Crestview’s Cam Etzler slides into home plate while St. John’s pitcher Curtis Geise awaits the throw in a game at the Crestview athletic complex Wednesday. The Knights fell to St. John’s 6-4. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)
BY JIM METCALFE
Times Bulletin Correspondent
CONVOY - Sometimes, winning a baseball game comes down to taking what the opponent gives you.
Wednesday evening at the Crestview athletic complex, that's exactly what happened.
St. John's took advantage of six Knight errors to score six unearned runs and grab a 6-4 non-conference win.
"We're waiting for the bats to come around, so we have to find ways to score. We didn't get a lot of hits but we took advantage of what they gave us," first-year Blue Jay coach Ryan Warnecke said. "We have to be aggressive at the plate and on the bases. We have to play small ball, manufacture runs and use what is given us well."
For Crestview mentor Jim Wharton, giving away runs was the key.
"This is one of those games where you get what you deserve. We deserved to lose by committing all those errors," he explained. "At the same time, we have had so little time on the actual field, so I'm hoping this will come around as we get playing time. We have some kids in new positions and we miss Bryce Richardson at short (recovering from broken nose); Isaiah's (Simerman) more natural position is third base."
The Knights (0-1) had battled back from a 3-0 deficit to take a 4-3 lead in the fourth.
The Jays replied with a three-spot in the top of the fifth to take the lead for good. Ben Wrasman led off against the second Crestview hurler, Venice Roberts by getting aboard via an error, and Curtis Geise walked. Both advanced as Craig Klausing bounced out.
Wrasman scored when Troy Warnecke got aboard on a fielding error, putting runners on the corners and knotting the score at four. Ryan Buescher was then plunked to load the bases, finishing the pitching of Roberts.
Drew Wagner launched a line single to right to plate Geise and Warnecke and put runners on the corners. However, Wagner was nabbed trying to steal second and Simerman induced a groundout to end the threat at 6-4.
The runs gave Geise the win.
T.J. Hoersten, got the save with three innings of relief.
Hoersten gave up a leadoff walk to Cameron Etzler in the bottom of the fifth, who stole second on a strikeout of Jordan Roop. An out later, he advanced on a wild pitch but was left stranded.
The Jays got a three-spot in the top half of the opener against Crestview lefty Damian Helm. Geise led off by getting on base on an error and swiped second. Troy Warnecke moved him to third on a liner to left and took second on the throw home. Buescher grounded a hit up the gut to plate Geise and put runners on the corners. Buescher stole second, then Clay Courtney's grounder was booted allowing both Warnecke and Buescher to touch the dish for a 3-0 edge.
Crestview got a run back in the second with two down. Jordan Roop singled to center and Thomas followed with a hit to left. Roberts blooped a single that just hit chalk down the short right-field line to get Roop home and put runners on the corners but they stayed put.
Roberts lined one to left with one down in the third and stole second but could get no farther.
Etzler walked and stole second to open the next inning. He moved up on a wild pitch. Thomas walked and a wild pitch scored Etzler for a 3-2 deficit.
A passed ball pushed Thomas to third. Brock Rolsten then walked and as he took off for second, Simerman's infield hit wide of third scored Thomas. Helm's bouncer forced Rolsten at third. Roberts walked to load the sacks and a wild pitch scored Simerman for a 4-3 edge. Jake Harmon walked to reload the bases but a called third strike on Owens ended the threat.
"Curtis was not at his best but considering the few practices he's had, he did all right. He'll get better as he gets more innings but he did enough," Coach Warnecke added. "Our defense was outstanding, as it was Monday against Wapak. We were in good position all night, made good decisions and made good throws."
Wharton was pelased with other areas of the game.
"We put the ball in play well and got a lot of base-runners, we just didn't get them home enough," he added. "Damian pitched a good game, all our pitchers threw nice. We just have to make plays behind them."
Both teams return to the diamond Thursday: St. John's at home versus Jefferson (at Wildcat Field for the ALS game) and Crestview at home versus Hicksville.
ST. JOHN'S (6)
Curtis Geise p/ss 3-1-0-0, Craig Klausing 3b 4-0-0-0, Troy Warnecke ss/2b 4-2-1-1, Ryan Buescher c 3-1-1-1, Drew Wagner 1b 4-0-2-1, Clay Courtney lf 3-0-0-0, Gage Seffernick rf 3-0-1-0, T.J. Hoersten 2b/p 2-0-0-0, Ben Wrasman cf 3-1-0-0. Totals 29-6-5-5.
Isaiah Simerman ss/p 4-0-1-0, Damian Helm p/lf 4-0-0-0, Venice Roberts lf/p/cf 3-0-1-0, Jake Harmon 1b 3-0-0-0, Nathan Owens c 3-0-0-0, Cameron Etzler cf/ss 2-1-0-0, Jordan Roop rf 4-1-1-0, Nik Thomas 3b 3-1-1-0, Brock Rolsten 2b 2-0-1-1. Totals 28-4-7-2.
Score by Innings:
St. John's 3 0 0 0 3 0 0 - 6
Crestview 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 - 4
E: Simerman 3, Rolsten 2, Owens; LOB: St. John's 5, Crestview 10; 2B: Wagner; Sac: Hoersten; SB: Etzler 2, Geise, Buescher, Simerman, Roberts; CS: Wagner (by Owens).