Warren baseball rallies to defeat Parkersburg, 7-5

RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times Warren’s Drew Huffman (22) scores standing up as PHS pitcher T.J. McIntosh (2) backs up catcher Nolan Brace at the plate during baseball action Wednesday at Bennett Stump Field.

PARKERSBURG — Warren shook off a shaky start with a 6-run fifth inning en route to a 7-5 come-from-behind triumph over the Parkersburg Big Reds Wednesday night in non-conference baseball action at Bennett Stump Field in City Park.

“The kids responded well after getting down 4-0,” said WHS skipper Ryan Lemley. “I was proud of them.”

While Warren righty Seth Dennis pitched four innings and got the win, reliever Kurt Taylor threw three scoreless frames to get the save.

“Kurt came in and slammed the door,” Lemley said. “He pitched a lot in relief last year, but hadn’t done it as much this year. He’s got really good stuff, and I thought he had all three pitches working today. He came in and did a good job, and the guys made plays behind him.”

Taylor also executed a clutch bunt that helped plate two runs in the 6-run fifth.

Offensively for the Warriors (10-7-1), Evan Gandee, Noah Edgell, and Dennis each had two hits. Dennis also drove in two runs, while Brett Gandee and Taylor had one RBI apiece.

Parkersburg reliever T.J. McIntosh suffered the setback on the bump. Jordan Batten started and fanned six in three innings of work. Dylan Eaton also threw in relief.

The Big Reds (11-10) were led by Max Anderson and Batten, who each had two knocks and combined to plate three runs. Nathan Lindenmuth and Austin Curtis had one RBI apiece.

PHS jumped out to a 4-0 advantage in the bottom of the first with Batten tripling home two runs, and Anderson and Curtis each driving in a run.

“We got off to great start, and then we just let up,” said Parkersburg boss Alan Burns. “We had no intensity or anything. I’m really disappointed in the effort we had tonight.”

Warren cut it to three in the third when Dennis doubled home Edgell.

In the fifth, Warren catcher Thomas Miller worked McIntosh for a walk, and Edgell followed with a single to left.

Drew Huffman was then hit by a McIntosh delivery to load the bases. After Weston Ritchie was also plunked by pitch to force in run, Dennis made it 4-3 with a sac fly to center.

Next up, Evan Gandee singled to left to drive in Huffman with the equalizer.

With Ritchie on third and Gandee on second, Taylor laid down a bunt to get Ritchie home, and when the ball was errantly thrown to first, Gandee also legged it home, making it 6-4 Warriors.

“That was a suicide squeeze,” Lemley said. “Weston at third took off as soon as the pitcher (McIntosh) committed. Weston made a nice read on it. I mean, he was three-quarters of the way down the line, and Kurt had to go down and get it. Evan, at second…we had already decided he was going as well if the ball was on the ground and the went to first. He kept on churning and also scored.”

Taylor’s bunt chased McIntosh off the hill, and Eaton was brought in.

Brett Gandee greeted Eaton with an RBI single to left, making it 7-4.

PHS got one of those runs back in the bottom half of the frame when Anderson and Lindenmuth stroked back-to-back doubles off Dennis. Relieving Dennis was Taylor, who retired the side.

In the bottom of the seventh, Taylor gave up a leadoff single to Batten and then with two outs he hit Jackson Wagner with a pitch after getting two strikes on him.

“I was trying to give it everything I had to get the strikeout,” Taylor said.

Settling down, Taylor got McIntosh to ground the ball to short at Dennis, who stepped on second for the game-ending out.

“I just had to get the job done tonight,” Taylor said. “I had great defense behind me.”

NOTES: Warren freshman center fielder Caleb Davis suffered a broken fibula on Parkersburg’s Jordan Batten’s triple in the bottom of the first inning. He’s expected to be out 4-6 weeks…So much for the home field advantage as Warren dropped a 7-5 decision to PHS in Vincent last month.