South chalks up wins

PARKERSBURG – Warren scored first, but host Parkersburg South put together six and five-run innings to tag the visiting Warriors with an 11-1 five-inning loss to the Patriots Thursday afternoon at Hank Greenburg Field.

For South, now 13-6, senior right-hander Clayton Cottrille spun a two-hitter while his Patriot teammates banged out 15 hits, including four doubles – three by DH Tre Jackson, and catcher Jordan Braniff went 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Braniff’s third hit plated the fifth tally with one out in a five-run fifth frame to halt the game via the 10-run rule,

Cottrille gave up only Lane Schaffer’s leadoff double in the first and Riley Bobo’s single in the fifth, and also picked two runners off base at first and second. ”He’s got some good (pickoff) moves and executed them very nicely,” said South head coach Matt Null.

”He started off the game with the ball up, the same thing he did when he pitched (and lost) against PHS last week and missed all night,” said Null. ”But today, he did get the ball down.” That came, Null added, after Cottrille got hit in the foot or ankle with a ball off the bat of Ethan Estes in the third inning. Null came out to check on Cottrille, but he threw a practice pitch, said he was OK and resumed pitching. ”He stepped back, regained his composure and then he pitched well after that; he focused on fundamentals and kept the ball down,” noted Null.

In the meantime, after Warren (6-5) notched a run in the first on an error, the Patriots began to string some hits together by the third inning to score six times. The first five South batters reached base on hits, with both Braniff and Tyler Berry contributing two-run singles. Then the speedy Braxton Johnson beat out an infield single to second for an RBI and a throwing error let in run No. 6.

Then in the bottom of the fifth, South again chalked up as many hits as runs to finish off the Warriors. A error and two singles loaded the bases with no outs, and Jacob Wilcox and Jackson each delivered two-run doubles before Braniff’s RBI single halted the proceedings.

”We played real solid defense, and it was just one of those games where he hit the ball where they were not,” said Null.

South played a second game at Greenburg Thursday night, blanking Federal Hocking 5-0 as Jacob Braniff and A.J. Easter combined on a four-hit shutout of the visiting Lancers.

Jacob Braniff hurled the first five innings with seven strikeouts and no walks, followed up by reliever Easter for the final two frames, striking out the side in both innings he worked.

Leading the Patriot bat attack versus Federal were Jackson (2-3, 2 RBIs), Wilcox (2-3, 2 runs, RBI) and Johnson (2-2, 2 runs).

South next plays a noon doubleheader at Wheeling Park Saturday.