Parkersburg Post 15 sweeps W.Va. Power

PARKERSBURG – Clayton Cottrille pitched a complete game while Devon Crews, Jordan Braniff and Cole Parker combined for 10 hits to help lead Parkersburg Post 15 to an easy 14-4 six-inning victory against the West Virginia Power in the opening game of an American Legion twinbill here Saturday afternoon at Bennett Stump Field.

The visitors, who were playing their season opener and had just 10 members with the rest of the squad at the beach on senior trips, gut a solid effort from left-handed starter Kaleb Kinder. Although he allowed nine hits in five innings of work, he was charged with just one earned run out of the six he gave up. He exited trailing 6-4 and Post 15 scored eight runs in the bottom of the sixth, while making just one out, to invoke the 10-run mercy rule.

Lucas Goodwin reached on an error and Crews, who went 4 for 4 with three runs scored and two RBIs, singled to get things going in the home half of the first. Cottrille was staked to a 2-0 cushion when Dakota Watson and Eli Gray produced RBIs.

Matt Chandler drew a one-out walk for the Power in the second and scored on Kinder’s three-bagger down the right-field line. The game was tied after J.J. Martin’s RBI groundout.

Post 15, which plays a 5 p.m. doubleheader today at Cambridge Post 84, took the lead for good thanks to a three-run second. Parker, who went 3 for 5 with a double and two runs-batted-in, got it started with a two-out single. After Goodwin reached via an error, Crews had a two-run single and Braniff (3 for 3) followed with an RBI knock to center.

The Power tallied its final runs in the third when Scooter Farmer was plunked and scored on Nelson McKown’s RBI double to deep left-center. Catcher Seth Roadcap, who walked after Farmer got hit, was halted at third, but he failed to get back to the bag in time and was eventually erased in an unconventional 8-6-5-2-5-1 rundown. Chandler’s RBI single to center scored McKown to make it 5-4, but the hosts tacked on a run in the fourth before the big explosion in the sixth.

Martin and Austin Hupp, who allowed an RBI single to Kyle Goodwin and a two-run single to Parker to close the game, managed just one out in relief of Kinder. Martin walked four before being lifted in favor of Hupp. Post 15 scored four runs via wild pitches in the sixth, one of which allowed Logan Dudley, who sang the National Anthem, to cross easily. The only other RBI in the sixth came via a Gray bases-loaded walk.

The visitors did have a trio of web gems in the contest thanks to a pair of sliding catches by Martin in left, robbing both Goodwin’s of would-be hits, and by Sam McKown in center, who managed to snag a sinking line drive off the bat of Post 15’s Adam McCray.

In the second game, Gray went 3 for 4 with two doubles and four RBIs and also pitched a complete game as Post 15 (7-1) rolled to a 13-5 triumph.

The Power grabbed an early 4-2 lead, but skipper Jim Goodwin’s club used an eight-run second to take control. McCray (3 RBIs) and Crews (2 RBIs) joined Gray and Watson in each going 3 for 4. Kyle Goodwin also came through with a pair of runs-batted-in.

Martin drove in two runs while Roadcap, a Capital High School product who was drafted in the 39th round of the MLB draft, went to 2 for 2. Sam McKown had the other runs-batted-in for the Power.