Six-run PC rally lifts Crusaders past Hawks

DAVISVILLE – All teams should have a game like Parkersburg Catholic did Saturday afternoon in their season openers.

After falling behind from the first inning on and trailing 5-0 after 4 1/2 innings, the host Crusaders rallied for six runs in the bottom of the fifth – capped by Andrew Garvin’s two-out, two-run single – to post a comeback 6-5 win over South Harrison at Romine Field.

”It was a good rally,” said Catholic head coach Tom Harvey after sophomore Andrew Cinalli hurled the final three frames to pick up the win in relief. ”We got down a little early. I think some of our new guys had a little first-game nerves. We made a few mistakes and they capitalized on them. But we were able to keep them within striking distance until we finally rallied back with a big inning.”

Catholic committed two errors in the top of the first to let in a run on each miscue, and the visiting Hawks added another tally with a theft of home on a double steal for a quick 3-0 lead. Then Ian Riggleman singled in two more runs for South Harrison (1-2) in the top of the fifth for a 5-0 advantage.

But PC, which got a base-runner to third with two outs in the first and had back-to-back singles with two outs in the third, finally broke through with its 6-spot in the fifth.

Evan Dexter and Nick Roedersheimer started the deciding inning by drawing walks before Mitch Davis drove a ball to deep center field on one bounce off the outfield fence for a double as both runners came home. Then Davis, who advanced to third on the throw to the plate, scored when Jake Boice’s hotshot up the middle got past the shortstop, narrowing the gap to 5-3.

Jake Ullman walked as Boice stole third and when Ullman stole second, but the ball got away, Boice scored. Then Garvin, also just a sophomore, lashed a two-run single down the right-field line to put Catholic on top, 6-5.

”Garvin had the big hit,” said Harvey. ”And that was huge, lacing one down the line. No matter if you swing late, it’s down the line and got two RBIs to give us the lead.”

Cinalli too drew Harvey’s praise. ”Andrew came in and got the job done,” said the coach. ”You don’t have to throw hard to get people out. You throw strikes and hit spots, and our defense finally made some plays behind him and he got it done. I’ve been telling him to have confidence and believe in himself, so maybe this today will go a long way.”