DEFIANCE — The Van Wert Cougars ACME baseball team traveled to Defiance High School for doubleheader action against the Bulldogs on Tuesday night. The Bulldogs and Cougars split the twin bill, as Defiance won game one, 6-0, and Van Wert won game two, 7-6.

The Cougars brought a young team with them to Defiance and their youth showed in game one as a couple fielding errors allowed the Bulldogs extra outs in three scoring innings. Van Wert also left the bases loaded with no outs in the top of the second, which would have given the Cougars an early lead.

Van Wert did get a good performance on the mound in game one from Owen Treece. Treece battled for four innings before allowing two runs in the fifth and two runs in the sixth.

Defiance brought in Brandon Shafer to record the final six outs of the game to give the Bulldogs a 6-0 victory. Defiance pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts in game one and allowed one hit.

“We were missing a bunch of starters and we brought a bunch of the young kids up. I can’t say enough about what Owen did,” said Van Wert coach Todd Dunlap. “A couple extra outs in a few innings, next thing you know we are down 6-0.”

The Cougars bats didn’t waste any time in game two as Lennon Bartley opened with a double. Jalen McCracken singled to put runners on first and third. Van Wert worked a double steal, which allowed Bartley to score Van Wert’s first run of the night.

Treece picked up an RBI with a base hit to drive in McCracken in the top of the first, making it 2-0.

Defiance got a run back in the bottom of the first as Christian Haidler scored on a RBI groundout from Gordo Vega. In the top of the second, Jacob Place walked and scored on a single from Bartley to put Van Wert up 3-1.

Defiance tied the game up in the bottom of the third as Simeon Sweeney singled and later scored on a double steal. Vega tied the game up with another RBI ground out to make the score 3-3.

Van Wert was quick to respond as Levi Eddins walked and scored on an RBI base hit from Levi Newell. Newell later scored while being chased around the bases by McCracken, who hit an RBI triple to right field to give the Cougars a 5-3 lead.

After Defiance scored in the bottom of the fourth and Van Wert got another run in the top of the fifth, it was 6-4, Van Wert.

The Cougars got another strong performance on the mound as Hayden Maples battled and kept his Cougars in the contest.

After the Bulldogs cut the lead to 6-5 going into the top of the seventh. Van Wert picked up a massive insurance run in the top of the seventh as Eddins singled to shallow center field to score Treece for a 7-5 margin.

The Cougars started the bottom of the seventh with an error, and Hailder drove in that run with a RBI single with one out. Maples struck out the next two batters to give the Cougars a split of the Tuesday night double header against Defiance.

“We were able to score in four of the first five innings, and we got back to basics in game two. Great team win for us; I can’t say enough about the young kids and their character. They battle. After the first game, they battled in game two, coming back after Defiance tied it up to score two runs in the next inning,” finished Coach Dunlap.

Van Wert’s record is 5-3, and the Cougars journey to Delphos Jefferson to take on the Wildcats on Wednesday. Defiance is now 5-2 on the year.