St. Clairsville sweeps twinbill with Post 15

PARKERSBURG – Versatility was the key for St. Clairsville Post 159 at Bennett Stump field on Saturday afternoon.

In the first game, Post 159 right-hander Kyle Anderson tossed a no-hit gem in outduelling Parkersburg Post 15’s Zach VanCamp for a 2-0 win, and the bats came emphatically to life in the nightcap, as St. Clairsville racked up thirteen hits in a five-inning, 12-1 victory for the doubleheader sweep.

When asked if Saturday’s performance was his first American Legion no-hitter, the broadly grinning hurler exclaimed, “It’s my first no-hitter ever!”

Allowing only two walks and two hit batsmen, Anderson struck out seven and induced nine ground-ball outs and three pop-ups. He ran up three-ball counts to only three hitters in the game.

“I was trying to work ahead for strikes and get the ball down the middle. I got most of the ground balls on change-ups.”

It was a highly unlucky loss for Parkersburg Catholic righty VanCamp, as he allowed only a pair of unearned runs in the fifth. He gave up four hits and four walks in six innings’ work, while striking out four.

“We just didn’t hit that first pitcher; he had us on our heels,” said Post 15 manager Jim Goodwin, who in spite of the result, was happy with his starter’s performance.

“I pointed out to (VanCamp) that neither of his runs were earned. He worked through several different jams, and got out of them until the fifth.”

VanCamp allowed a pair of hits in the second, but struck out the side to escape, and coaxed a shallow fly to right and a groundout to leave leadoff hitter Nathan Steele stranded at third in the third. With the bases loaded and one out in the fourth, he induced a grounder which third-baseman Kyle Goodwin and catcher Hunter Thompson turned into a textbook 5-2-3 double play.

However, the Houdini act only lasted so long. In the fifth, Steele reached on an error, and singles by Eric Banal and Tyler Ramsay loaded the bases with one out. Third baseman Zac Clark drew a 3-2 walk to score Steele, and second baseman Tino Kusic hit a sacrifice fly to center to plate Banal.

St. Clairsville graphically illustrated how well VanCamp had pitched in the first game by hammering the ball from top to bottom of the lineup in the nightcap. After scoring three runs on a pair of hits in the first, Post 159 hit for the cycle in the second in adding four more. Second baseman Steele led off the frame with a towering double off the fence in left center. A sharp single up the middle by Banal made it 4-0, and brought first sacker Tyler Ramsay to the plate. He smashed a high drive to left on an0-1 pitch from Post 15 starter Ty Flowers which left the yard and bounced across Race Street for a two run blast.

Goodwin summoned Blaine Thornburg, who had pitched the final inning of game one, to the mound, and he was greeted by a triple into the left center field gap by right fielder Brandon Ducker. Ducker scored on an RBI groundout for a 7-0 lead after two.

A five-run, five-hit outburst in the third put the game firmly in mercy-rule territory for St. Clairsville. RBI singles by Clark and left fielder Nick Blyeu, and a two-run single through a drawn-in infield by Mason Ramsay did most of the damage.

Post 15 did get a consolation run in its half of the third. Ty Flowers, who had singled in the first for Post 15’s first base knock of the day, hit a 1-1 pitch from St. Clairsville starter Lucas Lloyd into left center for what looked to be a routine double, but the speedy center fielder turned on the jets, rounded second and stretched it to a triple. Kyle Goodwin lined a sacrifice fly to left to bring him home.

Flowers also provided a defensive gem in game 2, making a fine catch on the dead run in deep left center to deny Banal extra bases in the fourth. Goodwin praised his center fielder after the contest.

“Ty Flowers is very dependable and fast. He knows the game and utilizes what he has with his feet.”

“I thought we came out better in the second game,” Goodwin continued, “but we’re short on pitching. We’re learning a bunch, and getting better.”

Post 15 has the opportunity to bounce back today, as they take to the road for a doubleheader against Meigs County Post 128 beginning at 1 p.m.