Strong start for Big Reds

Even with an impressive runner-up finish in the Callaway High School Series standings, the Parkersburg golf team learned a valuable lesson.

“As well as we played, we still have to play better,” PHS golf coach Don Snider said.

The Big Reds proved they can go toe-to-toe with schools in the north and south after placing fourth at the Ohio Valley Invitational and third in the Capital Classic. At the Parkersburg Country Club Invitational, they pulled off a second-place effort.

Roane County claimed the overall title and had the advantage of competing in all four events on the High School Series. Parkersburg placed higher than its Class AA counterpart in all three meets they both competed at.

“We played at three different areas of the state and played well,” Snider said.

A crucial stage of the season arrives with next Tuesday’s Mountain State Athletic Conference Meet at Berry Hills Country Club. Host George Washington, Cabell Midland, Greenbrier East, Huntington and PHS figure to be among the contenders. This year’s seniors for the Big Reds have never won a conference title.

“The good thing is that we are playing five golfers and counting four,” Snider said. “As a team, this is the best we have ever started. Kids are relying on each other and picking each other up.

“Everyone has had one bad round, but they’ve always bounced back.”

* One season after the Pittsburgh Pirates created a buzz throughout Major League Baseball, the Kansas City Royals have established a breath of fresh air while pulling ahead of the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central.

Statistics take a backseat trying to explain Kansas City’s success. Offensively, the Royals don’t exactly remind you of Murderer’s Row.

They rank last in the majors in homers and are on pace to fall short of the century mark for the entire season. Their second-leading homer run hitter, Mike Moustakas has struggled at the plate and is floating just above the Mendoza line at .202.

Read an article that Kansas City is a throwback to the early part of the 20th century when stealing bases and scratching across runs is a team’s M.O.

Take for instance, 23 stolen bases separate the frontrunner Royals from their closest competition in the American League. Either their batters have good vision or they just don’t swing at bad pitches because they have struck out the fewest times (745) – by a wide margin over second place Oakland Athletics (852).

Put those numbers on an average basis and the Royals are striking out out just six times per game compared to nine times for the Miami Marlins. The old axiom that good things happen when the ball is put in play pertains to Kansas City.

It’s difficult to fathom that 28 years have passed since Kansas City advanced to the postseason. As the cliche goes, all streaks come to an end, i.e. Pittsburg’s 20-year run of below-.500 seasons which was laid to rest a year ago.

Contact Kerry Patrick at