Kaiden Bates of Van Wert looks to the umpire for a call after sliding into home on Sunday. Jefferson catcher J.T. Taviano made the tag but was too late as Bates scored. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)
Kaiden Bates of Van Wert looks to the umpire for a call after sliding into home on Sunday. Jefferson catcher J.T. Taviano made the tag but was too late as Bates scored. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)

CONVOY — Van Wert assured itself of a spot in this weekend’s Division V district tournament with a 6-2 West Division win over Delphos Jefferson Sunday afternoon.

The Cougars return to the field Tuesday at 4:00 for a sectional championship game, or possibly two (if they lose the first one), against an opponent which won’t be known until Monday’s elimination game between Jefferson and St. John’s. Two teams from the West Division and two from the East Division will move on to the district tournament.

The game featured the pitching and hitting of Van Wert’s Parker Conrad and the hitting of shortstop/centerfielder Keaton Brown. Conrad went the distance, yielding two runs (one earned) on five hits while walking two and striking out a whopping 14. He threw 107 pitches of which 71 were strikes.

Brown went 3-for-4 at the plate, including two triples, and scored twice. Conrad was 2 for 3, both doubles, scoring once, and driving in two.

Jefferson centerfielder Braxton Scalf pulled the game’s first pitch down the rightfield line for a double, but got no farther, as Conrad struck out the next two batters, and shortstop Logan Herron fouled out.

Brown started the bottom of the first with an opposite-field triple to deep left, then scored on a ground-out by Conrad — 1-0, Cougs, after one.

Delphos scored twice in the top of third — one-out walk to first baseman Logan Gallmeier, two-out RBI triple to the gap in right by Herron, and a Van Wert throwing error.

Jefferson’s 2-1 lead lasted until the bottom of the fourth when starting pitcher Josh Wiseman ran into trouble, most of which was not of his own making. The ‘Cats committed three errors in that frame alone, which, along with a leadoff double by Conrad and RBI single by rightfielder Hunter Bolenbaugh, put three runs on the board — 4-2, Van Wert, after four.

The Cougars made it 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth via a leadoff single by Brown, perfect sacrifice bunt by leftfielder Reese Wise, and RBI double to the gap in left by Conrad. Van Wert added a sixth run, unearned, in the sixth on a one-out single by pinch hitter Jacob Place, two passed balls, and an RBI single to center by third baseman Josh Halker.

Jefferson had five hits, one apiece by Scalf (double), Wiseman, Herron (RBI triple), Jacob Simmons, and Conner Burris. Scalf also played a superb centerfield.

Jeffcat pitchers Wiseman, Simmons, and Gallmeier were remarkably efficient, throwing a total of only 79 pitches of which 53 were strikes. The trio had no walks and no strikeouts.

Delphos Jefferson (ab-r-h-rbi)

Braxton Scalf cf/1b 4-0-1-0, Logan Gallmeier 1b/3b/p 3-1-0-0, Josh Wiseman p/cf 4-0-1-0, Logan Herrron ss 4-1-1-1, Jacob Simmons 3b/p/3b 3-0-1-0, JT Taviano c 2-0-0-0, Kaleb Catlett lf 2-0-0-0, Conner Burris ph 1-0-1-0, Gunner Bodine rf 0-0-0-0, Jackson Ream dh 3-0-0-0, Braylon Scalf 2b 3-0-0-0. Totals 29-2-5-1.

Van Wert (ab-r-h-rbi)

Keaton Brown ss/cf 4-2-3-0, Reese Wise lf 2-0-0-0, Parker Conrad p 3-1-2-2, Turner Witten 1b 3-0-0-0, Kaden Bates c 3-0-0-1, Levi Eddins cf/rf 3-1-0-0, Hunter Bolenbaugh rf 2-1-1-1, Jacob Place ss 1-1-1-0, Levi Newell 2b 3-0-0-0, Josh Halker 3b 3-0-1-1. Totals 27-6-8-5.

Errors: Brown, Taviano, Catlett, Gallmeier, Conrad, Newell. PB: Taviano 2. SB: Bates, Eddins. Sac Bunt: Wise. Doubles: Braxton Scalf, Conrad 2. Triples: Herron, Brown 2. LOB: DJ 8, VW 4.

Jefferson 002 000 0 - 2 5 3

Van Wert 100 311 x - 6 8 3

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

Wiseman (L) 4-4-4-2-0-0.

Simmons 1.2-3-2-1-0-0.

Gallmeier 0.1-1-0-0-0-0.

Conrad (W) 7-5-2-1-2-14.

Pitches/Strikes: Wiseman 47/33, Simmons 23/15, Gallmeier 9/5, Conrad 107/71.