Post 15 wins 12-inning battle over Elkins in state opener
WHEELING — Kyle Moore recorded the final four outs for the win, Eli Reeves delivered the go-ahead sacrifice fly in the top of the 12th and Parkersburg Post 15 survived Elkins Post 29, 4-1, here Wednesday at the JB Chambers I-470 Complex in the opening round of the West Virginia state American Legion baseball tournament.
“I am exhausted. I don’t know how the kids did it, but they did it,” admitted Post 15 manager Mike Goodwin, who watched starter Colin Bryant work eight innings with one walk and nine strikeouts in a no-decision.
The victory propels Post 15, which improved to 19-7, into today’s 6 p.m. winner’s bracket game versus Wheeling Post 1, which handed South Charleston Post 94 a 5-2 setback. In the other game, Bridgeport Post 68 survived Riverside Post 95, 1-0.
In an affair that lasted longer than three hours, Parkersburg ended up stranding 10 runners on base through the first seven frames.
“The kids never did panic, especially being the visitors,” Goodwin added. “You always worry about the opposing team scoring in the bottom of the inning. Our pitching came through and we were very resilient.
“The kids never got nervous. I know that’s crazy to say. They never got tight in each of those bottom innings from the fifth on. If you think about it, that’s seven innings of we could’ve lost. That to me is the story.”
Post 15 struck first in the second inning. Despite loading the bases thanks to a Dustin Corley base on balls, Brodie Wiggins reaching on an error following a bunt and Izek Baldwin bunting for a hit, the only run came via a Ben McPeek fielder’s choice RBI.
Elkins managed to tie it up thanks to a Gage Bibey run-scoring single in the fifth. However, Post 29, which plays Riverside at 10 a.m. today in an elimination contest, didn’t score again.
“Our pitching was solid and kept giving our offense a chance and finally things broke through in the 12th and we got three runs scored and provided plenty of cushion for the bottom of the 12th,” Goodwin said.
McPeek led off the 12th with a single and after he was bunted to second, Brett Haskins singled to put runners on the corners with one out. Reeves’ sac fly gave Post 15 a 2-1 lead. Corley, who went 3 for 5, then laced his second three-bagger of the contest to plate Haskins. Wiggins followed with a run-scoring double.
Andrew Manley, who Post 15 was hoping to pitch today, had to work 2 2-3 innings in relief and can’t throw again until Friday.
Nic Menarchek joined Haskins and Baldwin with two hits apiece.
“We had our chances, but we couldn’t get a big hit to produce the runs otherwise we could’ve done it in seven innings,” added the skipper. “We did have our chances. We just could not capitalize with runners in scoring position, but again, I can’t stress it enough; the kids didn’t panic and kept battling and I used 13 kids today. I used the whole bench pretty much. It took a team effort. I’ll say that much.”
Goodwin said he needed to talk with the coaching staff because a decision on who to start versus Post 1 is yet to be determined.
“There is a cost to this game and the cost of this game is I can’t pitch Manley,” Goodwin noted. “He has to have a day of rest because he was under 45 pitches. I stopped him because if he got to 45 he would’ve had to wait two days so that’s why I had to pull him out. The cost of this win is we have to go with another stater. I need to think abut it. The kids need rest, going to unwind tonight (in the hotel), get some fluid and food in them. “