Crestview senior Damian Helm takes a cut in this file photo. Helm went 2-for-4 including a solo home run during Thursday’s 11-0 whitewashing of Spencerville. (TB file photo)
Crestview senior Damian Helm takes a cut in this file photo. Helm went 2-for-4 including a solo home run during Thursday’s 11-0 whitewashing of Spencerville. (TB file photo)
By John Parent
Times Bulletin Sports Editor
SPENCERVILLE — Ace left hander Damian Helm is still working his way into baseball shape. The Crestview senior was lifted after four shutout innings in his first start of the season. He threw 54 pitches in the Knights’ 11-0 six-inning win over Spencerville on Thursday.
“We decided he needed a little bit of work. He was going to throw on Monday, but that got rained out,” Crestview coach Jim Wharton explained about his decision to pull Helm after four innings. “Damo threw a lot over the winter, but as soon as sectionals started (for the basketball team), we shut him and Cam and Simerman down. They did a lot of work in the off-season, but not enough to where we could just cut ‘em loose.”
“We take a lot of pride in not over-throwing our pitchers,” Wharton added. “We’re going to probably go as far as Damo, with a great defense behind him and pretty solid hitting, takes us.”
Bearcat shortstop David Wisher found a 1-0 fastball to his liking to open the bottom of the first and banged it into the right-center field gap for a double. After Wisher was cut down trying to advance on a grounder to short, Helm struckout two of the next three hitters to escape the inning unscathed. He retired the final 10 Spencerville hitters he faced in order. Wishers’ double was the only hit that Helm allowed.

“(Helm) is still just trying to get his feet wet again,” Wharton noted. “He had a little bit of cross-wind and he was having a little bit of trouble getting his curveball and his changeup over. In the latter innings, he adjusted to the wind and really settled in and threw pretty well.”
At the plate, the Knights took advantage of some wildness by Spencerville’s Aaron Crider. Back-to-back walks to Nate Owens and Isaiah Simerman had the Crestview second looking promising, but Crider fought back and fanned each of the next two hitters. Second baseman Brock Rolsten, hitting out of the nine-hole, grounded a single back through the middle, scoring Owens, and Cam Etzler followed with an RBI single of his own before Crider could stop the bleeding.
In the third, Jordan Roop sliced a double down the left-field line, and Owens lofted a deep fly ball into right-center that found the grass as well, but Roop had to hold up in case the ball was caught and could only move up to third on the Owens double. Simerman then drew a walk, with the fourth ball finding its way to the backstop, allowing Roop to score. Bryce Richardson then brought Owens home with a run-producing groundout. It was the first of two RBI in the game for the Knight shortstop.
Helm then added to the Crestview offense. Leading off the top of the fourth against Crider, Helm rifled a 1-1 offering over the right field fence for the solo home run. Crestview would score three more times in the frame, with Jordan Miller driving in a run with a double.
“This team is capable of swinging the bats pretty well,” said Wharton. “We just need to play more games on more consecutive days where we can see some live pitching. I think, from an offensive standpoint, there were not too many swings that I was disappointed in.”
The Knights tacked on the final two runs in the top of the sixth, capitalizing on three Spencerville errors. Senior Adrian Camp worked the final two innings on the mound for the Knights, allowing a walk and a single.
Crestview 022 043- 11 8 1
Spencerville 000 000- 0 2 4
Crestview (ab-r-h-rbi)
Etzler cf 3-0-1-1, x- Clifton cf 0-0-0-0, Rickard rf-lf 3-0-0-0, x- Lippi ph 1-0-0-0, Helm p-1b 4-1-2-1, x- Overmeyer pr-rf 0-1-0-0, Roop 1b-rf 3-3-2-1, Owens c 1-4-1-0, Simerman 3b 0-1-0-0, x- Miller pr-lf-3b 1-1-1-1, Richardson ss 4-0-0-2, Camp lf-p 3-0-0-1, x- Callow ph 1-0-0-0, Rolsten 2b 3-0-1-1
Spencerville (ab-r-h-rbi)
Wisher ss 3-0-2-0, Youngpeter lf-p 3-0-0-0, Meyer 3b 3-0-0-0, Shimp 2b 2-0-0-0, French c 2-0-0-0, Schaad cf 1-0-0-0, x- Long ph 0-0-0-0, Freewalt dh-p-1b 2-0-0-0, Thiery rf 2-0-0-0, Ringwald 1b-lf 2-0-0-0
2B- Wisher (SV), Owens (CV), Roop (CV), Miller (CV)
HR- Helm (CV)
WP- Helm 4.0 IP, 0 R 0 ER 1 H 0 BB 5 K
LP- Crider 4+ IP 6 R 6 ER 5 H 3 BB 2 K