Parkersburg wins wild one over Warren, 15-10

JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times Warren’s Chase Weihl, left, fields a throw at first as Parkersburg’s Nate Erhard dives into the bag during a high school baseball game Thursday in Vincent.

VINCENT — Five-run baseball games aren’t typically very entertaining, but Parkersburg’s 15-10 win against Warren Thursday was certainly an exception.

The Big Reds used a nine-run fourth inning to take an 11-3 lead, but the Warriors answered with a seven-spot in the sixth to get within one. PHS then tallied four insurance runs in the top of the seventh to put things away for good.

“I was disappointed we let the big lead slip away there up 11-3,” said PHS head coach Alan Burns. “We let them right back in the game, but what I was pleased with was the way they answered in the last inning and took that lead back out to 15-10. Especially here, one run isn’t enough.”

“Here,” meaning Warren’s baseball field, which is 285 feet to left field. Both teams used the short fence in left to their advantage, as PHS got a grand slam from Colby Wagner and a solo homer from Kam Mace, while Warren’s Bryce Gandee had a three-run bomb to left.

Wagner’s slam put the exclamation point on Parkersburg’s nine-run fourth. PHS entered the inning down 3-2, but Wagner’s RBI double plated Blake Casto to tie it. PHS tacked on four more runs, thanks in part to Warren miscues, to make it 7-3 when Wagner, for the second time in the inning, stepped up with the bases full and two out. He tagged an offering from Warren’s Drew Huffman well over the fence in left-center to make it 11-3.

PHS lefty Andrew Herrod, in just his second start of the season, put zeroes on the scoreboard the next two innings and it seemed as though the Big Reds would cruise to victory.

“That’s only the second time he’s pitched,” Burns said of Herrod. “We were trying to get two or three innings out of him, and he goes five.

“He gets to the third and says ‘I’ve got another one.’ Gets to the fourth, and ‘I’ve got another one.’ So he felt good. That was good for him.”

But Herrod ran into some trouble in the bottom of the sixth. Warren quickly loaded the bases with no outs and Burns called on James Hickel in relief. Hickel walked Levi Tucker to bring in a run and then got Max Hapney to ground to second, but an error allowed another run to cross. Tanner Neal’s two-run double made it 11-7 and prompted PHS to bring in closer Kyle Goodwin, who was battling strep throat. The first batter Goodwin faced was Gandee, the three-hole hitter, who yanked a pitch over the left field fence to make it a one-run ball game. Goodwin then got out of the inning without further damage.

“I was happy that we didn’t quit, but disappointed we were in that spot (down 11-3) in the first place,” said Warren head coach Ryan Lemley. “We had an inning where we had a little trouble throwing strikes, played some bad defense and gave up nine runs. Can’t do that.”

Against reliever Brett Gandee, Parkersburg’s Kam Mace hit a one-out solo home run in the top of the seventh to give the Big Reds some insurance. That sparked a PHS rally, as three more runs came around to score to make it 15-10. Mace’s bomb gave Parkersburg long balls from their No. 7 and No. 9 hitters.

“We hit clear down through today,” said Burns, whose Big Reds evened their record at 6-6.

“You’ve got to give Warren a lot of credit because they sure didn’t give up.”

Added Lemley, “Obviously the grand slam was deflating at the time. And I thought that was a good job by their nine-hole hitter — we got down in the count and basically had to throw him a strike, and he did a good job with it.”

Mace finished with three hits while Wagner and Goodwin notched two apiece for Parkersburg, which takes on Ripley (9 a.m.) and Woodrow Wilson (2 p.m.) Saturday at Ripley. Herrod got the win on the mound, walking two in five-plus innings, while Goodwin worked two innings to get the save.

Huffman was tagged with the loss for Warren, which returns home today to play Logan. Huffman fanned three and walked three, while Gandee punched out two and walked four in relief. Tanner Proctor pitched 2-3 of an inning.

Both teams committed five errors.

“We made a lot of nice plays, but we some real bad plays as well,” Burns said.

“We have some things to work on, but that’s what practice is for.”