Catholic opens season with strong offensive showing

DAVISVILLE – Parkersburg Catholic opened its baseball season Tuesday with a big offensive output, piling up 15 runs including a seven-run second inning to down visiting Wirt County in a combined 20-hit slugfest by a 15-9 count at Marshall Field.

The Crusaders, though, had to break a 7-7 tie in the bottom of the fourth frame to garner the lead for good. That came after PC had jumped on top 7-1 in the second, only to see the Tigers claw back with four tallies in the third and two in the fourth.

Freshman Bryce Moore singled in two runs for Catholic in the last of the fourth for a 9-7 advantage. Then reliever Ty Sturm, another frosh, picked off two Wirt base-runners at first in the top of the fifth, and the Crusaders proceeded to score four more times in the fifth and two in the sixth to reach the 15-run mark.

Andy Thompson’s RBI gave Wirt (0-7) a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, but PC’s 7-spot in its half of the second was produced by Daniel Wolf’s RBI triple, Zach VanCamp’s RBI single, Ryan Brown’s run-scoring groundout, Logan Plummer’s two-run double, Cary Casto’s run-scoring groundout and an RBI single by Remy Toncray.

But Wirt battled back to earn a 7-7 deadlock, highlighted by a pair of successful squeeze plays for runs by Matt Murray and Seth Kerby, before Catholic scored six of the next seven runs to take control of the game.

“You could tell it was the first game for us,” said Crusader head coach Tom Harvey. “We hit the ball pretty well, although we left the bases loaded a couple times. But overall, I was pleased. It’s only our first game out, so hopefully we’ll get better.”

Plus PC is young. “We had three or four freshmen out there; they’re young, but they’re learning,” said Harvey. “And our pitching wasn’t bad and we hit the ball hard.”

For Wirt head coach Zac McCallister, “we beat ourselves again, but that’s what we’ve done all year so far. When you score nine runs, you think you’d win most any game. But errors just killed us.

“But we’ll get better if we can afford not to give up the big innings, which we seem to do at least one or twice a game.”