PARKERSBURG — Parkersburg South jumped out to an early lead and then held off a late Warren rally, as they doubled up the Warriors, 6-3 Monday evening in the first of back-to-back home and away games between the two out-of-state rivals.
Right-handers Nate Rippeto and Nick Menarchek combined on a six-hitter ,and the Patriots pounded out 10 base hits.
They improved to 3-1 on the young season.
“They (Warren) have a really good hitting team so it was great to hold them to three runs,” said Parkersburg South head coach Matt Emerick.
“We had some timely hitting and some key two strike hits so we’ve got to keep building on that.”
South touched up Warren right hander Kurt Taylor for three runs in the bottom of the second. That gave the home team take the early lead.
Catcher Bentley Kinzer got things started for the home team when he tripled, and center fielder Eli Reeves followed with a sacrifice fly to get the Pats on the board.
Brodie Wiggins followed with a solid single and came all the way in to score when Rippeto helped himself with a long double to the gap in left-center field.
One out later Menarchek singled for the second time in as many innings to push the lead to 3-0.
After Taylor rebounded to retire the Patriots in order in the third they added two more runs in the fourth to extend their lead to 5-0.
Reeves opened the fourth with a base hit and moved to second base on the lone fielding error in the game by Warren.
Ben McPeek brought Reeves in with the fourth run of the game and pinch runner Sam Hickman scored as well on a wild pitch to give Parkersburg South a 5-0 lead at the end of four.
Rippeto got out of a second inning jam when Warrior center fielder Caleb Davis was stranded at third after leading the inning off with a triple and then blanked Warren in the third and fourth innings.
The Warriors finally touched Rippeto up for a run in the fifth inning when Trent Taylor singled and came in to score on a base hit by second baseman Seth Dennis.
Rippeto’s evening came to an end in the sixth when he walked both Hunter Vincent and Derek McAfee to begin the inning and gave way to Menarchek with the tying run in the on-deck circle.
A South fielding error loaded the bases before the Warriors got an RBI fielders choice by Trent Taylor and a run-scoring single by Dalton Wiggins to cut the lead to two.
Shortstop Evan Gandee walked to re-load the bases but Menarchek got a huge out when he enticed Dennis to pop up his first pitch to right field to end the Warrior threat.
The Patriots picked up a huge insurance run in the last of the sixth as Brodie Wiggins led off with a double and came around to score on a clutch two-out knock by Menarchek, his third hit of the game.
“That was a huge run to give us a little breathing room there,”said Emerick. “That’s a great team so you don’t ever feel safe until the game is over.”
South had a chance to add another run as Grant Hussey drove a ball deep into the gap in left-center field where Davis made an outstanding diving catch to rob Hussey of extra bases and keep the South lead at just three.
“He does a great job out there so we have kind of grown to expect that,”said Warren head coach Ryan Lemley of Davis’ spectacular catch. “That was certainly a great catch.”
Kurt Taylor led off the final frame for the visitors with a base hit but Menarchek retired the next three hitters in order to end the game.
Rippeto walked two and fanned four to get the win while Menarchek fanned a pair in his two innings of work to notch the save.
“Nate was excellent today. He came out and did what we asked and threw a bunch of strikes early,” said Emerick. “He was trusting his defense and was just filling up the zone with strikes. We know both of those two are going to come in and throw strikes and they did that again today.”
Taylor was touched up for 10 base hits by the winners while walking none and striking out nine.
“I thought their starting pitcher did an outstanding job of keeping us off balance but I thought our kids did a good job of battling back,” said Lemley, whose Warriors slipped to 9-7 with the loss. “They swung the bat very well so give them some credit they beat us and we didn’t beat ourselves.”
The two teams will be right back in action today when they move to Vincent for the final game of the college-like series.