A change of scenery didn’t shake Parkersburg Post 15, as its game against Marietta Post 64 was moved to Pioneer Park on a day’s notice. The bats came out hot in a 13-6 triumph, as both teams are preparing for upcoming tournament action in the next week.
Colin Bryant took the mound for Post 15, and he got the win by only pitching the opening four innings. Mop up duty in the final innings went to Kyle Moore, as Bryant left with plenty of run support on the verge of a mercy-rule victory. Bryant had some work to do early on, since a pair of Post 64 runs came across as the result of a dropped fly ball in the outfield during Noah West’s first at-bat. That happened in the second, and Bryant was not shaken. He buckled down and did not allow an earned run during his start. It was all according to Post 15 skipper Mike Goodwin’s plan.
“That was the key. Colin Bryant set the tone early in the game,” he said. “Offensively, we were knocking the crap out of it. That gave us the cushion. We have a lot of confidence, but we don’t take anything for granted. I tell them that all the time.”
Dustin Corley led the charge for Post 15, and he rocketed a Morton pitch to deep right for an RBI triple that sent pinch-runner Drew Woofter home. That shot off the wall paid dividends, as a Carter King sac fly plated him to tie the game at 2.
Morton’s struggles continued when he surrendered an RBI to Brodie Wiggins, and he hit Eli Reeves with a pitch to bring in one more run in the frame to make it 4-2. Fortunately for the Post 64 starter, he limited the damage when he got Izek Baldwin to groundout. That ended the threat, but Baldwin and company came back with more hits in mind.
The end of the line for Morton came after three more runs came across. However, a pair of those were unearned due to two errors in the infield. With the game getting out of hand, Post 64 needed a quick rally. When Tyson Moore entered the game in relief, Parkersburg just picked up where it left off. Moore plunked two Post 15 batters and walked three more in his appearance, as the likes of Baldwin (who roped a 2-run double), Cam Taylor, Andrew Manley (who walked in a run) and Ben McPeek all provided run support. That’s when Marietta found itself down 13-2 with two outs in the top of the fifth. One more out meant the ballgame would have been called, but Larry Hiser’s bunch had other ideas. Although, Post 64’s rally came too late, coach Hiser saw his team’s effort as a momentum-builder. A four-run fifth staved off the mercy rule, as he reflected on the two-out magic.
“That’s what you have to do, not rolling over,” he said. “We didn’t get the outcome we wanted, but we still competed for the length of the game. That’s where you’ve got to start everything from. The whole game really starts on the mound, and we gave away too many outs. We sensed we could do something against (Moore). We didn’t get that sense against (Bryant).”
To Moore’s credit, he settled into his role after Post 64 extended the contest, but the de facto visitors did not go down without a fight.
Dakota Miller started the barrage of runs after West and Jake Rose got on base. A 2-run triple broke the 10-run mercy rule, as the score stood at 13-4. The following at-bat saw Austin Holdren hit a line drive down the third base line to bring home a fifth Marietta run, and Hayden Pelletier hit a shot back up the middle to score the last run of the ballgame. After all that, Moore did not allow another hit and retired seven of the next eight hitters he faced. The defensive play of the game came in the sixth,when Carter king robbed Max Castro of extra bases with a diving catch in the outfield. That was the exclamation point needed for Parkersburg to bring home the victory.
Post 15 (13-6) is back in action today when it travels to Morgantown, while Post 64 (13-20) begins district tournament play on Monday. The squad was supposed to play Barnesville on Sunday, but a forfeit now sets Marietta up on a date with Cambridge in the next round.