By John Parent
Times Bulletin Sports Editor
sports@timesbulletin.com
COLUMBUS GROVE — The Lincolnview Lancers had a chance on Thursday night to earn a share of the Northwest Conference title. All they needed was a win over Columbus Grove and a Bluffton loss to Paulding.
The Panthers provided the latter, with an 8-7 win over the Pirates, but Columbus Grove scored in every inning, including one in the bottom of the seventh, to secure an 11-10 win over the Lancers.
Lincolnview falls to 6-10 overall and 5-3 in the NWC. Grove moves to 14-11 and 3-4.
The Lancers jumped in front early when Kyle Williams drew a two-out walk in the first and scored on Connor McCleery’s double to center field.After the Bulldogs took the lead with single runs in the second and third, Lincolnview jumped back in front with two in the top of the third.


Once again, patience at the plate ignited the Lancer rally.
With one out, Austin Leeth walked and stole second. After a strikeout, Williams drew another free pass before both runners pulled off a successful double steal. That left McCleery at the plate with two in scoring position and, just like the first time, he came up with the big hit. This time it was a single through the right side that scored two.
In the fourth, Tyler Richey singled to open the frame and Cole Schmersal drew a one-out walk. After Leeth singled to load the bases, Dalton Schmersal drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to right.
After walking in his first two trips,Williams finally got a chance to swing the bat in the fourth, and jumped on a 1-0 pitch and drove it over the left-center field fence for a three-run home run, giving the Lancers a 7-3 lead.
Grove came back with another run in its half of the fourth and the teams traded runs in the fifth, but the Bulldogs put up five runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 10-8 lead into the seventh.
The Lancers needed a rally, and they got one. Derek Youtsey walked and Richey doubled before Troy Patterson drove in a run with a single. With still no one out, Cole Schmersal delivered a double that tied the game and left runners at second and third. Unfortunately for the Lancers, the could-have-been big inning fizzled, as the next three hitters went down in order, stranding the go-ahead run on third.
Columbus Grove walked off with the win in the seventh.