Brubaker pitches South past PHS

PARKERSBURG-Parkersburg South senior Brad Brubaker hurled a complete game, allowing only six hits and one run, to lead the Patriots (21-8) to an 8-1 victory over crosstown rival Parkersburg (14-13) in the opening game of the Region 1, Section 2 Class AAA tournament played at Bennett Stump Field.

“Everything I was throwing was nothing but change-ups, sliders and fastballs – and they were are working,” said Brubaker.

The West Virginia Wesleyan recruit struck out six batters and allowed runners to reach second base three times-on doubles by Levi Casto, Cole Parker and Damon Ribeiro-with just Parker’s two-base hit resulting in the Big Reds only tally of the game on a two-out single by pinch-hitter Austin Alatorre in the fifth inning.

“Bru (Brubaker) gave us an exceptional outing tonight,” said Parkersburg South skipper Matt Null. “He did a great job of making adjustments on the mound when he needed to make them and our offense did a great job of getting him runs early.”

Early is right.

The Patriots got to Parkersburg starter Anthony Kist early, scoring two runs on three hits in the second inning to give Brubaker all the runs he would need. The defending sectional champions broke the game open in the fourth when they sent 10 batters to the plate, scoring six runs to take an 8-0 lead.

A.J. Easter got things rolling for the visitors in the fourth with a one-out walk. Brubaker, who went 3-for-4 at the plate, followed with a single to put runners on first and second. No. 8 hitter Dylan Weaver drew a base on balls to load the bases for second baseman Jacob Wilcox, who brought in the first run of the inning by drawing the Patriots’ third base on balls in the frame.

It appeared that Kist would get out of the inning with only the one run after a strikeout of Patriots’ leadoff hitter Clay Walters, but centerfielder Braxton Johnson lofted a short fly ball that dropped into left field untouched, allowing Brubaker and Weaver to score. A walk to designated hitter Tre Jackson reloaded the bases with Patriots and Wilcox crossed the plate with the fourth run of the inning on a Big Red fielding miscue.

The final two runs of the frame came home on a single by Tyler Berry.

“Those runs were huge,” said Brubaker. “They allowed me to relax. It’s a lot better pitching with an 8-0 lead. Those 1-0 or 0-0 games make me nervous.”

Parkersburg South will look to sweep the best-of-three series with their rivals when it travels to Hank Greenburg Field for a 6:30 p.m. encounter tonight. Senior Wes Mitchem will take the mound for the hosts while his pitching opponent for the Big Reds will be a “game-time decision,” according to PHS head coach Alan Burns.

“We just didn’t hit the ball, we didn’t run the bases, and we didn’t pitch the ball,” said Burns. “South played very well, but we have to be ready to play Big Red baseball the way we know how to play it.”