VAN WERT — The Van Wert Cougars welcomed the Fairview Apaches to Russell Fisher Field at Smiley Park for boys’ non-conference baseball action on Monday night. The Cougars no-hit the Apaches 2-0 to pick up their second victory of the year and second straight no-hitter for the Cougar pitching staff.
Monday night was the Cougars second game of the year it was also the Cougars second no-hitter of the season. So far this young baseball season, Van Wert has thrown 14 innings of no-hit baseball, and the starting pitcher, Owen Treece, has tossed 10 straight innings of no-hit baseball.
In the top of the first inning, Treece induced three straight ground balls to second baseman TJ Reynolds to retire the Apaches one-two-three.
The Cougars got a little something cooking in the bottom of the inning, as Hayden Maples singled to put runners at the corners with one out. Hunter Fritch, the Fairview hurler, retired the next two Van Wert batters to end the frame.
In the top of the second inning is when Treece lost the perfect game as, with two outs, Kevin Thomas worked a 6-pitch walk. Treece quickly responded by striking out the next Fairview batter.
The Cougars finally were able to dent the plate in the bottom of the fifth as Jonathan Lee singled to start the inning. Lee moved to third thanks to a balk and a wild pitch before Reynolds walked and stole second to put runners at second and third. Keaton Brown hit a slow ground ball to the right side of the infield to score Lee.
The next batter, Maples lifted a fly ball to left field that was caught by Ripke who fired the ball to catcher Caleb Frank, who applied the tag on Reynolds for the final out of the frame.
Treece was still on the mound to start the top of the sixth and had already retired 10 straight Fairview batters and retired the next three on balls that never left the infield.
In the bottom of the sixth, Van Wert was looking for a little insurance and Nate Temple led off the frame with a solid hit just under the shortstop’s glove. Jalen McCracken replaced Temple on the base path and, after a sacrifice bunt and ground ball to the right side of the infield, McCracken stood on third base with two outs. Lawson Blackmore lined a ball up the middle of the diamond to score McCracken and give the Cougars a 2-0 advantage.
Treece went out in the top of the seventh looking to complete the contest and his no-hitter. After striking out the first batter, Treece induced ground balls to Blackmore and Jaxson Amweg his third baseman and shortstop respectively to give Van Wert its second victory in has many games and second no-hitter of the season.
“Obviously Owen had a real good pitching performance, and we talked in our huddle about giving Maples a lot of credit behind the dish. Behind Owen, the whole team did a great job playing defense. This is something pretty nice for us to achieve back-to-back no-hitters; I don’t think it has ever happened since I have been around,” said Van Wert baseball coach Charlie Witten.
Fairview drops to 2-1 on the year and will travel to Wayne Trace High School on Tuesday night to take on the Raiders. Van Wert improves to 2-0 on the season and kicks off Western Buckeye League play against the Wapakoneta Redskins at Russell Fisher Field on Tuesday.
Ian Groves 3b 3-0-0-0, Caleb Frank c 3-0-0-0, Cade Ripke lf 3-0-0-0, Hunter Fritch p 3-0-0-0, Austin Bostater 1b 2-0-0-0, Kevin Thomas DH Alex Layman rf 1-0-0-0, JT Nusbaum 2b 2-0-0-0, Cade Polter ss 2-0-0-0, Chayse Singer cf 2-0-0-0, Total 21-0-0-0
Van Wert 2
TJ Reynolds 2b 1-0-0-0, Keaton Brown rf 3-0-0-1, Hayden Maples c 3-0-2-0, Nathan Temple 1b 2-0-1-0, Jalen McCracken pr 0-1-0-0, James Acquaviva lf 2-0-0-0, Owen Treece p 2-0-0-0, Lawson Blackmore 3b 2-0-1-1, Ryan Hollingworth dh Jaxson Amweg ss 2-0-0-0, Jonathon Lee cf 1-1-1-0, Total 18-2-5-2
F 000 000 0 0 0 0
V 000 011 X 2 5 0
Hunter Fritch (LP) 6 innings 2 runs 5 hits 4 walks 2 balks strikeout
Owen Treece (WP) 7 innings walk 7 strikeouts
SB: Van Wert (Maples, Reynolds, Blackmore)
Pitches-Strikes: Fritch 90-56 Treece 93-64