Parkersburg Post 15 claims Area 1 title
WHEELING — Wheeling Post 1’s offense left the bases loaded twice, its pitchers walked 10 batters and Parkersburg Post 15 took full advantage on Thursday.
Parkersburg defeated Wheeling 10-3 to earn the Area One crown at the J.B. Chambers I-470 Complex, a title that has been missing from the program for some time.
“It’s been at least 20 years since we’ve won an area tournament,” Post 15 manager Mike Goodwin said. “This is a special group. I love this team and it means an awful lot that we can bring this home to the veterans of Wood County. That’s who we play for and that’s what we’re about — the veterans. I’m excited to take the plaque down to the post.”
Both Wheeling and Parkersburg advance to next week’s state tournament, which also will be held at the I-470 Complex.
Zac Taylor led off the game for Wheeling with a single and scored when Brodie Selmon drew a bases-loaded walk to give Post 1 an early 1-0 edge but with one out and the bases loaded, back-to-back strikeouts by Parkersburg left-handed pitcher Colin Bryant ended the threat.
Post 15 used that momentum and tallied two in the bottom of the first on a two-run knock by Cam Taylor and never looked back.
Parkersburg (18-7) added two more in the second on a Dustin Corley RBI single and an error.
Wheeling managed to cut the deficit in half in the third when Seth Hand dropped an opposite field RBI single into right but, again, with the bases loaded and just one out, a double play ended the frame.
“We didn’t pitch great and didn’t hit with runners in scoring position,” Wheeling coach Jon-Michael Brunner said. “We can’t come up with the big hit right now. We have to regroup, get these guys fresh and re-evaluate who is healthy and go with who we have for next week.”
Parkersburg exploded for five in the fourth to take control of the game.
A Wheeling error, RBIs from Taylor and Carter King, plus a two-run knock from Nic Menarchek gave Parkersburg a 9-2 cushion.
“We were able to capitalize with runners in scoring position (Thursday) and that was a big difference in the game,” Goodwin said. “Our pitching got out of it and we were able to capitalize on some of their mistakes.”
Both teams tacked on a run each in the sixth.
Bryant was the winning pitcher going four innings with six strikeouts and five walks.
“Colin Bryant did well,” Goodwin said. “His velocity was good but his control got a little bit shaky a couple of different times but we worked out of the innings. Our offense really provided the cushion. Our offense helped our pitching (Thursday).”
Taylor finished with two hits and two RBIs, Corley supplied two hits and a RBI and Brett Haskins doubled in the victory.
Jack Scouvart provided the third run of the game for Post 1 on a fielder’s choice.
Although it wasn’t the outcome Brunner was looking for, he is hoping to see a little more grit from his squad during next week’s state tournament.
“Sometimes when we get down we allow one mistake to lead to two,” Brunner said. “We had four errors (Thursday). I’d like to see them get a little bit tougher. These guys can throw it and hit it but a lot of this game is between the ears. Hopefully some of those close games we had early on in the season will click in and help us next week.”