VAN WERT — Van Wert’s pitching staff did not allow so much as a single base hit through its first two games this season. Facing one of the region’s top teams on Tuesday at Russell Fisher Field, the Cougars couldn’t prevent Wapakoneta from reaching base early and often en route to a 11-2 Redskins win.
The Redskins took advantage of 8 walks handed out by Cougar pitchers and 5 errors made by the Van Wert defense. Those mistakes proved to be insurmountable against Wapak right hander Manny Vorhees, who limited the Cougar bats to 6 hits and 1 earned run in his 7 innings of work. He did not walk a batter and struck out 10.
It was the top of the Wapakoneta order that did in the Cougars on Tuesday. Vorhees, battings econd, and leadoff man Don Goodes combined to go 5-for-8 at the plate with 6 runs scored and 3 RBIs. The duo also accounted for the only two extra-base hits of the game for Van Wert.
The Cougars’ top hitter was junior Lawson Blackmore, who singled and doubled in three trips. On the mound, however, it was not Blackmore’s day. The hard-throwing right hander battled his control throughout his 5-inning, 116-pitch effort on Tuesday. He allowed 4 hits and 5 walks, but struck out 6. He was charged with 5 runs, though only 3 were earned.
The first Redskins run scored on a squeeze play, but Van Wert knotted the game when Owen Treece reached on an error, allowing Darius Eddins to score in the bottom of the fourth.
A Cougar error brought two Wapak runs home in the fifth, but Van Wert got one back on Hayden Maples’ 2-out RBI single in the bottom half.
The wheels fell off for the Cougars in the sixth. Back-to-back singles opened the inning against Blackmore, who had thrown 103 pitches coming into the frame. He was lifted with two aboard, and Maples took over on the hill, but he was greeted by Goodes’ 2-run triple to right. Vorhees then added a run-scoring double to make it 6-2, Redskins.
Wapak wasn’t done. They added three more runs in the inning and tacked on one more in the top of the seventh to set the final margin.