Luke Wessell went the distance in Van Wert’s 6-3 win over Parkway on Monday night at Smiley Park.
The Cougars left-handed hurler allowed just three earned runs on 10 hits and struck out four in his first start of the young season. Wessell faced 31 batters in the game and tossed 65 of his 98 pitches for strikes while the defense behind him committed just one error to hold the Panthers at bay.
Parkway pitcher Justan Felver took the tough-luck loss after he also pitched every inning of Monday night’s contest. Felver allowed five runs in his six innings of work and struck out three batters.
At the plate, Van Wert put up four runs in the first three innings beginning with two quick ones in the bottom of the first. An error by Parkway’s Brock Baltzell set the Cougar offense in motion after his misplayed ball allowed Jacob Place and Ethan Rupert to cross the plate and go up two runs.
Parkway got one back in the top of the second on an RBI single by Adam Stephenson, then in the bottom of the frame Jacob Place drilled a single to left field that plated Ries Wise and put the Cougars up 3-1. Place went a perfect 4-4 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored.
Wessell side-stepped a single by Brock Baltzell to retire the Panthers in the top of the third, and in the bottom of the inning Aidan Pratt put Van Wert up 4-1 with a shot to left that scored Hunter Bolenbaugh.
The Panthers scratched across another run in the top of the sixth, but Van Wert answered in the bottom of the inning with two more runs. This time Kaiden Bates and Owen Treece each drove in runners to put the game out of reach.
Bates and Pratt each had successful nights at the bottom of the order for the Cougars after going a combined three for six at the dish with two runs batted in.
Four hits from Place, two from Pratt and one each from Bates, Ethan Rupert, Turner Witten, Ries Wise and Josh Halker made up the entirety of Van Wert’s 11-hit performance. Place and Rupert each stole two bags in the game as well.
Dylan Hughes (2-4, 2B) and Brock Baltzell (2-4) had two hits a piece for Parkway. Riley Samples, Chaz Neuenschwander, Eddy Nichols, Adam Stephenson, Roman Leszinske, and Aiden Anderson all had singles in the Panthers 10-hit game.
Parkway (2-2) returns to the field on Tuesday evening against Crestview, while Van Wert (6-1) opens WBL play on the road against Bath the same night.
Parkway (3) (ab-r-h-rbi)
Riley Samples 4-0-1-0, Dylan Hughes 4-0-2-0, Justan Felver 3-0-0-1, Brock Baltzell 4-0-2-0, Chaz Neuenschwander 3-1-1-0, Eddy Nichols 3-1-1-0, Adam Stephenson 3-0-1-1, Roman Leszinske 2-0-1-1, Aiden Anderson 3-1-1-0.
Van Wert (6) (ab-r-h-rbi)
Jacob Place 4-1-4-1, Owen Treece 3-0-0-1, Ethan Rupert 4-1-1-0, Turner Witten 3-0-1-1, Josh Halker 2-0-1-0, Hunter Bolenbaugh 0-1-0-0, TJ Stoller 2-0-0-0, Aidan Pratt 3-1-2-1, Ries Wise 3-1-1-0, Kaiden Bates 3-1-1-1.
Parkway 0100011 3 10 1
Van Wert 211002X 6 11 1
Luke Wessell (W) 7-10-3-3-4
Justan Felver (L) 6-11-6-5-3
Original Article Courtesy to Times Bulletin