Post 15 already up and running
Goodwin and company return home at 1 p.m. today
PARKERSBURG — The Parkersburg Post 15 American Legion baseball team opened play Wednesday night and returns to Bennett Stump Field for a 1 p.m. Saturday twinbill versus Lincoln County Post 111.
Manager Mike Goodwin, who is being assisted by Jeff Thompson and Nathan Currey, enters the season with a roster size of 15.
“It feels really good to be able to represent the veterans officially and have the backing of the veterans this year,” noted Goodwin, whose starting pitching staff is likely to consist of Colin Bryant, Josh Gribble, Brodie Wiggins, Dustin Corley and Andrew Manley (DH). “It feels like the world is right, right now.”
After not having an official American Legion season last summer, Post 15 was amped to get going when they played host to Meigs Post 128 and jumped out to an early 6-0 lead through four innings.
“They scored 13 runs in one inning (top of the fifth) against us. We went through three pitchers,” Goodwin said. “We ended up coming back in the bottom of the seventh. It was absolutely crazy.”
The locals scored four in the sixth and four more in the seventh to make a winner of Wiggins, who also will play left field. Bryant, who is at W.Va. Wesleyan, only worked the first two frames and had a pair of punchouts. He’s expected to start the first game Saturday with Gribble (3B) getting the nod in game two.
“I could’ve left Colin in and won easily, but I pitched everybody intentionally,” added the manager.
“I never had a team that scored 13 runs against me (in an inning) and I’ve never had a team that scored 13 runs against me and we end up winning. These kids, we went through I felt like a whole season in one game.
“We started with great pitching and then we were up 6-0, the offense was doing pretty good and then all heck broke loose. You got to give the kids credit. They did not give up. They would not. Of course, I chewed on them pretty good. First game or not, we’re still competitive here. I don’t want to lose.”
Corley, who also will play first base, led Post 15 in the win by going 3 for 5 with a three-run bomb in the sixth and five runs-batted-in. Shortstop/pitcher Nic Menarchek finished 2 for 3 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs. Center fielder/catcher Brett Haskins also delivered a pair of RBIs. Eli Reeves, who is set to play at Ohio Valley University and will man right field and also pitch for Post 15, went 2 for 3 with a two-bagger and two RBIs.
Carter King, who the manager said “could play any of the outfield spots”, had a double and one RBI in the opener.
The Post 15 roster also features Andrew Woofter (3B/P), West Liberty signee Kyle Moore (LF/P), Colton Pepper (C), Ben McPeek (2B), Izek Baldwin (C) and utility Cameron Taylor, who Goodwin noted “can play pretty much any position.”
On Sunday, Post 15 will square off against South Charleston Post 94 in a 6 p.m. first pitch at Ripley.
Parkersburg also will be heading to Mylan Park for a tournament at the end of the month and also will travel to the annual Cambridge 4th of July tournament.
“That’s exactly the number I want,” Goodwin said of his roster size. “It’s just enough to have for a doubleheader, to be honest, and it’s not too many kids to manage. It was quite a first game test from a coaching perspective. We managed a tight game early on and everybody got relaxed and we scored six runs and we were in control.
“It took every ounce of patience and coaching to right the ship and motivate the kids to not give up and they didn’t give up so they responded. I give the kids credit for responding the way they did. They didn’t give up at all. It was more than an emotional first game than what I planned for.”
Contact Jay Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org