Van Wert's Tyler Williams slides into home plate in a game against Parkway at Smiley Park Monday. The Cougars fell to the Panthers 8-7. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)
BY NICK JOHNSON
Times Bulletin Correspondent
VAN WERT - The Van Wert Cougar baseball team hosted the Parkway Panthers at Smiley Park on Monday night. The Panthers used a seventh-inning rally to beat the Cougars 8-7.
In the third inning, Parkway got RBI doubles from Brandon Moorman and Jordan Strader, and a two-run double from Jack Roth to push the Panther lead to 4-0.
In the bottom half of the frame, the Cougars got RBI singles from Joey Hurless and Nathan Stoller. Later on in the inning, Brandt Henry doubled home two runs and Cody Keirns singled home another.
After batting around in the bottom of the inning, Van Wert had a 7-4 lead over Parkway.
The Panthers got a run back in the top of fifth inning when Kameron Roehm was hit by a pitch and later scored on a Tommy McDonough sacrifice fly to make the score 7-5, Cougars.
In the top of the seventh, three of the first four Parkway batters reached base to load the bases. With one out in the inning, Jarret O'Neill grounded out to the shortstop to score a run and make the game 7-6, Van Wert.
With two outs in the inning, Cain Pontsler walked. Jordan Stephenson then came to the plate and singled to left to plate a run and, after the left fielder misplayed the ball, a second runner scored to give Parkway an 8-7 lead in the seventh inning.
Just like the Panthers in the top of the inning, the Cougars got three of the four batters to start the inning to reach base, but a pop-out to the catcher and a fly-out to left field ended the rally and the game.
"It's a great win. The kids battled back and I think that is big for the team. Both teams were getting after it, this was a great win for us and probably a bad loss for them. You feel like you are in the driver seat and I give our kids credit for battling back. They showed a lot of heart coming back and getting the win today," said Parkway coach Mark Schumm.
"They had guys come through in the clutch and we didn't come through when we needed to. It boils down to that. We pointed out the small things we didn't do during the game. Baseball is a tough game, you've got to make all the little plays and we didn't make those plays today," said Van Wert coach Charlie Witten.
With the win, the Panthers improve to 2-2 on the year. After the loss the Cougars drop to 2-3 on the season.
WP Cain Pontsler (PW) 3 innings 3 hits 1 walk
LP Mason Krugh (VW) 2 2/3 inning 2 hits 3 walks 4 runs 3 strikeouts 1 hit batter
2B: Brandt Henry (VW), Austin Adams (PW), Brandon Moorman (PW), Jordan Strader (PW), Jack Roth (PW)
PW 0 0 4 0 1 0 3 8
VW 0 0 7 0 0 0 0 7