GLEN DALE - John Marshall supplied the gasoline Tuesday, and Parkersburg South lit the fire and torched Coach Bob Montgomery's team at Monarch Field.
The Patriots took advantage of four errors and 12 walks by a trio of Monarchs pitchers, splashed a few timely hits into the mix and stole seven bases to come away with an 11-4 victory.
Combine that with a complete-game effort from starting pitcher Jacob Braniff, who was masterful with his curveball whether ahead or behind, which wasn't often, in the count, and it's easy to see why John Marshall's eight-game winning streak came to an end.
Parkersburg South’s Braxton Johnson (25) steals second base as John Marshall’s Johnny Cochran (24) leaps for a throw.
Photo by Shawn Rine
''That's the way we need to play to win games,'' South coach Matt Null said. ''We hit one home run last year and we have that whole unit back.
''We have to be able to move runners, run, steal, bunt - all those things in order to win games.''
The fact the Patriots (8-5) had a run taken off the board in the first when a ball hit down the left-field line eventually was ruled out of play, ended up being nothing more than a footnote.
The Monarchs (9-7) jumped in front 2-0 right off the bat when Jake Lucas scored on a wild pitch and Todd Schmidt tripled home Josh McKown, who had singled. That was about as good as it got for John Marshall, however.
Parkersburg South sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six runs on three hits in the third to take control. The uprising saw a pair of errors, two hit batsmen, two walks and RBI singles by Adam McRay, Jordan Braniff and Clay Walters.
''We're not super duper (enough) to take a day off every now and then,'' Montgomery said. ''It will show and we'll get burnt.
''We're like everyone else. We're in the mix, but we have to come to play.''
The Monarchs got a pair back in the bottom of the inning went Schmidt sent a 1-1 Jacob Braniff offering over the left-center field fence to make it 6-4. He finished with three hits and drove in three.
''That's a big plus out of (this),'' Montgomery said. ''At times a little bit of a struggle this spring, but I still think he has 20 hits.
''A little power every now and then helps.''
McRay walked with the bases loaded to drive in a run in the fourth and the Patriots tacked on a couple more in the fifth on a two-run Brad Brubaker single into right field.
''It's a seven-inning game and our kids knew it,'' Null said. ''We had a 2-0 lead on them at our place and they came back to beat us 10-2. You've got to play every pitch.''
From that point on, Jacob Braniff put it in cruise control. He only struck out three, but had everyone in the Monarchs lineup not named Schmidt, off-balance.
''He's developed into a pretty good starter for us,'' Null said. ''That's the longest outing he's had - 95 pitches.
''He did a good job coming out and throwing two out of three pitches for strikes. He got ahead of a lot of hitters early and we played some good defense, too.''
The Patriots tacked on the final two runs when Braxton Johnson, who singled and stole four bags, walked with the bases loaded. Jacob Wilcox added a sacrifice fly that was caught in foul territory behind first base.
Shane Wellman didn't make it out of the third and suffered the loss. He walked three.
''Shane coming in was 0.67 ERA, so he'll be back,'' Montgomery said. ''We've walked a lot of people all spring.
''We had a couple nice ballgames and then it came back to haunt us (Tuesday).
''We've got to do a better job of getting the ball in play and at least giving us a chance on defense.''