Warren falls to Parkersburg South
PARKERSBURG – Visiting Warren went 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position here Thursday at Hank Greenburg Field and Parkersburg South’s Reece Fletcher worked into the seventh during the Patriots’ 6-2 triumph against the Warriors.
Ben Menarchek had a key two-out two-run double during a four-run Patriot fourth and Cole Day recorded the final three outs to hand Warren its sixth setback of the spring against five victories for skipper Ryan Lemley.
“Credit to Fletch,” said Patriot head man Matt Null, whose 4-8 squad plays a pair of games today at the Ed Carter Memorial Tournament – at noon versus host St. Albans and at 3 p.m. against Hurricane. “He did a great job and threw a lot of strikes and kept them off-balance with some off-speed in some fastball counts.
“Menarchek, another big hit for him and we made some decent defensive plays. We wanted to give Cole a shot to close a game or two and he did a good job.”
Fletcher, who threw 109 pitches in six innings while allowing six hits and no earned runs with three walks and a quartet of strikeouts, was lifted after issuing a free pass to Warrior leadoff hitter/losing pitcher Bryce Gandee to open the seventh.
“I was thinking to myself if I walked this guy it’s over for me,” admitted Fletcher. “I was really wanting to finish it though. They (my defense) really had my back tonight.
“I had my curve working most of the time and I had my changeup working tonight. I was placing my fastball really well.”
Although Day promptly put Tanner Neal on base with a five-pitch walk, he got Jake Davis swinging and then coaxed a foul ball popup by Tanner Proctor that Patriot first baseman Nick Wright ran down. With runners on the corners, Day got Chase Weihl looking on a called third strike.
“I think South’s record is a little bit deceiving,” admitted Lemley, whose Warriors play at 5 p.m. today at Gallia Academy. “They lost a lot of close games and are a pretty good team.
“There in the fourth inning where we gave them the four spot we just couldn’t find the strike zone there for a little bit.”
South pushed across runs in the second and third frames to get ahead 2-0. Day had a one-out single in the second, swiped a base and then moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on another wild pitch. In the third, leadoff hitter Todd Burner singled to center, Menarchek put down a sacrifice and Burner eventually scored on a wild pitch.
Warren tied it in the top of the fourth. Proctor singled and scored when Trace Congleton reached on the Patriots’ lone error. No. 8 hitter Michael Greenlee made it 2-2 thanks to his RBI double to center.
Parkersburg South’s big fourth inning started with a one-out single by Day. Bryce Eagle followed with a walk and after Tyson Graham was plunked to load the bases, No. 9 hitter Nick Yoho drew a bases-loaded free pass to give the Patriots the lead for good. Burner got an RBI via a fielder’s choice and Menarchek followed with his key two-out two-bagger.
Gandee, who went 3 2-3 innings, was relieved by left-hander Drew Huffman. The freshman recorded the final seven outs, three via strikeout, and didn’t allow a base runner.