right around the plate, and he did that today,” Miller
said of Croy’s outing on the hill. “He just didn’t have the zip on his
fastball, I don’t know if it was the conditions today or what, but he
just didn’t have good bite on the curve. He did make some big pitches in
certain innings to to get himself out of jams and get his teammates out
of jams, too. He battled for us, and gave us six strong (innings).”
the top of the seventh, Ottawa-Glandorf added on. Warnecke led off with
a base hit and Drew Schierloh’s bunt wound up as an infield hit when he
beat the throw to first. After a successful sacrifice moved both
runners up, Ethan Williams, pitching in relief of Henry, induced a
ground ball to the drawn-in infield that should have been the second
out. Instead, the ball went through the legs of the Cougar defender and
into right field, putting the Titans up 9-4 and sealing the win.
proud of the way (the kids) fought back,” Van Wert coach Charlie Witten
said of the effort his Cougars gave on Thursday. “We kept battling,
kept fighting and we cut it to three before giving up those two in the
seventh. We gotta make plays (defensively). We’re doing everything
offensivley that we can do, but we have to make more plays defensively
to accomplish what we want to accomplish.”
Van Wert yielded five unearned runs to the Titans.
is no rest for the weary Couagrs, who have dropped games on three
straight days this week to fall to 7-9 on the season. They host Celina
in a WBL game on Friday before visiting Delphos for a doubleheader with
Jefferson on Saturday.
The Titans, meanwhile, will battle Wapak with a share of first place in the conference on the line.
Ottawa-Glandorf 105 100 2- 9 11 2
Van Wert 011 101 0- 4 8 2
p-ss 4-1-1-0, Williams ss-3b 5-1-2-1, Zender cf 4-1-1-1, Dietering c
3-1-1-1, Wischmeyer dh 4-0-0-0, Warnecke 3b-p 3-2-2-1, Schierloh lf
3-1-3-1, Schimmoeller 1b 2-0-0-0, Kersh rf 3-1-0-0
Van Wert (ab-r-h-rbi)
2b 3-1-1-0, N. Stoller ss 4-0-1-0, Henry p-lf 4-0-0-0, T. Williams rf
4-1-1-1, R. Stoller cf 4-0-0-0, Carr lf-c 3-1-0-0, Gardner 1b 3-0-1-1,
Miller c 2-0-1-0, x- E. Williams p 1-1-1-0, Jo. Braun 3b 3-0-2-1
2B- Croy (OG), Williams (OG), Zender (OG), Warnecke (OG), Miller (VW), E. Williams (VW)
3B- Schierloh (OG)
SB- Zender (OG) (off Henry/Miller)
Croy (W) 6.0 IP 8 H 4 R 3 ER 2 BB 5 K
Warnecke 1.0 IP 0 H 0 R 0 ER 0 BB 0 K
Henry (L) 5.0 IP 9 H 7 R 4 ER 4 BB 7 K
E. Williams 2.0 IP 2 H 2 R 0 ER 1 BB 1 K