Crestview’s Nate Owens applies a tag as Minster’s  John Baumer tries to score from second on a single. Cam Etzler’s throw from center field was on the mark to nail the runner. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)
Crestview’s Nate Owens applies a tag as Minster’s John Baumer tries to score from second on a single. Cam Etzler’s throw from center field was on the mark to nail the runner. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)
By John Parent
Times Bulletin Sports Editor
CONVOY — Crestview baseball coach Jim Wharton has seen these kinds of games before. Not often, mind you, but over the course of a career that has spanned three decades, even the best of teams will lay an occasional egg.
The 2014 version of the Knights came into play on Wednesday with a 7-1 record, but committed eight errors in a 10-0 run-rule defeat at the hands of Minster. The visiting Wildcats improve to 8-7 on the season.
“This is one of those that we’re just going to flush and move on,” Wharton said following the loss. “We probably haven’t had eight errors all year, and we chose to have them against a very good Minster team.”
The Knights gave the ball to southpaw Colby Clifton, but he would get little in the way of help from his teammates. After allowing a lead-off single to Josh Nixon in the first, the Crestview defense began to have trouble. As the game progressed, the defensive issues became contagious.
The second batter of the game, shortstop Brandon Hoying, reached on an infield error, putting runners at first and second. After Nixon advanced to third on a fly ball, Hoying took off in an attempt to steal second. Catcher Nate Owens’ throw was cut short and the second baseman tried to catch Nixon too far off the third-base bag, but the throw sailed high and Minster was on the board. Hoying would come around to score on Brad Walterbach’s double later in the inning.

It was more of the same in the second.
Jacob Wuebker reached on an error to start the frame and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. He was still standing there with two outs, but Hoying lined a sharp single to left. Wuebker probably would have had to stop at third, but the ball was mis-played in the outfield, allowing the run to score. Hoying would come around for the inning’s second run when first baseman J.R. Nixon found the gap for a double.
Clifton faced three batters in the third and struck out the first hitter, Matthew Trushaw, only to see him reach base on a passed ball. After allowing a bunt single, Clifton loaded the bases when he hit second baseman Peter Falk with a pitch. Clifton was lifted in favor of Jordan Roop, but all three runners would eventually come around to score as part of a four-run inning for the Wildcats. J.R. Nixon split the outfield defense for the second time in as many innings, clearing the bases with a three-run double to put the game out of reach.
“Colby pitched well, we just didn’t support him, either defensively or by not getting him any run support,” Wharton added. “So, we’re just going to turn the page. We have a league game coming up (at Bluffton on Thursday).”
The Knights had an opportunity to climb back into the game in the bottom of the third, and again in the fourth, but they stranded the bags full in each inning.
Minster right hander Drew Ripploh allowed a one-out single to pinch-hitter Jake Lippi in the third, then a two-out walk to Roop and a single by Owens loaded the bags, but Ripploh retired Jordan Miller to escape the threat.
In the fourth, the Knights built a two-out rally, with a pair of walks and a Cam Etzler single loading the bags for Damian Helm, but once again Ripploh wiggled free and escaped the jam without allowing a run.
Crestview third baseman Isaiah Simerman left the game due to a lingering back injury. Shortstop Bryce Richardson did not play after suffering a broken nose earlier in the week.
“We’ve got a resiliant group,” Wharton noted when discussing the injured players. “Our kids will rally around each other. We’re facing a little adversity, but sometimes that’s a good thing for a team.”
Minster 224 02- 10 12 0
Crestview 000 00- 0 5 8
Minster (ab-r-h-rbi)
Jo. Nixon c 4-1-2-0, Hoying ss 4-3-1-1, J.R. Nixon 1b 4-1-3-4, Brown rf 1-1-1-0, Walterbusch lf 3-0-2-1, Ripploh p 4-0-0-0, Trushaw 3b 4-1-0-0, Wuebker cf 3-2-1-0, x- Huber ph-lf 0-0-0-1, Falk 2b 0-1-0-0, x- Baumer ph-2b 2-0-1-0
Crestview (ab-r-h-rbi)
Etzler cf 3-0-2-0, Simerman 3b 1-0-0-0, x- Lippi ph-rf 1-0-1-0, Helm 1b 3-0-0-0, x- Callow 1b 0-0-0-0, Roop rf-p 1-0-1-0, Owens c 2-0-1-0, x- Overmeyer p 1-0-0-0, Miller dh-3b-lf-c 2-0-0-0, Rickard lf-ss 2-0-0-0, Camp ss-3b 3-0-0-0, Rolsten 2b 1-0-0-0