Van Wert pitcher Owen Treece pitched all five innings Friday in the Cougars’ 13-2 win over Crestview. Van Wert stands one win away from a return trip to the ACME district tournament. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)
Van Wert pitcher Owen Treece pitched all five innings Friday in the Cougars’ 13-2 win over Crestview. Van Wert stands one win away from a return trip to the ACME district tournament. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)
CONVOY – Van Wert poured on nine runs in the top of the fifth inning to close out their game against the Crestview Knights on Friday night in the ACME sectional tournament.

The Cougars jumped out to an early lead in the first inning. Parker Conrad hit a double to center that scored Jake Lautzenheiser and Keaton Brown. Owen Treece sent Hayden Maples home with a single and gave Van Wert a 3-0 advantage.

Crestview struck back in the bottom half of the inning. Brant Richardson drove in Riley Saylor with a double to right. He scored later in the inning on an RBI single by Korbin Hartman to pull within one run of the Cougars.

Van Wert got one back in the second. Lautzenheiser scored on a throwing error by Crestview catcher Korbin Hartman to make it 4-2.

The Knights held off the Cougars until the fifth when they erupted for nine runs. Crestview tried out three different pitchers before they put a halt to onslaught. Hayden Maples had a two RBI double and Jaxson Amweg provided two runs on a single to left field. After the dust settled, Van Wert was up 13-2 with only three outs standing between them and victory.

Owen Treece was dynamite on the mound for the Cougars. He went the distance and allowed only three hits all game while striking out six. Treece fanned the bottom half of the fifth and kept his team in the winner’s bracket for the tournament.

“I was very pleased with our discipline at the plate,” said Van Wert head coach Todd Dunlap. “Owen Treece was lights-out today. He was pounding the zone early and getting ahead on almost every count.”

The Cougars (1-0 in tournament) are a win away from a berth at the district tournament and will get their first shot at wrapping up a place on Sunday in the 1 p.m. winner’s bracket finals. Crestview, now 1-1 in tournament play, faces St. Marys Memorial in an elimination game on Saturday morning in Convoy.

***

Van Wert (13)

Jake Lautzenheiser 2b 2-3-2-0, Keaton Brown rf 2-1-1-0, Hayden Maples c 3-2-2-2, Parker Conrad 1b 3-2-2-4, Lawson Blackmore 3b 3-1-0-0, Owen Treece p 4-1-3-2, Jalen McCracken cf 2-0-0-0, x-TJ Reynolds 1-1-1-1, Ryan Hollingsworth lf 2-1-1-0, Jaxson Amweg ss 3-1-1-2, Total 25-13-13-11

Crestview (2)

Kaden Short 2b 3-0-0-0, Riley Saylor cf 3-1-1-0, Brant Richardson lf 2-1-1-1, Griffin Painter ss 2-0-0-0, Korbin Hartman c 2-0-1-1, Kole Small p 2-0-0-0, Brody Brecht 3b 2-0-0-0, Trevor Sheets 1b 1-0-0-0, Logan Gerardot rf 1-0-0-0; Total 23-4-5-3

2B: Maples, Conrad, Blackmore, Saylor, Richardson SB: Lautzenheiser, Maples, Reynolds

Score by Inning

Van Wert 310 09x x – 13 13 2

Crestview 200 00x x – 2 5 3

IP H R ER BB SO

Van Wert

Owen Treece (W) 5 3 2 2 1 6

Crestview

Kole Small (L) 4 8 6 6 4 2

Kaden Short 0.1 4 7 7 3 0

Trevor Sheets 0.2 1 0 0 1 0