DAVISVILLE - Back issues are just a way of life for Parkersburg Catholic's Mitch Davis.
He's pitched through discomfort in the latter stages of the high school baseball season and Friday was no different as the junior tossed a perfect game through four innings of a Class A sectional contest with Williamstown at Marshall Romine Field.
Jake Tracewell's single into center field with two outs in the top of the fifth inning was the only hit Davis allowed in six innings of work as his masterpiece resulted in a 9-0 Crusader victory.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg Catholic's Zack Romine watches his sixth inning home run, his third in two days, against WIlliamstown. The Crusaders won, 9-0, forcing a deciding game today.
PCHS not only improved to 17-9, but also staved off elimination and forced a deciding game with the 22-7 Yellowjackets scheduled for 3:30 p.m. today again at Romine Field.
"I was having back problems before the game and had to go to the chiropractor, but I came out today and threw strong," Davis said. "I knew it was win or go home. I talked to our coach before the game and he asked me how I felt, and I said I had a great feeling about this one."
There was plenty of offensive support, including freshman Jake Boice, who went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and one run-batted-in. Boice drove in Zack Romine with a one-out base hit in the bottom of the fourth inning which turned out to be the game-winning RBI.
"It was a big game, big stage but I've got to give this one to my team," Boice said.
Going yard for the second straight game and for the seventh time this season was Romine, who hit his three-run homer during a seven-run sixth inning.
"I've been with Zack for three years and he is absolutely just crushing the ball," Davis said. "We see that every day in practice."
PCHS handed Williamstown starting pitcher Austin Root his first loss in five decisions. The senior blanked the Crusaders for three innings before surrendering two runs in the fourth on RBI singles from Boice and Jim Ferrell.
Williamstown reliever Dakota Watson entered in time to throw a scoreless fifth then allowed the first six batters to reach safely in the sixth inning.
Not only did Romine find the other side of the outfield fence in that frame, but Nick Roedersheimer and Payton also delivered run-scoring singles. Davis contributed a two-run base hit.
"Zack is hotter than a firecracker," PCHS coach Tom Harvey said. "Let's hope that continues. He is seeing the ball well and putting good swings on it, so hopefully he can do that for a couple of more weeks."
The inconsistency of making contact continued to haunt Williamstown, which has struck out 45 times in the past four games. In addition to Davis' eight punchouts, PCHS reliever Eric Scott added two more in one inning of work.
"Every team will be up and down, but now is kind of a bad time for that to be happening," Williamstown coach Terry Smith said. "Hopefully we will come back (on Saturday)."
Wirt, Gilmer Win
GLENVILLE -Wirt County and host Gilmer County both defeated Calhoun County on the opening day of the Class A, Region 1, Section 4 Tournament at the Sue Morris Sports Complex.
The Tigers turned back the Red Devils, 10-5, as Austin Campbell and J.T. Nemeth each had a pair of RBIs, while Gilmer eliminated Calhoun, 10-0, as Austin Cunningham and Nate Allison combined on a three-hitter. Seth Skinner was 3-for-3 with two RBIs for the Titans while Dillon Montgomery also drove in a pair of runs.
Gilmer and Wirt now meet in a best-of-three series for the sectional title beginning at noon today.