By Daniel Joseph
DHI Media Correspondent
PAULDING — The Van Wert Cougars traveled to Paulding last night to take on the Panthers in an ACME baseball game. Van Wert took advantage of numerous Panther fielding errors as they went on to win 9-5.
The Cougars sent right-hander Ryan McCracken to the mound to take on the Panthers. He struck out eleven on the night in what was his first pitching appearance of the summer.
“He did a great job,” said Van Wert head coach Karlin Dunlap. “He was in the strikezone a lot, which translates to all the strikeouts he had. He really came through for us tonight. We needed him to eat up some innings for us because of all the games that we’ve had already this week.”
Preston Johanns started for the Panthers, but was pulled after just two and a third innings on the mound. He struck out three on the evening, including each of the first two batters of the game.

Johanns kept the Cougars in check in the first inning, but they would end up scoring one run in the second, followed by four in the third inning. Johanns was pulled after allowing four runs to score in the top of the third.
Van Wert’s Gavin Gardner doubled in the fourth and advanced to third when Jacob Covey reached on a fielding error. Ryan Stoller then also reached on an error and Gardner scored. Mason Carr grounded one down the third base line and it got past the fielder, scoring both Covey and Stoller, making it an 8-1 Cougar advantage.
Paulding scored a lone run in the bottom half of the first and did not score again until the fourth when it added four runs to its total. After a leadoff strikeout, Lupe Martinez singled, stole second, and then advanced to third on a fly ball. He later scored on a James Mourey single. After a few Cougar errors and a couple of singles, the Panthers were behind only 8-5.
Van Wert added one more run in the fifth inning when Caleb Jenkins grounded out to the shortstop, plating Josh Braun.
“I thought we played a real clean defensive game today,” said Dunlap. “We had a limited number of errors which is different for us, but it’s something that we’ve been working a lot on lately.”
Van Wert 014 310 0– 9 9 2
Paulding 100 400 0– 5 8 9
Van Wert: (ab-r-h-rbi)
Gardner 1b 5-2-1-0, Covey 2b 5-1-0-0, Stoller cf 4-2-1-2, Fetzer 3b 4-1-1-0, Carr lf 2-1-0-2, x- Williamson lf 0-0-0-0, McCracken p 4-0-1-2, Braun rf 3-2-2-0, Cross c 4-0-2-1, Jenkins ss 4-0-1-1
Paulding: (ab-r-h-rbi)
Edwards lf 4-1-2-1, Gonzales cf 4-1-3-2, Alano 3b-ss 3-0-0-0, Sitton c 3-0-0-0, Doster 1b-rf 3-0-0-0, Martinez ss-p 4-1-1-0, Johanns p-1b 2-0-1-0, Mourey 2b 3-1-1-1, Mock rf-3b 1-1-0-0
WP: Ryan McCracken – 7.0 IP, 5 R, 5 ER, 8 H, 4 BB, 11 K
LP: Preston Johanns – 2.1 IP, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 K