The Van Wert Cougars are officially one win away from a share of the WBL title after their 3-1 victory over St. Marys on Friday night.
Owen Treece worked around an unearned run in the first inning, then shutout the Roughriders the rest of the way as he tossed a 95-pitch complete game and allowed just eight hits.
All four of the game’s runs came in the first frame starting with a two-out RBI single from Brayden Sullivan in the top half. Sullivan drove in Adam Tobin who singled to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a bunt from Tanner Howell.
The Cougars came back in the bottom of the first with a three-run rally off of starter Ty Kiehl after they took advantage of an error by Sullivan at first to keep the inning alive.
Aidan Pratt put the ball in play that was mishandled by Sullivan and allowed Treece and TJ Stoller to come across and score.
Luke Wessell followed with a ground ball straight up the middle of the infield after the error to plate Ethan Rupert and bring the score to 3-1.
Kiehl escaped the inning when Ries Wise grounded into a fielder’s choice, but the damage had already been done as Treece locked in on the mound through the final six innings and kept St. Marys off of the scoreboard.
Treece worked his way around four errors from his defense and struck out six batters along the way to preserve the two-run lead. He also had two of Van Wert’s five hits in the game.
Kiehl took the tough-luck loss for the Roughriders after battling through six innings and allowing three unearned runs.
Van Wert (20-4) has their final WBL contest of the season on Saturday afternoon against Kenton. Should the Cougars beat the Wildcats, they will share the WBL crown with Defiance.
St. Marys (1) (ab-r-h-rbi)
Adam Tobin 4-1-1-0, Tanner Howell 3-0-1-0, Dylan Trogdlon 4-0-1-0, Brayden Sullivan 4-0-2-1, Braeden Trogdlon 4-0-2-0, Joey Caldwell 4-0-1-0, Andrew Ibrahim 3-0-0-0, Ty Kiehl 2-0-0-0, Cole Koenig 3-0-0-0
Van Wert (3) (ab-r-h-rbi)
Jacob Place 2-0-0-0, TJ Stoller 2-1-1-0, Owen Treece 3-1-2-0, Ethan Rupert 2-1-0-0, Turner Witten 3-0-0-0, Aidan Pratt 3-0-1-0, Luke Wessell 2-0-1-1, Ries Wise 3-0-0-0, Kaiden Bates 3-0-0-0.
Box score (r-h-e)
St. Marys 1-0-0-0-0-0-0 1-8-1
Van Wert 3-0-0-0-0-0-X 3-5-4
Owen Treece (W) 7-8-1-0-6
Ty Kiehl (L) 6-5-3-0-5
Original Article Courtesy of Times Bulletin