MLB.com's "Beat the Streak" has nothing on Williamstown baseball.
Since losing at Parkersburg Catholic 16 days ago, the Yellowjackets had won nine straight games. Pending last night's outcome at Ritchie County, their record stood at 11-2.
Williamstown's Terry Smith is one of those coaches who stresses pitching and defense. But even he can't ignore an offense which is producing runs at an alarming rate. In their recent nine-game stretch, the Yellowjackets are averaging 15.7 runs per contest.
One culprit in particular who is responsible for the destruction goes by the name of Eli Gray. On back-to-back nights this week against Belpre and Doddridge County, the junior batted a combined 5-for-8 with three doubles and two triples to go with nine runs batted in. For you stat freaks keeping track at home, that's 12 total bases for a 1.500 slugging percentage.
"Eli has been a leader because he works so hard and enjoys being out there," Smith said.
That same sentiment applies to the entire roster, including the four senior starters - Austin Eddy, Case Edgar, Trey King and Brandon Yost. The veterans have made the rookies such as freshman Dakota Watson feel like a member of the family.
Smith doesn't hesitate putting Watson behind the plate at catcher and inserting him at the top of the batting order.
"Dakota plays beyond his years," Smith said. "I'm not too worried about him."
Tuesday against Belpre, Watson responded by going 2-for-2 at the plate with three stolen bases and four runs scored.
"You don't see many catchers leading off," Watson chuckled.
Quality starts by the pitching staff and a stubborn defense also have played a vital role in Williamstown's success. Early in the season, the Yellowjackets were booting the ball with consistency. A prime example occurred in a loss at home against Ritchie County where they committed seven errors.
This week against Belpre and Doddridge, Williamstown committed just one error total.
"We're playing as a team," Gray said. "We have this big thing of brotherhood going on. We stay excited the whole game and it just works out."
The four-year letterwinner finished among the Yellowjacket program's top 25 in both scoring (581 points) and 3-point field goals. This past season, she worked the post for a ballclub which advanced to the semifinals of the Class A state tournament.
"Over the past four years, Taylor played every position - ranging from point guard to the post," Williamstown coach Fred Sauro said. "Her ability to shoot, handle the ball, play with her back to the basket, rebound and defend the perimeter and interior were assets to her team. She could play anywhere."