PARKERSBURG - Knowing the defense has his back, Jesse Brown isn't afraid to pitch to contact.
The left-handed pitcher from Parkersburg Post 15 won his second decision in as many starts after his ballclub defeated Clarksburg Post 13, 6-2, in the first game of a scheduled doubleheader Wednesday evening at City Park.
Brown no-hit Clarksburg through the first three innings and allowed just one fourth-inning single and another base hit in the fifth inning. The Ravenswood product struck out three and walked three in his second complete game victory.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg Post 15 catcher Anthony Kist, left, brings down the high throw home too late to prevent Clarksburg Post 13's Anthony Belcastro from scoring Wednesday. Post 15 won, 6-2.
"Everything felt right out there because I felt more comfortable than I did in the first game against Meigs I didn't have my best stuff that game," Brown said. "Today, I really had things going and I had control of where I was pitching the ball."
The offensive support slowly came through and finished with nine hits, including three apiece from designated hitter Clay Walters and left fielder Devon Crews. Walters singled and scored in his first two at-bats then laced a triple into the left-center field gap in the fourth inning and eventually scored to put Post 15 in front 5-2.
"I had my first two hits, so I started seeing the pitches better," Walters said. "On the triple, it was a fastball right down the middle. And that's my pitch.
"He was giving me off-speed early, but I sat on the fastball. He gave it to me and I delivered."
Crews' contribution included a pair of doubles. His two-out double in the bottom of the first inning drove in Walters with the game-first run. Following an RBI single in the fourth inning, Crews added another two-bagger in the sixth but was left stranded.
Trever Downing took the loss for a Clarksburg outfit making its season debut. The right-hander walked four batters and hit another while giving up three runs in three innings of work.
Teammate D.J. Murphy wrapped up the final three innings and gave up three runs on six hits.
Brown, on the other hand, had Clarksburg baffled. Second baseman Lucas Goodwin helped matters with one out and one runner on base in the first inning when he sprinted into shallow center field and picked off a pop fly. That started a string of eight straight batters that Brown retired.
Anthony Bellcastro beat out an infield grounder for a single to open the fourth inning and ruin Brown's no-hit bid. Post 13 scored twice in the inning to cut the deficit to 3-2, but Post 15 answered with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning and added another insurance run in the sixth when Case Edgar led off with a double and advanced another two bases on a throwing error by the Clarksburg third baseman - one of six committed by Post 13.
Brown needed just nine pitches to retire the side in order in the seventh inning and help Post 15 improve to 4-1.
"It always feels good to undefeated (as a pitcher), and when you have great run support it makes me that much happier," Brown said.
Game 2 was suspended due to lightning with Post 15 leading 1-0 in the bottom of the third inning. The only run of the game was scored on a delayed steal in the bottom of the second inning. Paul Fichtelman was involved in a rundown between first and second base, and Austin Cottrell scored from third base.
Post 15 starting pitcher Clayton Cottrille allowed just one hit in three innings of work and struck out five.