Landon Price of Lincolnview throws a pitch against Crestview on Monday night. (DHI Media/Sarah Harris)
Landon Price of Lincolnview throws a pitch against Crestview on Monday night. (DHI Media/Sarah Harris)

CONVOY — For five innings Monday, the NWC baseball championship was hanging in the balance with Lincolnview holding onto a slim 3-2 lead over Crestview. Then, however, the Lancers busted loose with a five-run sixth to remove any doubt, ending the game with an 8-2 win.

Lincolnview is now 7-0 in the NWC (13-4 overall) with one league game remaining (at Bluffton Wednesday). Crestview is tied for second in the NWC at 5-2 (10-5 overall) with one league game remaining (at Spencerville Tuesday).

The Lancers started the top of the sixth with a walk (leftfielder Brandon Renner) and infield single (pitcher Landon Price), whereupon Crestview starter Carson Hunter exited the hill after throwing 103 pitches and was replaced by Preston Kreischer.

The roof then caved in upon the home team as five runs crossed the plate, stretching the Lincolnview lead from 3-2 to 8-2, which was perfectly safe with Price on the mound. In addition to Price’s sixth-inning single, catcher Carson Fox (two RBI) and second baseman Evan Miller (one RBI) had base hits in that frame. Hunter walked one and Kreischer two in that inning.

The game didn’t start off well for Lincolnview. The Lancers committed three errors in the bottom of the first, allowing Crestview to take a 1-0 lead.

In an unusual (with Price on the hill) bottom of the second, the Knights scored an earned run to stretch the lead to 2-0. With two outs, rightfielder Parker Speith lined a single to left. Third baseman Ayden Lichtensteigher then blasted an opposite-field double to the gap in right to score Speith.

Lincolnview got its first run in the top of the fourth. With one out, third baseman Austin Bockrath drew a walk, then went to second on a wild pitch. After a strikeout, Price smoked an opposite-field liner to left, scoring Bockrath.

The visitors scored twice in the fifth. Shortstop Dane Ebel led off with a walk, and Fox grounded an opposite-field single through the right side. When Fox’s hit was bobbled out there, Lincolnview had runners on second and third with no outs. One out later, first baseman Jack Dunlap grounded out to short, scoring Ebel and moving Fox to third. A wild pitch plated Fox — 3-2, Lancers.

Price was superb as usual, striking out 17 and walking two in his seven innings of work. He yielded two runs, one earned, throwing 121 pitches, including 86 strikes (71 percent).

Hunter was solid — five innings (plus two batters in the sixth), five runs (all earned) on four hits, striking out eight, walking four, hitting two. Of his 103 pitches, 64 (62 percent) were strikes.

Lancer hits came from Price (2 for 5, one run, one RBI), Fox (2 for 2, two HBP’s, two runs, two RBI), rightfielder Cole Binkley (1 for 4), and Miller (1 for 3, one RBI). Dunlap also had one RBI.

Those two second-inning hits (single by Parker Speith, RBI double by Lichtensteiger) turned out to be the only ones for Crestview in the entire game.

Box score (r-h-e)

Lincolnview 000 125 0 - 8 6 3

Crestview 110 000 0 - 2 2 4

Lincolnview 8 (ab-r-h-rbi)

Landon Price p 5-1-2-0, Cole Binkley rf 4-0-1-0, Jared Jessee ph 1-0-0-0, Dane Ebel ss 2-2-0-0, Carson Fox c 2-2-2-2, Caden Hanf dh 3-0-0-0, Jared Kesler cf 0-0-0-0, Jack Dunlap 1b 4-1-0-1, Evan Miller 3b 3-1-0-0, Brandon Renner lf 3-0-0-0, Reide Jackson pr 0-1-0-0. Totals 30-8-6-4.

Crestview 2 (ab-r-h-rbi)

Ayden Lichtensteiger 3b 4-1-1-1, Nathan Lichtle ss 3-0-0-0, Carson Hunter p/2b 3-0-0-0, Connor Sheets 1b 3-0-0-0, Bryson Penix dh/p 2-0-0-0, Mason Speith lf 0-0-0-0, Hunter Jones c 3-0-0-0, Nick Helt cf 3-0-0-0, Isaac Kline 2b/dh 3-0-0-0, Parker Speith rf 2-1-1-0 Preston Kreischer p 0-0-0-0. Totals 26-2-2-1.

Errors: Kline, Ebel, Fox 2, Lichtensteiger, Parker Speith, Helt. HBP: Fox 2 (by Hunter). Sac Bunt: Lichtle. Double: Lichtensteiger. LOB: LV 9, CV 5.

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so)

Price (W) 7-2-2-1-2-17

Hunter (L) 5+-4-5-5-4-8

Kreischer 1-2-3-3-2-0

Penix 1-0-0-0-0-1

Pitches/Strikes: Price 121/86, Hunter 103/64, Kreischer 28/15, Penix 13/9

Wild Pitches: Hunter 2, Kreischer

Balk: Hunter