South in driver’s seat after 10-4 win vs. Ripley

Photo by Tyler Bennett Ripley catcher Tyler Haskins attempts to make a catch during a high school baseball sectional game against Parkersburg South Friday. South won, 10-4.

RIPLEY — Parkersburg South scored five runs off four Ripley errors, Nathan Currey had a blast over the left-fence in the second inning and the Patriots won 10-4 during the first game in the best-of-three series for the Class AAA, Region IV, Section 1 title Friday evening at Viking Park.

Patriot senior Nick Yoho was in a grove all evening. The catcher went 3 for 4 with a leadoff double in the first and an RBI single in the seventh.

Yoho also crossed home on a Drew Cochran sac fly in the first, giving South the early 1-0 lead.

Leading 3-2 going into the fourth, South scored three runs off uncharacteristic errors by catcher Tyler Haskins and second basemen Gage Songer, which made it a 7-2 South lead.

The Viking bats responded in the next inning, making it a three-run lead with Davis Haynes and Haskins going over the fences in the fourth.

Still leading 7-4 in the top of the seventh, Cochran, who singled in the fifth, led off the last inning with a two-bagger to center field on the first pitch he saw from Vikings relief pitcher Andrew Manley.

That kick-started a three-run inning for the Patriots, putting the lead out of reach for the Vikings.

“That’s why we tried to tell the kids to put the ball on the ground and try to let the other team make a play. Early in the season, we were hitting too many fly balls so we came preaching, just put the ball in play,” Patriot head coach Todd Burner said.

“We came out hitting the ball pretty good and we always play back-and-forth with Ripley. South and Ripley always play good competitive games against each other and we were preaching that when we were up two, three runs.”

The winning pitcher for South was starter Chase Dunbar, going five innings, allowing seven hits, three earned runs, two walks and a game-high six strikeouts.

Cochran relieved Dunbar in the sixth, allowing no hits, one strikeout, and a walk before Eli Reeves was brought in for the game’s final out.

“Dunbar pitch pretty good, gave us a solid five innings and some key outs,” Burner said, “And Drew came in and shut it down but we had a pull him for Eli because we wanted to keep his pitch count low for the rest of sectionals.”

Hitting a respectable seven team hits and scoring four runs at the plate, the Vikings were unable to overcome four errors and a tough outing from starter Haynes.

The losing pitcher, Haynes surrendered five earned runs, nine hits and three strikeouts before skipper Shane Casto went to Manley from the bullpen in the sixth with two on base and one out.

“It was rough, we obviously didn’t play well today. Pitching missed some spots and we had some critical errors in the field,” Casto said. We hit the ball pretty well enough to win the game if those problems weren’t there, but that’s baseball. Now the good thing it’s a best of three and they can move on and forget about it.”

Game two is today at Viking Part at noon.