Parkersburg Post 15 opens season with DH sweep

PARKERSBURG – Clayton Cottrille hurled a three-hitter and Parkersburg Post 15 plated all its runs in its final three at-bats to enjoy a 9-1 season-opening win over visiting Meigs County Post 39 in the first game of an American Legion baseball doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Bennett Stump Field in City Park.

The lanky Cottrille, a Parkersburg South product now in college at Bethany, faced just four hitters over the minimum, striking out seven and walking none. The 6-foot-6 righthander gave up a single to start the top of the fifth, then surrendered a double and single in the seventh. Two Meigs hitters also reached base on errors, one of which scored the visitors’ lone run with two outs in the seventh.

Post 15 broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth with four runs. A walk, hit batsman (one of five in the game for Post 15), and another base on balls (one of nine for Post 15) loaded the sacks with two outs before Rex Windland dumped a two-run single into right-center field. Dakota Watson followed by grounding an RBI single through the hole into left field, and Eli Gray later walked with the bases loaded again to force in the fourth run of the frame.

In the fifth, Lucas Goodwin doubled in run No. 5 and Jordan Braniff walked with the bases loaded to up the count to 6-0.

And three more Post 15 tallies in the sixth hiked the run advantage to 9-0. Lucas Goodwin drove in a run on a fielder’s choice putout at second, Kyle Goodwin singled in another and Braniff was plunked for the third time in the game, this time with the sacks jammed yet again for Post 15’s final score.

“Clayton did a great job out there pitching,” said Post 15 manager Jim Goodwin. “He was probably getting a little tired, but he still said he could go, so we stuck right with him.”

And “hitting-wise, once we got through the rotation, we were ready,” Goodwin added, as Post 15 had seven of its nine hits from the fourth inning on. “Plus, we were solid defensively. So it was a good win for us to open the season with.”

Then in the second game Saturday, Post 15 scored a combined 10 runs in the fourth and fifth innings to post a 13-3, five-inning triumph over Meigs to sweep the Legion twinbill.

It was 3-3 going to the bottom of the fourth when Post 15 tallied four times, then tacked on six more in the fifth with Cary Casto knocking in the game-winning run to halt the proceedings.

Cole Parker paced the Post 15 bat attack, going 2-for-4 with a double, triple and five RBIs.

Eli Gray was the starter and winner for Post 15, pitching the first four innings before Logan Dudley worked the fifth.