Cougars unable to hold late lead in ACME loss to O-G
Friday, June 27, 2014 12:01 AM
By Charlie Warnimont
Van Wert’s Caleb Jenkins scores on a wild pitch as Evan Barrett covers the plate for Ottawa-Glandorf. The Cougars couldn’t hold a late lead as the Titans picked up a 7-5 win. (DHI Media/Charlie Warnimont)
DHI Media Correspondent
GLANDORF — Ottawa-Glandorf’s and Van Wert’s ACME baseball teams hadn’t played a game in week.
With ACME sectional tournaments starting this weekend, the two teams were able to shake off some rust Thursday evening as they squared off in regular season action. The Titans rallied in their final two at-bats to defeat the Cougars 7-5. The loss dropped Van Wert to 10-4 on the season, while O-G improved to 3-7.
Van Wert had a 5-4 lead after scoring a run in the fifth inning before the Titans tied the game in the fifth, then scored twice in the bottom of the sixth for the win.
O-G tied the game on a sacrifice fly by Jordan Diemer as pinch runner Leon Palomo scored after moving to third base on a wild pitch. Ben Deitering was hit by a pitch with one out in the fifth inning was replaced by pinch runner Palomo who stole second base before Austin Williams walked. A wild pitch advanced both runners a base.
After Van Wert left runners on first and third base in the top of the sixth, the Titans scored two, two out runs in the bottom of the inning.
Tory Schroeder opened the inning with a walk and Austin Verhoff followed with a single. Chandler Kersh attempted to sacrifice the runners up a base, but his bunt was fielded by Cougar hurler Ryan McCracken and he fired to third base to get Schroeder for the first out in the inning. A groundball to first base by Noah Recker advanced the runners to second and third base before Deitering lined a double up the left-center field gap for a 7-5 O-G lead.
Deitering took third base on a wild pitch before Austin Williams was hit by a pitch. The Titans attempted to add an insurance run as Williams tried to get in a run down to see if Deitering could score. When Deitering broke for the plate, Van Wert threw to home and Deitering was tagged out after a brief run down.
Van Wert mounted a comeback in the top of the of the seventh as Jake Williamson and Gavin Gardner singled and advanced a base on a sacrifice bunt. A flyball to center and a popup to the pitcher ended the game.
“This was a good team win,” O-G coach Ryan Zender said. “Our pitchers pitched really well and Ben Deitering had the big clutch hit. This was very much a team effort and I was proud of them for what they did tonight.”
While O-G came up with key hits late, Van Wert was unable to get a key hit that could have broken the game open as they left 14 runners on base, including the bases loaded in the third and fourth innings.
“I thought we did a good job for us being off a week with cancellations and stuff,” Van Wert coach Karlin Dunlap said. “Our main goal, with the tournament (Friday), was getting our pitchers each a couple of innings and I thought we did that. We also wanted to get everyone some at-bats and we did that. I thought we hit well, but we have to hit better with runners in scoring position, as we left a lot of runners on base tonight.”
Van Wert used three pitchers in the game as Ethan Williams went the first two innings, Brant Henry pitched two innings and McCracken finished the game. McCracken took the loss for the Cougars.
“I thought our pitchers threw well,” Dunlap said. “We wanted to get them some work with the tournament coming up and having been off a week and we accomplished that.”
Ottawa-Glandorf used four pitchers in the game as Evan Barrett worked two innings, Jordan Diemer three innings, while Recker and Deitering worked one inning each. Recker picked up the win and Deitering the save. Both pitchers stranded two Van Wert runners on base during their inning of work.
The Cougars took a 1-0 lead in the second inning as Caleb Jenkins and Williams walked before Bailey Neuenschwander reached on a perfectly placed sacrifice bunt down the third base line. A wild pitch allowed Jenkins to score.
O-G took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second as Brent Ellerbrock singled with one out and Schroeder walked with two outs. Austin Verhoff tied the game with a sharp single to center and Schroeder scored when Kersh’s sharp groundball to first base was mishandled.
Van Wert regained the lead in the third inning as Henry smacked a double to left and Caleb Fetzer walked. The two runners advanced a base on a double steal before McCracken dropped a single into shallow center to score a run. McCracken then stole second base and when the throw from the catcher skipped into center that allowed Fetzer to score and McCracken to take third base. After a flyball to center, a double by Williams made it 4-2.
O-G tied the game in the bottom of the third on a pair of throwing errors. With one out in the inning, Williams walked and Diemer singled. A fielders choice erased Diemer at second base for the second out. Ellerbrock stole second base and when the throw from the catcher bounced into center field, Williams scored. Ellerbrock got up and headed to third base and when the throw from the outfield was wild, Ellerbrock scored.
Van Wert regained the lead in the fourth as Fetzer lined a one out double to left and McCracken lined an RBI double to right. The Cougars loaded the bases in the inning as Jenkins singled and Williams walked. On a groundball to first base McCracken was cut down at the plate before a strikeout ended the inning.
Henry and McCracken both had two hits for the Cougars in the game. Verhoff had three hits for the Titans.
Both teams enter sectional action Friday evening as Van Wert is at Crestview and O-G travels to Columbus Grove to face the Bulldogs.