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BASEBALL: Big Inning Lifts Bishop Past Weir

Donahue looking to join W.Va. Class A elite clubs

April 5, 2012
By RICK THORP - Staff Writer ( , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

MOUNDSVILLE - West Virginia Class A's Region One, Section One is without a doubt loaded.

In it are Wheeling Central, last season's state champ, and Weirton Madonna, the 2010 winner.

Bishop Donahue isn't usually mentioned in the same breath as the Maroon Knights and Blue Dons, but could this be its year to rise to the occasion in Charleston?

Article Photos

Bishop Donahue’s Wylie Koontz trots around the bases after hitting a two-run home run Wednesday against Weir.

That remains to be seen. But so far Coach Bob Kleeh's squad is making plenty of noise.

The Bishops exploded for five runs in the sixth inning Wednesday to snap a 4-4 tie and top Weir, 9-4, at the Evan G. Roberts Athletic Complex.

''That's the way we've been doing things all year,'' Kleeh said after his team moved to 10-1. ''We're gonna have to earn everything we get anyways.

''These kids battle hard and have a lot of heart. I just told them to stay on a nice even keel and we'll take each game as it comes.''

Coming through when it counts has been the Bishops' Modus operandi all season. And Wednesday, they rose to the occasion more than once.

''We battle from one through nine,'' Kleeh said. ''Our top five (in the batting order) is our power. But we have a bunch of nickel and dimers from six on down that set the table.''

One of those - Ollie Parker - did just that to lead off the deciding sixth by drawing a walk.

''Ollie battled, battled and battled to get on base and set the tone,'' Kleeh said.

Austin Ghaphery followed with a sac bunt to send Parker to second.

Next, with Parker on third following a wild pitch, leadoff batter Garrett Yurisko walked. Moments later he stole second.

Kyle Gillis then stepped to the plate looking to reach base for the first time. In his first three plate appearances he flied out, struck out and grounded out.

This time, he sent a Ryan Mendenhall pitch up the middle scoring Parker and Yurisko for what would be the winning runs.

''The kids have been taking advantage of their opportunities all season,'' Kleeh said. ''Like Kyle in the sixth. It's just hard work. We'll see how the rest of the season plays out.''

The Bishops added three insurance runs in the inning to seal the deal.

''Give Bishop Donahue credit,'' Weir coach Bob Rosnick said, ''they have a nice team and do what it takes to win.

''They get the hits when they need to and they make the plays when they need to.''

The Red Riders have struggled to do both thus far.

''We're young and we make mistakes and the wrong time,'' Rosnick said. ''We had the bases loaded (in the sixth) and didn't get the runs.

''We've been in games with everyone and playing right until the end, but we make mistakes and don't do the things on offense we need to do to win games.''

The Red Riders scored two runs in the sixth, but failed to bust the game open like the Bishops did a half inning later.

Wiley Koontz led the hit parade for the Bishops, who registered a base knock in each inning. Koontz came a triple short of the cycle and put the Bishops ahead with a two-out, two-run shot in the third.

Hunter Kaschke and Alex Riedel added two hits for the Bishops, while Gillis and Riedel finished with two RBI.

William Larch had two singles and an RBI for Weir, while Mitch Viakely singled and plated two.

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