Post 15 splits with Post 79

PARKERSBURG-Ravenswood’s Devon Crews proved to be clutch Sunday afternoon at Bennett Stump Field as the Red Devils’ junior came up with a one-out double to plate both the tying and winning run in Parkersburg Post 15’s 12-11 come-from-behind victory over St. Marys Post 79.

“You take what you can get,” said Post 15 manager Jim Goodwin. “Some days you win ugly and that was the case today. You give up 11 runs, commit seven errors and walk a ton of batters and, somehow, you find a way to win in the seventh.”

The victory gave the local legionnaires a split with their Post 79 rivals, who took the opener by a score of 9-3.

“The first game we battled,” said Post 79 skipper Wirt Cook. “Jarrod (Lough) had a great start and we started hitting the ball. Errors and walks killed us in that second game.”

Both teams return to play on Wednesday when Post 15 plays host to Clarksburg at 6:30 p.m while Post 79 entertains Beverly-Lowell at 5:30 p.m.

Coming off of a season opening split against Cambridge, Post 79 sent St. Marys junior Jarrod Lough to the mound for the first time this season.

The Blue Devils hurler was more than adequate as the righthander limited Post 15’s hitters to two hits-both singles-and three runs while the visitors reached Post 15 starter Jonathan Murphy and reliever Jeff Davis for nine runs (eight earned) and six hits.

Post 79 got on the board first in the top half of the third inning thanks to an RBI-single by shortstop Tony Brunicardi. Parkersburg answered, however, with a pair of RBI singles by Clay Walters and Devon Crews in their half of the inning.

Those would be the only runs scored until the visitors exploded for six runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth to turn the game into a rout. Ritchie County senior Ryder Bolin got things rolling with a leadoff single and advanced to third when second baseman Robbie Harper was hit by a pitch and Andy Newhart’s sacrifice bunt was fielded, but Bolin beat the throw to third.

A walk to Dylan Frye brought home Bolin while Harper and Newhart scored two pitches later on a Tony Brunicardi double. Lough followed with a run scoring double and then tallied the final run of the frame on a groundout by Zack Romine.

Those would prove to be more than enough runs for Lough as the senior-to-be struck out six before giving way to reliever Tyler Davis with one out in the seventh. Davis gave up a run-scoring single to Crews, but ended any chance of a last-at-bat comeback when he induced Post 15’s Paul Fichtelman to fly out to left.

Post 79’s bats continued to produce runs, aided by seven Post 15 errors, as the visitors’ jumped out to a 9-4 lead after three innings of play. However, a three-run fourth and two more runs in the fifth allowed the hosts to knot the contest at nine.

But, Post 79 answered with an RBI-triple by Bolin, who came home to tally the visitors’ final run of the game on a single by Harper. It would not be enough, however,

Catcher Austin Cottrill led off the home half of the seventh with a walk, one of six given up by the St. Marys pitchers. But, a soft fly ball by Jeff Davis was caught by Post 79’s right fielder.

Down to its final two outs of the game, and looking at a doubleheader sweep by the rivals from St. Marys, Parkersburg’s Hunter Hamilton reached on an infield single and Case Edar walked on four straight pitches to load the bases up and bring in Post 79 closer Tyler Davis.

A walk to Walters brought in the hosts’ 10th run of the game and kept the sacks full of Post 15 runners while a double by Crews, who went 4-for-5 in the game, down the right field line brought home Hamilton with the tying run and Edgar with the game-winner.

“You just never know,” said Goodwin. “I like the way our guys kept fighting, but we dug ourselves a pretty big hole and got lucky there at the end.”