Crusaders trump ’Jackets, 16-6

WILLIAMSTOWN – Nine runs in one inning doesn’t necessarily a win make, but it sure goes a long way toward achieving it.

Tied 3-3 at Williamstown Saturday, Parkersburg Catholic erupted for a nine-run fifth frame to spurt out to a big lead en route to a 16-6 victory over the host Yellowjackets in the championship game of the Class A Region IV, Section 1 baseball tournament.

The win, No. 19 for the Crusaders against 12 losses, propels PC into a Region IV semifinal contest at home Monday versus 28-4 Gilmer County at 5 p.m. at Marshall Field in Davisville.

With the setback, Williamstown concluded its season with a 22-12 record.

Catholic, capturing its second straight sectional crown after a 10-year drought, led 3-0 early as Mitch Davis smacked a solo homer on the second pitch of the game, then doubled in another tally in the second inning and scored on Austin Luther’s RBI single.

But the bottom of the second saw the ‘Jackets knot the count on a wild pitch, Josh DeBolt’s run-scoring single and a throwing error.

In the fifth, though, the Crusaders loaded the bases with one out on a walk and two hit batsmen. Nick Roedersheimer untied the game with a sacrifice fly, then came the PC hit parade as six of the next seven batters had hits to drive in at least one run each.

The hit-parade list, in order: Andrew Garvin, RBI double; Evan Dexter, RBI single; Andrew Cinalli, RBI single; Davis, another RBI double; – then after Luther was hit by a pitch, it began again – Jake Ullman, 2-run single; and finally Jake Boice 2-run single, making it 12-3.

“It gave us some breathing room when we blew it open there,” said Catholic head coach Tom Harvey. “I told our guys though, they had to keep swinging the bats to put pressure on them (Williamstown). But that (nine runs) certainly made it more comfortable than when it was 3-3.”

Meanwhile, after the third Yellowjacket run of the game scored in the second inning, PC starter – and a complete-game winner – Tony Borrelli (6 hits, 4 SOs, 6 BBs) retired 11 of the next 12 batters he faced until running into trouble in the sixth, when he uncorked a run-scoring wild pitch and hit Avery Goff with bases loaded to force in another run to close the gap to 12-5.

Then with the bases still loaded, the next hitter, Eli Gray, belted a deep drive to left that Crusader left fielder Roedersheimer reached up on a leap to get his glove over the outfield fence to snare the ball that would have made the score a lot close at 12-9 had it gone over for a grand slam.

“You can’t say enough about the heck of a game Borrelli pitched and when Roeddy made that catch – wow, because that could have made it 12-9, and who know what’s going to happen then,” said Harvey.

What did happen next, though, was four more PC runs in the top of the seventh to push the Crusaders out to a 16-5 advantage. Boice singled in a run, another scored on Cary Casto’s fielder’s choice and the last two on errors.

Williamstown added a run to its total on an error in the last of the seventh, but it was too little and too late to do anything about the final outcome.

For ‘Jacket head coach Terry Smith, “it doesn’t really matter how many runs you score, you still got to hold people down,” noting that in the last two games of the sectional, both versus Catholic, ”we gave up (a total of) 21 runs. And you can’t do that and win. So I just hope that in the future, we can pitch better.”