Post 15 pitchers, bats key sweep

Parkersburg Post 15’s Wade Garrett pitches during an American Legion baseball game Saturday against Athens Post 21. Photo by Steve Hemmelgarn.

THE PLAINS — Wade Garrett twirled a three-hitter on a sultry afternoon and Parkersburg Post 15 scored in all but two innings here Saturday to post a 9-1 American Legion baseball victory over host Athens Post 21 in the first game of a doubleheader at Athens High School.

The contest, though, was close until a five-run sixth inning for Post 15 that propelled the visitors into a commanding 8-1 lead.

A leadoff walk by Jack Hadley was followed by an error as the ball was dropped on a fielder’s choice try to tag out Hadley going to second base to put two on. Ty Flowers then lined a single into left field to load the bases and Hunter Thompson walked to force in a run.

After a pitching change for Post 21, Kyle Goodwin greeted reliever Zane Wolfe by singling to center to tally two more runs, making it 6-1.

Nate Curtis added his third hit of the game, singling in a run, but got caught in a lengthy rundown between first and second, allowing not only Goodwin to advance to third, but also to come home as well by Curtis continuing to be able to keep the rundown alive.

In the top of the severth, Thompson singled in Post 15’s final run of the twinbill opener.

Meanwhile, Garrett completed his complete-game effort with seven strikeouts and just two walks as Athens’ lone run was unearned.

A leadoff single, stolen base and a throwing error plated Athens’ only run in the bottom of the first frame. And despite hitting a batter and waking one too, Garrett still struck out the side, and faced just 21 batters the rest of the way — only three over the minimum.

“Characteristically, once Wade gets through the first or second inning, he’s fine,” said Post 15 manager Mike Goodwin. “He’s a horse. Just get him going, let him throw and he gets better as the game goes on.”

Curtis, who went 3-for-3 with four RBIs, also singled in a run in the first, was hit by a bases-loaded pitch to plate a second-inning tally and had an infield single in the fifth to score Kyle Goodwin, who had doubled and took third base on a wild pitch.

The top of the batting order for Post 15 was 8-for-13 with eight RBIs. “Ty Flowers, at lead off, is hitting the ball really well,” said Mike Goodwin. “He gets on base and either Hunter, Kyle, Nate (Curtis) or Wade knock him in. Our first four or five guys are really seeing the ball well right now.”

In game two, Curtis twirled a five-hit shutout and recorded 11 strikeouts without issuing a free pass.

Josh Stephens went 2-for-4 and blasted a solo home run in the third as Post 15 scored at least one run in every frame en route to a 10-0 six-inning mercy-rule triumph.

Max Anderson finished 3-for-4 with a double and a run-batted-in while Goodwin also went 3-for-4 with a two-bagger and two RBIs. Curtis and Blake Casto also had two hits apiece.

Post 15 will put its 9-3 record on the line with a 1 p.m. twinbill today versus Wheeling Post 1 at the I-470 sports complex.