PARKERSBURG - Southpaw Jesse Brown hurled a five-inning no-hitter in his first American Legion start of the season and Dakota Watson slugged a three-run homer as Parkersburg Post 15 blanked visiting Mason County Post 23 by a 10-0 count in the opener of an Area 3 doubleheader Thursday evening at City Park.
Brown, who recently completed his high school baseball career at Ravenswood, was masterful on the mound, striking out nine and walking three in facing just three batters over the minimum as the Post 15 defense only had to make six plays in the field.
In addition, Brown had three 1-2-3 innings and allowed two runners on base only in the third inning via two-out walks, but then fanned the next batter.
Meanwhile, Post 15 had just seven hits, but "they were timely," said Post 15 manager Jim Goodwin. And Parkersburg scored in every inning, taking full advantage of nine walks issued by Mason County pitchers Hunter Bradley and Jeremy Tate.
In the first frame, back-to-back, one-out singles by Lucas Goodwin and Devon Crews preceded a passed ball, then a wild pitch that plated Parkersburg run No. 1 and later Eli Gray's RBI groundout made it 2-0.
The bottom of the second saw successive one-out walks by Josh Stephens and Kyle Goodwin before Watson walloped a high, deep drive over the left-field fence to up the margin to 5-0 before a wild pitch and infield fielding error let in two more tallies for a 7-0 lead.
Cary Casto led off the third with a single, advanced to second on a walk, took third on a wild pitch and scored when Kyle Goodwin grounded out to short. Crews doubled to start the fourth, moved to third on a passed ball and came home on Jordan Braniff's ground out to second.
And Post 15 closed out the win in the last of the fifth after two were out. Consecutive walks to Watson and Lucas Goodwin were followed by a fielding error to load the bases for Braniff, who finished off Mason County (0-1) by lining an RBI single into left-center field.
Brown's no-hitter was his first for Post 15 in three years with the team, but he pitched one in high school last year versus Tyler Consolidated. Brown said he's at his best pitching when he's able "to keep the ball away from righthanded hitters and jam the lefties," and admitted, "I don't really try to get anybody out by striking them out. I just try to let them hit it, but apparently they weren't today. But I'll take it."
In the second game of Thursday's twinbill, Post 15 had to go 10 innings before edging out Mason County 6-5 to sweep the doubleheader.
Post 15, now 5-1, next plays at home in a 3 p.m, twinbill Saturday against another Area 3 foe in the WV Power.