South wins on walk-off single
PARKERSBURG -Faced with losing their second straight game this week the No. 6 ranked Patriots from Parkersburg South overcame their own miscues to hand No. 10 St. Albans an 8-7 setback Thursday night at Hank Greenburg Field.
“We were just trying to not get down on one another,” senior second baseman Jacob Wilcox said. “That was the key. We didn’t get down, we kept fighting and made sure that we put the ball in play.”
Including Wilcox, who came up with the game-winning hit when he sent a pitch from the Red Dragons’ Austin Harless past a drawn in infield to bring home A.J. Easter with the winning run with two outs in the home half of the seventh.
“I was just looking for a pitch to drive,” continued Wilcox. “He (Harless) gave me a pitch that I could handle and I just hit it as hard as I could. I knew that if I made contact then A.J. could score whether it was in the air or on the ground.”
The victory improves the Patriots’ mark to 18-8 on the season with a game at South Charleston slated for this afternoon while St. Albans dropped to 15-8.
Parkersburg South got on the board first thanks to an RBI double by Tre Jackson in the bottom of the first. However, the Red Dragons answered in the top of the second, scoring a pair of unearned runs to take a 2-1 lead.
The Patriots answered with a pair of runs in their half of the inning to take a 3-2 advantage. The margin remained at one run after both teams plated a pair of runs in the fourth.
Both Parkersburg South starter Brad Brubaker and the Red Dragons’ Harless settled down and kept the game at 5-4 with a pair of shutout innings each. But the seventh inning would be a different story.
St. Albans second baseman Dustin Turley reached Brubaker for a double to lead off the inning-causing Patriots head coach Matt Null to bring in Easter in relief, who got SA’s Josh Burks to hit a foul fly ball to first.
The visitors’ Joey Dodrill singled to right, bringing Turley in with the Red Dragons’ fifth run of the game, but was then erased when trying to get to third on a wild pitch by Patriots’ catcher Jordan Braniff.
Back-to-back walks by Easter, however, gave the Red Dragons’ new life and right fielder Andrew Mathews made the South reliever pay with a two-run triple that plated both Bobby Grishaber and Taylor Brayley, giving the visitors a 7-5 lead.
That would not be enough, however.
Singles by Tyler Berry and Dylan Weaver to open the home half of the seventh gave the hosts new life and the Patriots were aided in their comeback by a devastating pair of errors on the Red Dragons’ shortstop and centerfielder on a hard hit ball by Easter-bringing home both runners to tie the game at 7.
The speedy Easter, who picked up the win in relief, reached third on the play to set up Wilcox’s game-winning hit.