Crusader boys end skid

DAVISVILLE -Five losses in a span of four days will test anybody’s patience. So will walking 13 times in a seven-inning game.

Monday afternoon, Parkersburg Catholic took advantage of Ritchie County’s inconsistencies on the mound and snapped a five-game losing streak by defeating the Rebels, 10-4.

PCHS catcher Jake Boice went 3-for-4 at the plate with a run scored and a run batted in, while freshman pitcher Grant Weyer walked four and struck out two in a complete-game victory.

“It feels good to end that losing streak – there was a lot of pressure building up,” Boice said. “With Grant, that was a heck of a performance for a freshman. We’ve been looking for some pitching and finally we got some.

“I was impressed with his composure. When they got runners on base, he never really got out of control. He trusted his defense and we made the plays we needed to.”

Ritchie County’s Alex Lipscomb, who entered in relief for starter Tyler Reed in the bottom of the fourth inning, couldn’t find the strike zone and was charged with three runs in one-third of an inning after walking three of the four batters he faced.

Rebels coach Dan Vanoy made numerous trips to the mound after utilizing five different pitchers.

“I’ll have to go rub out my calves tonight,” joked Vanoy. “Actually, our pitching had been getting it done. You have those days, I guess.”

During the early portion of the game, Ritchie County and Parkersburg Catholic were involved in a see-saw affair. Orlando Burgy’s RBI single with two outs in the top of the first inning staked the Rebels to a 1-0 lead.

PCHS answered right back with a single run in the home half of the first inning when Payton Sturm drew a bases-loaded walk for a 1-1 tie. Reed avoided further damage with an infield fly and a strikeout looking.

The Crusaders, who stranded 14 baserunners for the game, left the bases loaded once again in the second inning without scoring.

The Rebels countered with the go-ahead run in the third when Rayce Bolin singled home Seth Cottrill.

Again PCHS proved resilient in the bottom of the third inning. With runners on first and second base and two outs, the Crusaders’ No. 9 hitter in the lineup stepped to the plate. On a full-count offering, Andrew Cinalli singled to right field to drive in Kyle Bronski. The outfielder failed to come up with the ball cleanly and Mike Hinton crossed home plate to put the Crusaders in front, 3-2.

Ritchie County broke through for 11 hits against Weyer, including an RBI single from Reed which plated Dylan Frye with two outs in the fourth inning to tie the game at 3.

In the Crusaders’ half of the fourth inning, walks became the norm as two different Rebel pitchers combined for a total of six free passes. Kyle Bronski’s RBI single was the lone hit in the four-run outburst.

Working with a comfort zone, Weyer allowed an unearned run in the fifth inning to complete the scoring for Ritchie County. Otherwise, the right-hander was able to escape a two men on, one-out situation in a scoreless sixth inning and allow just one base hit in an otherwise routine seventh inning.

“Grant is usually around the zone – he just needs to build up a little bit of arm strength,” PCHS coach Tom Harvey said. “He was definitely on a short leash there in the sixth inning. I’m glad he got himself out of the jam then finished the game for the complete game.”

PCHS, meanwhile, tacked on two runs on an infield error in the fifth and a solo run in the sixth when Boice singled home Jake Ullman.

The only time Boice failed to reach base occurred on a 10-pitch at bat which resulted in a fly out.

“I was trying to be aggressive at the plate,” Boice said. “We left a lot of runners on base, which we need to fix. But my approach is always to get a hit.”