PARKERSBURG - Rallying back from a 5-0 deficit, host Parkersburg Post 15 got within a run, but no more in falling 6-5 to the top team in Area 3, South Charleston Post 94, in the first game of an American Legion baseball doubleheader Wednesday night at Hank Greenburg Field.
But before Post 15, now 21-15, began its comeback, it left nine runners on base through the first four innings, including twice with the bases loaded.
The game was still scoreless until the top of the fifth frame when Post 94 put up a 5-spot on the scoreboard. Four straight one-out hits - two doubles, a triple and a single - produced three runs, and another triple drove in runs 4 and 5 in the inning.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg American Legion Post 15's Logan Dudley slides into second base as South Charleston Post 94's Ace Estep delivers a throw during a force play Wednesday.
Post 15, though, knocked that margin down to 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth. Devon Crews led off by smacking a ground-rule double down into the right-field corner and Eli Gray followed with a walk. Then South Charleston's catcher tried for a pickoff at second base, but threw the ball into center field, allowing both runners to move up a base to second and third.
An out later, a batted ball right at the second baseman was bobbled for an error and rolled out into short right field to plate both runners.
Post 94 got a run back in its half of the sixth on a double, walk and two singles to lead 6-2 before Parkersburg got three tallies in the last of the sixth.
Rex Windland lined a leadoff single into center field, Dakota Watson dropped in a double just fair down the right-field line and Jordan Braniff drove them both home by bashing a triple over the right fielder's head to the base of the outfield fence. Later in the inning, Cole Parker hit a sacrifice fly to center to make it just a one-run affair.
In the bottom of the seventh, Post 15 got a leadoff infield single from Logan Dudley on a slow roller toward shortstop who had to charge in, but couldn't field it. But three outs in a row ended Parkersburg's chances.
"We stranded too many runners without scoring in the first four innings," said Post 15 head coach Steve Fleak. "We just didn't do the job we needed to do offensively early in the game, and that turned out to be the difference in the ball game."
In Wednesday's nightcap, Evan Potter spun a five-inning no-hitter as South Charleston blanked Post 15, 10-0, to sweep the twinbill. Riley Metz led a 10-hit Post 94 attack, going 3-for-4 with a double.
Parkersburg next plays its final regular-season games in a 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday at Beckley Post 32 before starting Area 3 tournament action next week,