COLDWATER — Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. The Van Wert Cougar’s pitching staff shut out their opponent. Here is a twist; the Cougars shut out the #1 team in division 3, Coldwater. Van Wert split up one run innings to beat the Cavaliers 2-0.

With the win Van Wert improves to 21-2, which is a Cougar single season record for wins (they have only played 23 of their 27 regular season games). The Cougs play the winning of Wapak and Kenton in the sectional championship on Friday.

Owen Treece was marvelous on Tuesday, as he scattered four hits over five innings of work. The crazy part of his performance? Every batter he faced put the ball in play, as he didn’t walk or strikeout a single opponent. He threw 67 pitches in his win. Hayden Maples threw two innings of relief work, allowing a single baserunner (walk) and striking out one. He threw 27 pitches in his save.

As for the Cougars runs, they got their first run directly following a lead off double by Keaton Brown. Jalen McCracken did his job out of the nine-hole of the line up and sacrifice bunted Brown over. Amweg brought in the run on a grounder up the middle.

Van Wert scattered hits throughout the rest of the contest until the seventh when Jake Lautzenheiser started an abbreviated rally with one out. The second basemen knocked a single to left field, before Hayden Maples moved him over on a grounder. An error and passed ball later, the Cougars would have their second run (though one was plenty).

If you ask any pitching coach in the country they will tell you that the most important pitch in any at bat is strike one, they will also tell you that the most important batter of every inning is the first one. Treece converted the first strike in 12 of the 18 batters he faced, and the Cougars got the first batter out in every inning. The entire game the Cavs were able to get just one player in scoring position, and actually didn’t get their first baserunner until the third. The fifth was the most threatening inning, Coldwater had two singles, but Treece was able to strikeout the lone Cavs to come up with RISP, on four pitches.

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#3 Van Wert 3 (ab-r-h-rbi-bb)

Jaxson Amweg 4-0-0-1-0, Jake Lautzenheiser 3-1-1-0-1, Hayden Maples 4-0-1-0-0, Nathan Temple 2-0-2-0-2, Lawson Blackmore 4-0-0-0-0, Parker Conrad 3-0-2-0-1, TJ Reynolds 3-0-0-0-0, Keaton Brown 2-1-1-0-1, Jalen McCracken 2-0-0-0-0

2B: Keaton Brown, Parker Conrad. SB: Blackmore, Conrad, Maples

#1 Coldwater 0 (ab-r-h-rbi-bb)

Austin Riethham (3-0-0-0-0), Myles Blasingame 3-0-0-0-0, Jacob Wenning 3-0-o-0-0, Noah Miller 3-0-1-0-0, Jake Hemmelgarn 3-0-0-0-0, Cole Frilling 2-0-1-0-1, Alex Wourms 3-0-0-0-0, Payton Goodwin 2-0-2-0-0, Zack McKibben 1-0-0-0-0, *Ross Weigel 1-0-0-0-0

E: Weigel

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

VW:

(W) Treece 5.0-4-0-0-0-0

(SV) Maples 2.0-0-0-0-1-1

CW:

Grant Meyer 2.0-1-0-0-2-0

(L) Will Broering 3.1-5-1-1-1-3

Ross Weigel 1.2-1-1-0-1-2

Score R H E

VW 001 000 1 - 2 7 0

CW 000 000 0 - 0 4 1