South wins high-scoring game over Fort Frye

RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times Parkersburg South catcher Bryce Eagle tags out Fort Frye’s Logan Isner in the first inning during a high school baseball game Friday in Beverly.

BEVERLY — Todd Burner’s dinger proved to be a momentum changer.

After the Parkersburg South senior shortstop’s 3-run blast in the fourth inning, the Patriots never looked back en route to a 16-7 triumph over host Fort Frye High in baseball action Friday.

“The game was tied up (3-3) at that point and after that I think we settled down a little bit,” said PSHS skipper Todd Burner of his son’s home run.”

After that, the Patriots (7-2) added 10 more runs and flirted with a mercy win in the sixth inning.

“It’s just like after the home run, we just started hitting,” Coach Burner said. “We have been hitting the ball and putting it in play — and making things happen.”

Burner, the shortstop, led the South hit parade, going 3-for-5 at the plate with three runs batted in and three runs scored. Leadoff batter Ben Menarchek also had three hits and scored four runs.

Bryce Eagle, Reece Fletcher, and Drew Cochran each chipped in with a couple of hits for the winners. Eagle drove in four runs, while Chase Freshour and Brooks Utt had one ribbie apiece.

The right-handed-throwing Cochran got the mound win but needed a little help from Evan McMillion and Freshour in the late innings.

“Drew got tired,” Coach Burner said. “That’s only the second time he’s pitched this season. He pitched about two weeks ago. I thought he did all right. He just ran out of gas at the end.”

Fort Frye’s Nate Brothers was 2-for-4 and was the only Cadet batter with multiple hits. Luke Nelson and Zane Greenleaf each was credited with a pair of runs batted in, while Logan Isner and Brenden Huck each had one RBI. Tate Engle was 1-for-1 with three walks.

Cadet southpaw Devin Layton suffered the mound setback, pitching just four innings. Derek Joy, Greenleaf, Huck, and Eric Isner all threw in relief.

“We got into a substitution situation there at the end,” said Fort boss Sonny Bidwell, whose Cadets fell to 8-2 on the season. “But they (Patriots) made plays, and we didn’t quite make enough defensive plays to stay in the ballgame. And, we got behind in too many counts.

“You just can’t give a good team like that balls to hit, because they’re going to make you pay — and we also left too many guys on base.”

Freshour had a two-run double and Grant Hussey a run-scoring single to stake the Patriots to a 3-0 advantage in the top of the first.

But in the bottom half of the frame, the Cadets answered that with a three-run outburst of their own, capitalizing on a couple out South miscues and a run-scoring single by Logan Isner.

“We came back, and I was proud of them there,” Bidwell said. “We had some good things happen, and we had some bad things happen.”

With the game tied at 3-all in the top of the fourth, South’s Colin Bryant was safe on a Fort boot to start the inning. Menarchek followed with a single to right, and then Burner blasted a Layton delivery high and far over the left field fence to make it 6-3. Before the inning was over, the Patriots plated another run on Cochran’s sac fly to right.

South stretched its lead with two more runs in the fifth and four in the sixth to make it 13-3. But in the bottom of the sixth, Fort averted a mercy when it scored two runs on a bases loaded walk to Greenleaf and Nelson’s groundout.

Fort Frye is scheduled to host Buckeye Trail in a doubleheader at 11 a.m. Saturday.