Bats come alive for Crusaders

ST. MARYS -Mired in a funk, Parkersburg Catholic took out its frustrations on St. Marys Thursday afternoon at Dave Wilson Field and defeated the Blue Devils 14-4 in five innings.

Since starting the season with nine consecutive wins, the Crusaders had lost six of their last seven games entering yesterday’s Little Kanawha Conference North Division contest. One of those losses occurred by 11 runs last week against the same Blue Devil outfit which tried to solve the Parkersburg Catholic offense with four different pitchers but to no avail.

PCHS improved to 11-6 by connecting for 17 hits. Five different Crusaders (Mitch Davis, Jake Boice, Jake Ullman, Austin Luther and Cary Casto) enjoyed multi-hit games. Luther and Casto both finished with three hits and three runs batted in, while Ullman lashed out three hits to go with two RBIs.

Davis, Boice and Nick Roedersheimer each contributed a double.

“I didn’t know it was that many hits – we were swinging it pretty well,” PCHS coach Tom Harvey said. “We’re due. We haven’t been hitting the ball well. Our approach at the plate has been a little lackadaisical and we’ve been striking out a lot.

“But we put it in play tonight and put the pressure on them.”

St. Marys, which dropped to 13-4, actually led 1-0 through two innings when Matthew Houser scored on the back-end of a double steal in the bottom half of the second inning. Houser later added a three-run homer in the fifth inning, but it was too little too late.

PCHS strung together six straight singles in a four-run third then tacked on six runs in the fourth on just three hits. Roedersheimer’s two-run double highlighted a four-run fifth inning.

Andrew Cinalli earned the victory for PCHS after allowing four runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings of work. With St. Marys attempting to extend the game, Davis entered in relief and required just four pitches to the only batter he faced and induced a game-ending double play.

“Andrew Cinalli is a battler,” Harvey said. “He won’t blow anybody away, but he will get outs. He throws strikes and gets ground balls. He got a little fatigued, but we had Mitch ready.

“We wanted to put St. Marys away because they are very capable of coming back and scoring 14 runs on you then making it a ballgame. And we didn’t want that. We wanted to get out of here and save our arms.”

The outing for St. Marys starter Jarrod Lough lasted just 2 1/3 innings. During his time on the mound, he allowed four runs on eight hits. Lefty Michael Stout didn’t fare any better and was tagged for five runs in just 2/3 of an inning. The Blue Devils’ third option – Tyler Davis – surrendered five runs on six hits in 1 1/3 innings.

“Give Parkersburg Catholic credit – they came here for revenge from the last time we were at their place,” St. Marys coach Ed Wilson said after his team slipped to 13-4. “They were better than us tonight, that’s for sure.”