Diamond Doldrums

PARKERSBURG – Brighton right-hander Jack Watson recovered from a tumultuous 33-pitch first inning and then settled down Thursday afternoon at Hank Greenburg Field as the junior tossed a six-hitter en route to helping the Barons from New York post a 6-2 victory against Parkersburg South.

Watson, who got some nifty plays in the field from Joey Alloco at the hot corner and by shortstop Ernie Clement, walked two and recorded six strikeouts during his 118-pitch effort.

Consecutive errors to open the affair by PSHS, which dropped to 3-9 and plays at noon today at University, led to a quick 1-0 deficit when Ryan O’Connor scored on Jesse Tesler’s RBI groundout.

However, back-to-back infield singles by Dakota Robinson and Kyle Thompson got things going for the Patriots in the bottom of the first. After Watson fanned losing pitcher Tyler Berry and cleanup hitter Alex Simon, South took the lead when Tyler Parsons blooped a two-run single to center just above the outstretched glove of a leaping O’Connor at second.

Watson, who ended the first by whiffing Damon Gandee to actually strike out the side, retired 12 of the next 14 Patriots after Parsons’ hit. Dylan Cress reached with one out in the second on a free pass and the hosts didn’t have another runner on base until Cress started the fifth by reaching on an error. In the second, Alloco had three assists.

Things started to go awry for Berry in the third when No. 9 hitter Ryan Brown opened the frame by lacing a triple to the wall in left-center. Clement followed with an RBI single to center to tie the game. O’Connor then produced a single to left, but Tesler hit into a double play when he flew out to Robinson, who then fired from left field to Josh Hall. The Patriot third baseman kept the tag on Clement, who was called out after he slid off the bag.

With O’Connor on first, disaster struck as Ryan Lawrence came through on a hit-and-run. Berry, who in the first had picked off Clement, appeared as though he wanted to go to first, but instead threw a floating pitch to Lawrence, who singled to right as O’Connor raced home to give the Barons the lead for good at 3-2. Following a single by Alloco, a double steal and Jack Klem getting hit by a pitch, Berry walked Luke DuBois on five pitches with the bases loaded and trailed 4-2.

Clement doubled to start the fourth, went to third on an error and made it 5-2 Barons when Tesler produced a run-scoring single.

Brighton, which improved to 5-2, tacked on a run in the sixth when Brown started things with a single. After stealing second, Lawrence delivered his second RBI single.

Parsons and Gandee had consecutive one-out singles in the sixth, but Watson retired Josh Wells and Cress to get out of the jam.

Josh Hall opened the bottom of the seventh by drawing a walk, but he was erased when Robinson hit into a 6-4-3 double play that ended with a nice scoop by Lawrence at first. Watson ended his complete game by getting a called third strike on Thompson.