Patriots defeat Cadets
BEVERLY – The old baseball adage goes get them on, get them over and get them in.
The Parkersburg South Patriots executed that adage to perfection Monday night as they handed the Fort Frye Cadets a 9-2 loss in a non -conference battle at Fort Frye High School.
The Patriots pounded out 12 base hits, swiped seven bases, and took advantage of three Cadet errors to hand Fort Frye their third consecutive loss.
“We like to run. We’ve got a bunch of smaller guys and don’t play a whole lot of long ball,” said South head coach Matt Null. “We like to put pressure on the defense and were able to do that today.”
The Cadets played some small ball of their own to score twice in the opening inning to grab what would prove to be a short lived lead.
Spencer Lang led off the game by drawing a walk and stole second and brother Chandler followed with a single to right.
Casey Hall’s sacrifice moved both runners into scoring position and Derek Layton was hit by a pitch to load the bases with just one out.
Caden Brooker followed with a slow roller to short that he beat out for a single to score Spencer Lang and when the throw got away from South first baseman Wes Mitchem, Chandler scampered in with the second run of the inning.
South got one of those runs back in the top of the second when Hunter Hamilton walked and stole second and came around to score on a double by right fielder Tyler Berry.
South started Jacob Braniff on the mound and after the shaky first inning, the right hander got into quite a groove on the mound as he shut down the Cadets the rest of the way.
“He kept the ball down and kept it away from their hitters,” said Null of his pitcher. “He was very effective down the stretch.”
The Patriots drew even in the top of the third by scoring an unearned run off of Brooker, who drew the starting assignment on the hill for the Cadets.
Lead off hitter Jacob Wilcox was hit by a pitch to begin the inning and promptly stole second.
Brooker’s pick off attempt went over the shortstop’s head and into center field to advance Wilcox to third and he came home to score on a ground out by Clay Walters.
South took it’s first lead of the night with a two-run fifth inning thanks to three base hits and a pair of Cadet errors.
Mitchem and Braxton Johnson opened the inning with base hits and Mitchem came into score the go ahead run on another errant pick off throw by the Cadets.
Wilcox followed with a sacrifice fly to center field to make it a 4-2 game.
Cadet head coach Sonny Bidwell was not pleased with his teams ability to play their usually strong fundamental baseball.
“We just made too many errors at key times which moved runners along for them,” said Bidwell. “We did some positive things early on but weren’t able to continue it and then they just kind of wore us down.”
The Patriots put four more runs on the board in the top of the sixth to break open the close game and claim an 8-2 lead.
Berry and Johnson both had RBI singles in the inning and Walters delivered a clutch two-out, two-run single that capped the South rally.
Mitchem’s run scoring single in the top of the seventh made it 9-2 and Braniff silenced the Cadet bats the rest of the way.
Braniff allowed just five hits to go along with the two runs, while fanning eight batters and walking just one to claim the complete game victory.
Brooker allowed three earned runs in his five innings of pitching to take the defeat.
The loss dropped the Cadets season mark to 13-6 with a battle with the arch rival Waterford Wildcats looming today.
“All phases of the game kind of let us down at different points today,” said Bidwell. “When a team like that puts pressure on us like they did today, we just can’t give in with mistakes.”
Parkesburg South improved to 14-6 with the win as they will return home today to host the Cambridge Bobcats in a 5:30 p.m match up.
“Anytime you can come in here and beat Fort Frye its a good win,” said Null. “They are always fundamentally sound and do the right things so to get this win is a real positive.”