Eagles beat ’Cats
WATERFORD – Belpre erupted for nine runs in the top of the fifth inning and then relied on the right arm of starting pitcher Tavian Miller as the visiting Golden Eagles scored a 9-1 victory over the Waterford Wildcats in a Tri-Valley Conference battle Wednesday.
Miller tossed a three-hitter and Brennen Ferrell and Mike Simoniette each collected key hits in a fifth inning that saw the Eagles send 14 hitters to the plate.
“Our bats have been sleeping here lately but they woke up tonight,” said Belpre head coach Terry Mullen of the big offensive outburst. “I knew our kids were capable we just haven’t been able to hit much lately. Hopefully now we can keep things rolling.”
For the first four innings of the game it was quite a pitcher’s duel between Miller and Devin Farley and Cameron Bosner for the Wildcats.
Waterford scored their lone run of the game off of Miller in the opening inning when center fielder Cody Paxton singled in Isaac Huffman for a 1-0 lead.
Farley held the Belpre offense in check by tossing three scoreless innings before giving way to Bosner who retired the Eagles in order in the top of the fourth.
Waterford head coach Chad Augenstein elected to bring on Clay Hayes in relief to start the fifth inning and the Belpre bats jumped all over the Wildcat freshman as eight of the first nine hitters in the inning crossed the plate.
Ryan Epperly, Miller and Chayse Hostottle each collected run scoring singles in the fifth and Simonigette chipped in with a two- run single.
Ferrell, batting ninth in the Eagles batting order, put an exclamation point on the big inning with a bases clearing, three-run double.
Staked to the big lead, Miller was outstanding on the mound the rest of the way allowing just a two-out sixth inning triple to Mitch Ginther.
Belpre improved to 7-10 on the season while the loss was the eighth in a row for the Wildcats and dropped their season mark to 6-9.
Both teams will return to action Friday as Belpre hosts Southern and Waterford makes the trip to South Gallia.
Belpre 10, Waterford 8
The Belpre Lady Eagles jumped out to an early 10-0 lead and then fought off a tenacious Lady Wildcat comeback bid to chalk up a 10-8 win.
Belpre scored a pair of runs in the first, two more in the second and then chased Waterford starting pitcher Lauren Hill by scoring five times in the top of the fourth as they threatened to score a mercy rule victory over the Lady ‘Cats.
Destiny Bell collected an RBI single in the first inning and a three-run double by Bri Elkins in the second led the early Belpre charge.
Run scoring singles by Kaylee Dye and Kaity Hager and a two-run double by Kelsey Pratt in the fourth inning gave the Eagles what appeared to be a comfortable 10-run lead.
A two-run double by Waterford third baseman Cierra Heiss in the last of the fourth began the Wildcat comeback and an infield ground out and another RBI single by Heiss in the sixth trimmed the Belpre lead to 10-4 heading to the final inning.
After Lindsay Arnold held the Eagles scoreless in the top of the seventh, the Wildcats got a run scoring double by Nicole Neslein to make it a five-run game.
An infield single by Alana Heiss and a walk loaded the bases for Cierra Heiss and once again the Wildcat senior delivered as she drove a three-run triple to the fence in right center field to cut the lead to two and bring the tying run to the plate.
Cierra Heiss finished the game a home run shy of the cycle while knocking in six runs.
Dye pitched all seven innings for Belpre and got Chelsey Straight to ground out to third base to end the game and put an end to a valiant Wildcat comeback attempt.
Waterford slipped to 6-8 with the loss, while the Golden Eagles improved to 6-15 on the season.
Belpre will host Southern Friday while the Wildcats host Fort Frye Lady Cadets today.