ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Defeating the winless St. Clairsville American Legion Post 159 baseball team for the second time in five days, Moundsville Post 3 pounded out 10 hits and coasted behind the steady pitching of Mitchel French to a 9-3 victory Monday night at Memorial Park.
French, the former Cameron High hurler, was tagged for 10 hits but surrended one earned run as Manager Bill Burkett's club elevated its record to 7-2. Striking out four and walking one batter, French blanked the hosts during the final five innings, stranding a total of eight runners over that span
''Mitchel pitched a good ball game and we are hitting the ball pretty well right now," Burkett said. ''We had a couple of errors but we also turned in three pretty nice double plays."
Four Moundsville hitters collected two hits each, led by Chandler Sapp's triple, single and three RBI. Todd Schmidt drove home two runs with his single, double and sacrifice fly while also with two hits were Jimmy Henderson and Ryan Hughes, the winning pitcher last Thursday when Post 3 held on for a 4-2 victory.
Disappointed that his team continues to search for victory No. 1 this season, Post 159 manager Bruce Myers also wasn't happy about some glaring mental mistakes that contributed to this loss.
''We ran into all three of those double plays," Myers pointed out. ''I thought we started out pretty good and we were right on their pitcher but then we lost focus. Physical errors are one thing, but you can't make mental mistakes against a good team, especially the way Moundsville is playing right now.''
However, St. Clairsville took advantage of a Post 3 error in the opening inning to take a 2-0 lead. With two out and nobody aboard, Tyler McGary continued his early season assault against Moundsville when he shot a hard bouncer over the first-base bag for a two-base hit.
McGary, who went 4-for-4 in last week's loss to Post 3 and finished this one with a 2-for-3 performance, moved to third when Tyler Strama reached on an infield error. Cory Kotopka then doubled into right-center scoring both runners.
Moundsville bounced right back with three quick runs in the second to take its first lead. Schmidt singled and Phillip Smith walked to open the frame. With one out, Sapp found the gap in left-center field with a line drive that carried to the fence for a two-run triple. He then scored the go-ahead run by beating the throw home on a fielder's choice.
Singles by Hunter Westlake, Zuke Jacob and Cameron Smith knotted the score at 3-3 in the bottom of the second. However, the threat died as the result of a double play when Nick McMahon hit a one-hopper to Henderson. Instead of stopping, Jacob ran into the tag by Henderson and the Moundsville third baseman then flipped the ball to Smith covering at second base to complete the rally-ending twin-killing.
In both the third and fourth innings, potential Post 59 rallies ended with runners at first being doubled off after straying too far on soft line drives caught by Smith.
Post 3 went up to stay at 4-3 in the third inning thanks to some hustle on the basepaths by Hughes. After reaching on a two-out infield single, Hughes stole second and continued all the way around to score when the ball was thrown into the outfield.
A hit batter, Schmidt's RBI double over Kotopka's head in left field, a walk and Sapp's run-scoring single highlighted Moundsville's three-run fifth inning that elevated the lead to 7-3. In the sixth inning, Post 3 concluded the scoring with three straight singles by French, Henderson and John Mirandy, followed by Schmidt's sacrifice fly.
Joining McGary with two hits each for St. Clairsville were Cameron Smith, Strama and Westlake.