Van Wert’s Nathan Stoller releases a pitch to home plate in a game at Lincolnview Wednesday. The Cougars came from behind to beat Lincolnview 7-5. (Times Bulletin/Brian Bassett)
BY NICK JOHNSON
Times Bulletin Correspondent
MIDDLE POINT- The Lincolnview Lancers and Van Wert Cougars faced off on a cold Wednesday night in high school baseball action at Lincolnview High School. The Cougars rallied late to beat the Lancers by a score of 7-5.
Van Wert got its first two runners on, Joey Hurless and Nathan Stoller, via single and walk. Both base runners came around to score and give the Cougars an early 2-0 lead.
Lincolnview responded with a walk by Nick Leeth then five straight singles by the next five Lancers to give Lincolnview a 5-2 lead after one inning.
Van Wert got a run back in the top of the second inning when Justice Tussing scored off of a Hurless double to cut the Lancer lead to 5-3.
Van Wert got back on the scoreboard when Brant Henry singled to lead off the fifth inning and got to third base on a passed ball. With Henry on third base, Terrin Contreras grounded out to first base and Henry scampered home to make the score 5-4.
Stoller struck out two Lancer batters after hitting Matt Oechsle with a pitch to keep the Lancer lead at 5-4 after five innings.
The Cougars worked some two-out magic as Hurless singled and Stoller walked. Hurless came around to score on a wild throw from the Lancer catcher. Also with two outs, Henry singled, which allowed Stoller to come home to give Van Wert a 6-5 lead in the middle of the fifth inning.
Stoller retired the next six Lancer batters, and the Cougars tacked on a run in the top of the seventh for a 7-5 win.
"(I'm) just glad we hung in there and got the win. Credit my guys for hanging in there for the victory after the five-run first inning. Mason (Krugh) hung in there and threw strikes. The Lancers hit him hard the first inning, but Mason came back and battled, and Nathan Stoller did an excellent job after that.
"After that the offense did a good job of sticking with it. Give Hurless and Henry credit to get it tied and get us ahead," said Van Wert coach Charlie Witten.
"Well we came out pretty good for the start, and after that there wasn't much life offensively. Their second pitcher came in and pitched us pretty well. We had to keep the pressure on from the start to score runs and you've got to score more than just one inning. We didn't make the plays when we needed to, we didn't make the routine plays when we needed to today," said Lancers head coach Kevin Longstreth.
With the win the Cougars improve their record to 2-1 on the year. The loss drops the Lancers to 0-2 on the young season.
WP Nathan Stoller (VW) - 4 innings 1 hits 1 hit by pitch 5 strikeouts
LP Eli Farmer (LV) - 5 2/3 innings 6 hits 6 runs 2 walks 3 strikeouts
Lincolnview 2B: Friesner
Van Wert 2B: Hurless