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Wood County holds on to beat Fairmont in season finale

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Colin Bryant delivers a pitch during the first inning of Wood County Legion's 9-6 victory Friday night at City Park. The lefty went seven innings, allowed four hits and one walk while striking out a dozen.

PARKERSBURG — Fairmont had the tying run at the plate in the top of the ninth, but Wood County Legion got a dominant start from Colin Bryant and a big game at the plate by Blake McMullen en route to ending their season on a winning note thanks to a 9-6 triumph here Friday night at City Park.

The left-hander recorded a dozen strikeouts in his first five innings, which included four in the second and fanning the side in the third. Aside from his 12 punchouts, Bryant worked seven innings of four-hit ball, allowed no earned runs and issued just one base on balls.

McMullen led the offense, which went just 4 for 20 with runners in scoring position, by going 3 for 5 with two runs, a steal, a triple and three runs-batted-in. Nathan Currey had two hits, including a double and one RBI while teammate Trip Barkley not only worked the final two frames on the hill but also finished 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles and a run-batted-in.

“Just really proud of the kids tonight,” said WCL manager Mike Goodwin, who no longer will have the services of McMullen, Max Anderson (out injured), Jordan Batten and Jacob Hoyt anymore. “They from the start wanted this game bad and Colin set the tone on the hill.

“Great control, command, couldn’t have asked for a better start from Colin and the kids after a couple of innings we finally broke loose with the bats. We had a nice cushion there through the end to bring it home.”

Jacob Hoyt

The locals left the bases juiced in the first after Currey had a one-out double with Batten and Eli Reeves following with free passes.

However, WCL pushed across the first run against losing pitcher Connor Saunders in the third when McMullen scored on Batten’s sacrifice fly.

The lead didn’t last long as Fairmont, which finished its season at 3-6, scored a pair of unearned runs in the fourth. Saunders reached on an error and crossed on a Cam Hines RBI hit. Vince Sabatino followed win a run-scoring single of his own.

Wood County took control of the affair via a three-run fourth and a four-run fifth, which was aided by a pair of Fairmont errors.

After Hoyt reached on a fielder’s choice and was replaced by courtesy runner Kyle Moore, a two-out walk to Brett Haskins extended things for McMullen, who smoked a two-run triple to center. Currey knocked him in with an infield RBI single for a 4-2 lead.

Blake McMullen

WCL’s advantage was 8-2 after Goodwin’s squad was done in the fifth where nine batters came to the plate. Nic Menarchek walked with one out and stole second, but relief pitcher Chance Rundle got Brodie Wiggins to lineout only to have an error extend the inning. Drew Woofter replaced Bryant at first and with runners on the corners WCL used a delayed double steal to push ahead 5-2. Woofter later scored on a wild pitch. A walk to Hoyt extended things and Barkley’s RBI double plated the courtesy runner Moore. Barkley crossed for the six-run cushion thanks to McMullen’s run-scoring single.

Menarchek added the final tally of the campaign for the locals in the sixth when he reached via an error and scored on another miscue.

Fairmont catcher Brandon Corley’s two-out RBI double in the seventh plated Hines, who reached on an error.

In the eighth, the visitors cut it to 9-4 when Sammie Yiang reached on a fielder’s choice and scored via an error.

Hines capped his 3 for 4 evening with a double and a steal of third in the top of the ninth. He scored on Corley’s one-out RBI infield single. The bases were later loaded after Gavin Hissam coaxed a two-out free pass from Barkley and Yiang reached on an infield single. Although Corley scored on a passed ball, the leadoff hitter Rundle went down on a called third strike squeezed by catcher Izek Baldwin to give WCL a final 14-13 record.

Jordan Batten

“My goal was (to play) 25 games,” admitted Goodwin, who watched Reeves get robbed of a hit in the eighth thanks to a sliding catch by Saunders in right field. “We exceeded that goal because of the kids, because of the parents, because of everybody’s willingness to work with the rules and guidelines and we did it.

“I’m so proud of these kids for doing it this year. We tried to salvage something for these seniors because they didn’t have a spring season of high school and I think we achieved that. I’m really happy.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

at Bennett Stump Field, City Park

Wood County Legion 9, Fairmont 6

Fairmont 000 200 112 — 6 8 5

Wood CL 001 341 00x — 9 9 5

WP: Colin Bryant 7IP, 4H, 3R, 0ER, BB, 12SO

Trip Barkley 2IP, 4H, 3R, ER, 2BB, 2SO

LP: Connor Saunders 4IP, 5H, 4R, ER, 6BB, 2SO

Chance Rundle .2IP, H, 4R, 0ER, 3BB

Cam Hines 3.1IP, 3H, R, 0ER, BB, 4SO

Fairmont (3-6) hitting: Saunders 1-4 R; Hines 3-4, 3R, SB, 2B, RBI; Vince Sabatino 1-3 RBI; Brandon Corley 2-4 R, 2B, 2 RBIs; Sammie Yiang 1-4 R

Wood County Legion (14-13) hitting: Blake McMullen 3-5, 2R, SB, 3B, 3 RBIs; Nathan Currey 2-3, 2B, RBI; Jordan Batten 1-3 RBI; Nic Menarchek 2R, 2SB; Drew Woofter R, SB; Jacob Hoyt 1-3, 2B; Kyle Moore 2R; Barkley 2-4 R, 2 2B, RBI; Brett Haskins R

Note: Both teams concluded their seasons.

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