ST. MARYS - Eli Gray clubbed a two-run homer and joined teammate Josh Wine by knocking in three runs apiece as visiting Parkersburg Post 15 picked up an 8-5 victory here Thursday evening at Dave Wilson Field in the first game of a twinbill to spoil the home debut of St. Marys Post 79.
St. Marys made a trio of errors which led to six unearned runs against losing pitcher Mitch Davis, who was chased in the sixth inning as Post 15 broke open a 4-4 contest by putting a four-spot on the board.
Adam McCray worked three innings in relief of Post 15 starter Cody Starcher (4 IP, 4 BB, 2 SO) to earn the mound triumph.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
St. Marys American Legion Post 79's Jarrod Lough, left, blocks third base from Parkersburg American Legion Post 15's Clay Walters Thursday during their game in St. Marys. Walters was ruled out but Post 15 scored an 8-5 win in the first game of the doubleheader.
Head coach Wirt Cook's Post 79 club, which fell to 0-5 after game one, jumped out to a quick 2-0 cushion against Starcher in the bottom of the first.
Aaron Tice walked and scored on Colby Vanoy's two-bagger and Vanoy crossed the plate via an RBI groundout by Ryder Bolin.
Parkersburg managed to push three runs across in the top of the second, but only one of them was earned against Davis. Post 15 second baseman Clay Walters started the second by reaching on an error and Gray's two-run bomb to left-center tied the game. Wes Mitchem followed with a double and later put the visitors ahead 3-2 when Wine singled to center.
St. Marys, which returns to action at 1 p.m. Saturday with a doubleheader at Moundsville Post 3, found itself trailing 4-2 after Walters reached in the third on a fielder's choice and scored on Gray's RBI base knock to center.
However, Starcher was unable to hold the two-run cushion and didn't return after needing 24 pitches to get through the fourth inning. D.J. Burgess drew a leadoff walk and Jarrod Lough followed with a single. After Andrew Sellers sacrificed to move the runners to second and third, Andy Newhart contributed an RBI single back up the box. An infield error by skipper Jim Goodwin's Post 15 squad off the bat of Tice allowed Lough to score and tie the game.
A pair of errors in the top of the sixth was just too much to overcome for the hosts. Davis issued three walks in the sixth before being lifted in favor of Lough. The free passes issued to Gray and Jordan Braniff turned into runs for Post 15. Wine, who joined Gray in collecting two hits while adding a pair of stolen bases, had the big hit in the sixth with a two-run single to left-center. The other two runs came when Jacob Wilcox reached via an error.
St. Marys was able to score once in the seventh when Vanoy singled and Burgess delivered an RBI double to right, but McCray induced Lough to fly out to Wine in center to end it.
Post 15, which improved to 5-0 after the opener and was playing its first Area 3 contest, is scheduled to play host to Athens Post 21 for a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday at City Park.