BOWLING GREEN — The tournament trail came to an end for Van Wert on Friday evening, as the Cougars dropped a 2-1 final at Bowling Green in a Division II sectional title game.

The Bobcats, now 17-9, scored both of their runs in the third inning, and did so with some help from a Van Wert error. Christin Peek led off the inning against Cougar starter Hayden Maples with a shot to right field that handcuffed a Cougar defender. He then advanced on a sacrifice bunt before Kyle Jackson lined a single into left, putting runners at the corners with one out.

Jackson stole his way into scoring position, and Logan Bergeron rifled a single to right, bringing both runners home.

The Cougars scratched out a single run in the fifth against Bobcat starter Tucker Craft. Jake Lautzenheiser and Darius Eddins each singled to begin the inning, and James Acquaviva bunted both runners up a base. Craft too the free out and traded a run for another, as Jalen McCracken drove in the sole Cougar tally with a groundout. Eddins was left stranded at third when Craft induced a ground ball to end the inning.

The Cougars had two more runners on base in the sixth, as Maples and Lawson Blackmore each recorded 1-out singles. Nathan Temple’s ground ball became a double play, however, and Craft escaped any damage with the lead intact.

That was the final Cougar rally. Craft retired the side in order in the seventh to eliminate Van Wert, which falls to 13-6 on the year.

Craft finished with six strikeouts and did not walk a batter. He used 79 pitches across his seven innings of work, yielding four hits and one earned run. For his part, Maples was just as effective, if less efficient. He used 94 pitches in six innings, but held the Bobcats to four hits and two runs (1 earned) with two walks and six strikeouts.

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VAN WERT (1)

Jonathan Lee cf 3-0-0-0, TJ Reynolds ss 3-0-0-0, Hayden Maples p 3-0-1-0, Lawson Blackmore 3b 3-0-1-0, Nathan Temple 1b 3-0-0-0, Jake Lautzenheiser 2b 3-1-1-0, Darius Eddins lf 3-0-1-0, James Acquaviva dh (Owen Treece c) 2-0-0-0, Jalen McCracken rf 2-0-0-1; Totals 25-1-4-1

BOWLING GREEN (2)

Christian Peek lf 3-1-0-0, Isaac Elasser 2b 1-0-0-0, Kyle Jackson ss 3-1-1-0, Logan Bergeron c 3-0-2-2, Tucker Craft p 3-0-0-0, Bryce Hoehner cf 3-0-0-0, Spencer Rader 1b 3-0-0-0, Andrew Tucker 3b 2-0-1-0, Nick Foster rf 1-0-0-0; Totals 22-2-4-2

E: Blackmore, McCracken, Jackson 2; 2B: Tucker; SB: Jackson, Tucker; SAC: Acquaviva, Elasser, Foster; GIDP: Temple; LOB: VW 4, BG 6

Van Wert 000 010 0 - 1 4 2

BGHS 002 000 x - 2 4 2

Pitching ip-h-r-er-bb-k

Van Wert

Maples (L) 6.0-4-2-1-2-6

Bowling Green

Craft 7.0-4-1-1-0-6

Pitches-Strikes: Maples 94-62, Craft 79-60