Cougars jump ahead early in 11-3 win at Shawnee

LIMA — Van Wert plated three runs in the top of the first inning, then added two more in the second en route to an 11-3 Western Buckeye League win at Shawnee on Friday night.

The Cougar attack started early against Shawnee southpaw Jared Thomas. Senior center fielder Jonathan Lee singled to start the game, then proceeded to steal second before coming home on Nathan Temple’s RBI single. Late in the inning, Ryan Hollingsworth drove home a pair of runs with a smash to center, making it 3-0.

The Cougars (4-2, 2-1 WBL) came up with another clutch knock in the second. Hayden Maples connected on a ground ball that found its way through the left side of the Indians’ infield to score both Lee and Jalen McCracken. Following a walk to Temple, Thomas was lifted in favor of Logan Maxwell, but the Cougars kept coming.

Hollingsworth walked and Jaxson Amweg singled to begin the third. Two batters later, it was Lee’s sacrifice fly that made it 6-1, Cougars. Van Wert pitcher Lawson Blackmore helped himself in the fourth, driving in Maples with a double before scoring on a James Acquaviva base hit. He later brought in another run while drawing bases-loaded walk in the fifth.



Blackmore struggled working to a tight strike zone in the opening inning, and the Indians managed to scratch out a run on three walks and an infield hit. From there, however, the junior right hander settled in and worked through five innings and allowed only two earned runs. Along the way, Blackmore struck out nine Indians while walking five. He held Shawnee to only three hits, but threw 112 pitches.

Maples then came out from behind the plate to work the final two innings in relief. He allowed one hit and one run (unearned). Thomas was saddled with the loss for the Indians, allowing five runs (3 earned) on four hits and four walks in 1 1/3 innings.

Jake Lautzenheiser and Jonathan Lee each had two hits for the Cougars, who collected 10 as a team. Blackmore, Hollingsworth and Maples each drove home two runs. Lee scored three runs.

The Indians fell to 6-6 overall and 2-3 in league games.