DELPHOS — Two nights. Two titles for Crestview.
After winning a sectional title Thursday night, the Knights came back to post a 5-0 win against Delphos Jefferson to snare a share of the Northwest Conference title Friday night.
Crestview, which goes to 13-8 for the season, shares the NWC crown with Lincolnview and Jefferson at 7-1 each. Jefferson drops to 12-9 for the season.
Crestview head coach Jim Wharton pointed out that the week began Tuesday with a sectional win followed by these two big back-to-back victories.
“Our kids have just been resilient,” Wharton said. “They have hung in there through thick and thin and they played hard for one another.”
This marks Crestview’s 23rd league title in school history and Jefferson’s second with its last conference championship coming in 2003.
“It is always a goal at the beginning of the year (to win the league crown) and we had a disappointing loss to Lincolnview earlier and coming back after winning a sectional title last night I told our kids we have unfinished business,” Wharton said. ” I thought our kids really came to play and it is a testament to them and their love for one another and love for baseball.”
While Crestview was enjoying a highly successful week, Delphos was having just the opposite. Earlier in the week, the Wildcats were eliminated from the postseason after a sectional loss and then the disheartening loss to Crestview to prevent them from winning the league title outright.
“It is tough for 17 and 18-year-olds to see the big picture and see that we are co-champs,” Jefferson head coach Doug Geary said. “We didn’t hit the ball and defensively they bunted the ball and we didn’t get an out. We had opportunities there.”
Crestview starter Cole Small was the difference in the game as the junior hurler silenced the Wildcat bats to one hit in his six innings of work where he fanned three and walked three. The lone hit the Wildcats got was an infield single as Jefferson would never get a base runner to third base.
“Just a stellar performance,” Wharton said. “He has been doing that all year and he’s showing people that you don’t have to have great velocity but if you have command of three pitches you are going to be an awful tough pitcher.”
Small could also thank his defense. The Crestview defense committed one error in the contest and Wharton added the defense has been getting better throughout the season.
“Right now we are heading in the right direction as far as defensively, offensively and our pitching has been solid all year long.”
Crestview reliever Griffin Painter slammed the door on Jefferson in the seventh by striking out the side.
The Knights had seven hits on the night and made the most of their opportunities when they reached base. Dylan Hicks delivered twice for Crestview when he recorded a double in the third inning to drive in one run and brought home two more runs on a single that plated two more runs. Hicks finished 2 for 3 with one run and three RBI.
“Give Crestview credit,” Geary said. “They manufactured runs and they took care of business offensively. They squared up and we didn’t do that. (Logan) Herron pitched well for us but when you don’t score any runs, and throw the ball around a little bit and not catch the ball behind him it makes it difficult. Hats off to Crestview.”
In his six innings of work, Herron gave up six runs, four earned, while striking out four and walking two.
Hunter Haehn had the lone hit for the Wildcats.