WILLIAMSTOWN – It was a good afternoon all-around for the Williamstown hardball team.
In a doubleheader against Gilmer County consisting of two five-inning contests, the ‘Jackets scored 33 runs in eight innings at the plate and allowed only one earned run and one walk in 10 innings in the field. The final scores of the games concluded at 19-0 and 14-2.
“It’s the same for every team in America; you’re a better team if your pitcher throws strikes,” summed up a pleased Yellowjackets coach Terry Smith.
Reece Westfall followed his no-hitter against Charleston Catholic on Tuesday with a four-hit shutout in the first game, and Mason Adkins surrendered only one earned run while walking none and striking out seven in the nightcap.
Gilmer coach Adrian Duelley was philosophical about the results.
“We’re very young; I pitched four sophomores today, and I’ve got two seniors total.
“We’re trying to work guys into big games. It didn’t show much today, but they’re getting better.”
An offensive explosion for Williamstown in the first game was rendered largely redundant by Westfall’s fine pitching. He scattered three singles and a double while striking out seven and walking only one for his second consecutive shutout.
He helped his cause at the plate as well, going 3 for 3 with a double and four RBIs. Landon Travis was also 3 for 3, with two doubles and four runs scored. Catcher Josh Stephens went 2 for 3 with a double, and matched Westfall with four RBIs. Five total ‘Jackets had multi-hit games as they scored 16 runs in the first two innings.
Adkins took the mound for the nightcap against Titans’ left-hander Jordan Brown. Both hurlers survived the first inning unscathed, but Williamstown struck for five unearned runs in the top of the second.
Titans center fielder Chandler Ferguson opened the inning with his second fine catch of the game, sprinting into the gap in right-center to rob Stephens of extra bases. Zac Mullenix grounded to short, but then control problems began to plague Brown.
The sophomore lefty showed promise, with solid movement on his breaking pitches, but had difficulty finding the strike zone, walking eight in the contest.
He issued back-to-back free passes to Cullen Cutright and Mullenix, and struck out DH Jarrett Masters, but the ball got away from the Titan catcher, allowing Masters to advance to first and load the bases.
Bryce Haer lined a 1-1 pitch into center field for a two-run single, sending Masters to third. He subsequently scored on a balk call. After a walk to Travis, Adkins helped himself with a two-run double into the gap in left-center to make it 5-0.
The Titans made it 5-1 in the bottom of the inning with a two-out rally of their own, Colby Cunningham singling home DH Jason Montgomery, who had reached on a fielder’s choice.
They added another in the third, Ferguson doubling to left-center to score second baseman Bryce Roberts, who had opened the inning with a single.
Adkins only gave up one hit the rest of the way. He mixed his breaking pitches well, and his control was superb, running up only one 3-ball count while issuing no walks.
The ‘Jackets blew the game open in the bottom of the fourth, scoring eight runs with Travis providing the highlight. Up with the bases loaded and two outs, he drove the ball high down the left-field line on an 0-1 count, and the only question was if it would stay fair. It did, by about four feet, for a grand slam – the senior’s third home run of the week. He finished 5 for 6 in the doubleheader with two doubles, the grand slam, seven runs scored and four RBIs.
Williamstown (5-1) continues its season on Tuesday, traveling to Ritchie County, while Gilmer County (4-5) will continue blooding its young talent in Clarksburg against Notre Dame on Wednesday.