Catholic bats ignite

Crusaders’ offense propels team to W in offensive show

Photo by Tyler Bennett Parkersburg Catholic’s Joel Stophel looks out at Williamstown pitcher Cullen Cutright during the Crusaders’ 11-8 Tuesday win over the Yellowjackets.

WILLIAMSTOWN — Trailing 4-0 for most of the game, the Parkersburg Catholic Crusaders were able to take the lead for the first time in the top of the sixth.

However, the Williamstown Yellowjackets regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth, only to have PC’s Peyton Amrine deliver a two-run base-hit and Ty Sturm an RBI double in the seventh.

The Crusaders were able to pull off the come-from-behind 11-8 win and the regular series sweep over the Yellowjackets Tuesday evening at American Legion Baseball Field.

“I figured it was going to be a barnburner, we needed a pretty good effort and we got it,” Catholic coach Tom Harvey said. “You are going to need it when playing Williamstown. They are good team. You never thought you could beat them. They have a lot of good players over there and good coaches, but our kids battled back.”

It wasn’t the first time Amrine gave the Crusaders (7-11) the lead. His weakly-hit fly ball that fell inbetween second base and right field scored one run in the sixth. Amrine went 4 for 5 with two doubles.

“He puts the ball in play, they pulled the infield in and he barely gets it out,” coach Harvey said. “We like him to be a little bit more patient, but if it’s working, keeping doing it kid.”

Though having a total of 13 hits, Catholic could only put the ball in play a total of three times early in the game against ‘Jacket starter Cullen Cutright, who had 10 strikeouts but also had five walks up until getting pulled in the fifth earning him the no decision.

Relief pitchers Baylor Haught and Trent Lynch, who was the losing pitcher, continued to have problems with their command, making the total batters the Yellowjackets (14-4) walked nine.

“We didn’t throw any strikes, strikes are the key. You shouldn’t win a game if you walked nine batters and we could of won the game,” Williamstown head coach Terry Smith said.

The Yellowjackets opened up the first inning with loading up the bases by a Cutright double that was sandwiched inbetween Leewood Molessa and Lynch walks.

But they only produced one run off the starter Sturm’s wild pitch.

In the second, Austyn Smith reached third after getting hit by Sturm and a bunt by Haught.

Smith crossed home off a Chase Barkley double that went between the gap between right and center field.

Brady Ankrom brought Barkley home with a triple that went off the right-field wall and Williamstown added one more run off a Sturm wild pitch.

Loading up the bases off Cutright walks and an Amrine double, the Catholic bats finally woke up in the fifth inning as Patrick Copen put three runs on the board with his bases-clearing double.

In the next at bat Joel Stophel to make it four all with his RBI single right field.

Williamstown once again took the lead right back from Catholic in the bottom of the sixth, scoring two runs with the bases loaded walk and Chase Barkley getting plunk by Strum.

Cutright had the opportunity to extend the ‘Jackets lead with what looked like a bases clearing triple but center fielder Jeb Boice made the diving grab, keeping it a two run Yellowjacket lead going into the seventh.

The Yellowjackets showed signs off making a comeback by loading up the bases with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. But Copen got Ankrom to ground out to picked up the save.

Strum was the games winning pitcher, pitching six innings and five strikeouts.