Lancer DH Cole Schmersal watches a fly ball in this file photo. Schmersal walked in three plate appearances versus Spencerville on Wednesday night, scoring one of Lincolnview’s 10 runs. (TB file photo)
Lancer DH Cole Schmersal watches a fly ball in this file photo. Schmersal walked in three plate appearances versus Spencerville on Wednesday night, scoring one of Lincolnview’s 10 runs. (TB file photo)
By John Parent
Times Bulletin Sports Editor
MIDDLE POINT — Lincolnview spotted the visiting Spencerville Bearcats a 4-0 lead, but stormed from behind to score the next nine runs en route to a 10-7 Northwest conference win on Wednesday night.
The Lancers (6-9 overall, 5-2 NWC) are still very much alive in the conference race. A win over Bluffton on Monday gave the Pirates their first conference loss of the year and means that Lincolnview sits just a game out of first place. Spencerville falls to 7-9 overall and 2-5 in the league.
Early in the game, not much was going the way of the Lancers. Starting pitcher Jalen Roberts worked around two walks and a wild pitch in the first inning, but his control issues continued in the second and were compounded by some shaky defense to give the Bearcats an early advantage.
Thad Ringwald reached base via error to start the frame, and moved to score on a groundout before advancing to third on a wild pitch. Ringwald would come into score on a ground out by Spencerville pitcher Wyatt Krouskop. Even with the bags empty and two away, the Bearcats weren’t done. Consecutive walks to David Wisher and Mitchell Youngpeter put two on and Jacob Meyer cashed them both in with a drive to right that eluded Derek Friesner’s diving attempt.

In the fourth, another walk would come around to score. James Schaad earned the one-out free pass and Ringwald grounded to second, but reached on another error. After Schaad stole third to put runners on the conreners, Ringwald took off for second and stole it safely, but the throw to the bag was dropped, allowing Schaad to scamper home for the fourth Bearcat run.
“At that point, I was frustrated and I didn’t say a word after that inning was over,” Lancer coach Kevin Longstreth said. “They knew where I was (mentally), and there were some other guys that stepped up and said ‘hey, we’re still in a conference race here, this is a big game for us.’
The Lancers started their comeback in the bottom of the frame.
Troy Patterson, Monday night’s walk-off hero, lined a single to left before Cole Schmersal drew a walk. That was followed by a walk to Austin Leeth, leaving the bags full with no one out.
After Dalton Schmersal popped-up for the first out, senior center fielder Kyle Williams stepped in and drove a ball that split the left-center field gap and went all the way to the fence, bringing in all three runners and cutting Sopencerville’s lead to 4-3. Williams wasn’t done there, however. He stole third and scored the tying run on a wild pitch before the inning eventually came to a close.
“Since he’s been back and gotten the reps and gotten healthy, he’s been on base and our main RBI guy,” Longstreth said of Williams, who missed time early in the year due to an injury.
After batting around in the third, the Lancers did it again in the fourth, this time against reliever Bubba Shimp. Shimp retired the first two of the inning, but a walk to Leeth ignited what would be the decisive rally. Dalton Schmersal followed with a line drive to left and Leeth moved around to third on the hit, with Schmersal moving into second on the throw.
With Williams coming to the plate and first base open, Spencerville head coach Troy Montenery elected to issue the intentional walk, loading the bases for Connor McCleery. McCleery wasted little time in making the Bearcats pay, as he smashed the first pitch of the at bat into center field for a two-run single, putting the Lancers on top for good.
“He’s been struggling a little bit at the plate. I don’t think he’s quite having the year he expected,” Longstreth said of his senior first baseman. “With that hit, hopefully he did take it (the intentional walk to Williams) a little personally and focused in.”
Friesner then knocked in Williams with a single and third baseman Derek Youtsey drove in two with his double to deep left-center. Suddenly, it was 9-4, Lancers.
Spencerville threatened in the fifth when Roberts walked two more batters, bringing his total to seven in the game. That brought Longstreth to the mound with one out and Leeth in to pitch. Leeth induced a pair of ground balls and the Lancers were out of the inning without allowing a run.
The teams traded runs in the sixth, with Lincolnview’s coming after Williams started the inning with a double down the left field line. He scored on Youtsey’s single. Youtsey finished with three hits and three runs batted in. He was one of four Lancers to record multiple hits in the game.
“With seven errors, we had to hit the ball, and we did a good job of that tonight,” noted Longstreth.
Spencerville 031 001 2- 7 5 1
Lincolnview 004 501 x- 10 12 7
Spencerville (ab-r-h-rbi)
Wisher ss 3-1-1-0, Youngpeter lf 3-1-0-0, Meyer 3b 5-0-1-2, Shimp 2b-p 3-0-1-1, French c 3-0-0-0, Schaad cf-p 3-2-1-0, Ringwald 1b 3-2-0-0, Freewalt dh 3-0-0-0 x- Becker rf 1-0-1-2, Krouskop p 3-0-0-0, x- Carpenter cf 1-0-0-0
Lincolnview (ab-r-h-rbi)
Leeth ss-p 2-2-0-0, D. Schmersal lf-cf 4-1-1-0, Williams cf-ss 3-3-2-3, McCleery 1b 4-1-1-2, Friesner rf 4-1-2-1, Youtsey 3b 4-0-3-3, Richey c 4-0-1-0, Patterson 2b 4-1-2-0, C. Schmersal dh 2-1-0-0
E- Meyer, Patterson 3, Youtsey 3, Williams
PB- French
2B- Meyer, Becker, Williams 2, Youtsey
SB- Wisher, Meyer, Schaad, Ringwald, Williams, Youtsey
Spencerville pitching
Krouskop 3.0 IP 4 H 4 R 4 ER 2 BB 1 K
Shimp (L) 2.0 IP 5 H 5 R 5 ER 2 BB 2 K
Schaad 1.0 IP 3 H 1 R 1 ER 0 BB 1 K
Lincolnview pitching
Roberts (W) 4.1 IP 1 H 4 R 2 ER 7 BB 4 K
Leeth 2.2 IP 4 H 3 R 2 ER 1 BB 1 K
WP- Krouskop, Schaad, Roberts 3, Leeth