LIMA — Van Wert’s come-from-behind 2-1 win over St. Mary’s in Friday’s District 5 Acme tournament was, to say the least, a nail-biter. After the Riders’ hard-throwing righthander Logan Hale totally dominated Van Wert for the first five innings, the Cougs bounced back with a run in the sixth and another in the seventh to walk off with a 2-1 win.

Van Wert, the top seed out of the West Division, will play Elida, the East Division’s top seed at approximately 1:15 Saturday. The Bulldogs had topped St. John’s 7-2 in Friday’s first game. St. Mary’s plays the Blue Jays at 11:00 Saturday in an elimination game.

The Riders scored an unearned run in the top of the second on two Van Wert errors and an RBI ground-out. For a long time it appeared that run would be enough. The only Cougar hit in the first five innings was a harmless single by centerfielder Keaton Brown. Brown, however, would figure prominently in Van Wert’s win.

With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Brown smoked a liner into the gap in right for a triple, then scored when the relay throw went awry — 1-1 after six.

Van Wert pitcher Owen Treece, like Hale, was dominant through six, but St. Mary’s started the top of the seventh with consecutive singles by leftfielder Braedan Trogdlon and first baseman Riley Sweigart. The Cougars, however, escaped further damage, thanks largely to a diving catch by Brown to end the inning.

First baseman Turner Witten started the bottom of the seventh with a double to the gap in right and Hunter Bolenbaugh pinch ran for him, whereupon Hale was relieved on the hill by Andrew Ibrahim. On a 2-1 pitch, Treece blasted a fly ball off of the leftfield fence, plating Bolenbaugh with the game-ender.

Both starters were remarkable. Treece needed only 70 pitches (53 strikes!) in his seven innings of work, allowing one run, unearned, on three hits, striking out five and walking nobody. Hale took the loss but gave up only two runs, one earned, while striking out nine and walking one. He threw 91 pitches, 60 strikes.

Van Wert had four hits, St. Mary’s three. Brown was the only player in the game with more than one hit — 2 for 3, including a triple, one run scored.

St. Mary’s (ab-r-h-rbi)

Adam Tobin ss 3-0-0-0, Braedan Trogdlon lf 3-0-1-0, Riley Sweigart 1b 3-0-1-0, Dylan Trogdlon 3b/rf 3-0-0-0, Derek Fisher 2b 3-1-1-0, Logan Hale p/3b 3-0-0-0, Carson Fischbach cf 2-0-0-1, Ethan Wedding c 2-0-0-0, Gavin Lininger rf 2-0-0-0, Andrew Ibrahim rf/p 2-0-0-0. Totals 24-1-3-1.

Van Wert (ab-r-h-rbi)

Keaton Brown cf 3-1-1-0, TJ Reynolds c 3-0-0-0, Parker Conrad 3b 2-0-0-0, Turner Witten 1b 3-0-1-0, Hunter Bolenbaugh pr 0-1-0-0, Owen Treece p 3-0-1-1, Jacob Place 2b 2-0-0-0, Ries Wise lf 2-0-0-0, Levi Eddins rf 2-0-0-0, Ethan Rupert ss 2-0-0-0. Totals 22-2-3-1.

Errors: Rupert, Place, Fisher. SB: Brown. Doubles: Witten, Treece. Triple: Brown. LOB: SM 2, VW 3.

St. Mary’s 010 000 0 - 1 3 1

Van Wert 000 001 1 - 2 4 2

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

Hale (L) 6.0+-2-2-1-1-9.

Ibrahim 0.0+-1-0-0-0-0.

Treece (W) 7-3-1-0-0-5.

Pitches/Strikes: Hale 91/60, Ibrahim 4/2, Treece 70/53.