MOUNDSVILLE - While most eyes are normally focused on the 19-year-old division when the Beast of the East rolls into the Ohio Valley, there is plenty of good baseball being played in each of the tournament's divisions.
That was no more evident than Saturday morning when a group of Moundsville All-Stars shook off a pair of Friday defeats to post a hard-fought victory against the Morgantown Blue/Gold Lightning in a 14-and-under contest.
Brothers Cole and Ryan Clutter combined for three RBI while Dalton McDonald and Brett Kahl teamed up to toss a six-hitter as the All-Stars scored all the runs they needed in the fourth inning of a 4-1 victory against the Lightning at the 12th Street Fields.
Moundsville’s Jarrett Ennis leads off of second base during Saturday morning action in the Edgar Martin Beast of the East Tournament.
Photo by Josh Strope
Moundsville also defeated the Cy Young Diamondbacks, 9-3, to give Coach Chad Clutter's squad a 4-2 record heading into today's final round. Clutter, who is also the boys' basketball coach at Cameron High School, watched his baseball team win a pair on Thursday.
''We finally got a little discipline in the batter's box and hit the ball like we did on Thursday,'' Chad Clutter said. ''I was really disappointed at how we played Friday in the heat.''
Moundsville had an opportunity to break things open in the home-half of the second Saturday, loading the bases with two down, however, Morgantown starting, and losing, pitcher Zane Gallagher induced a fly ball to end the threat.
The Lightning had their first opportunity in the third, getting a leadoff single from Nathanial Shuman, who went to second on a one-out sacrifice bunt and quickly stole third. But McDonald recorded one of his six strikeouts and then got a ground ball to finish things off.
Chad Clutter's group was finally able to string some hits together and take command in the fourth. Alex Carnahan singled leading off the big inning and stole second, before scoring on Jared Ennis' RBI base hit to left that made it 1-0.
Ennis went to second on the throw home and eventually third on a dropped third strike before he scored on Ryan Clutter's safety squeeze, with Ryan Clutter also beating the throw to first.
After Ryan Clutter stole second Matt Wesolowski singled to left putting runners at the corners, before taking second on the next pitch. Both scored when Cole Clutter drilled a two-run, line-drive single past second base for a 4-0 margin.
Morgantown plated its only run in the sixth when the All-Stars had a bad break that could have had devastating consequences, but didn't. Moundsville, which had just inserted its only two substitutes into the game, had a player get injured in the field with one out and was forced to play with just eight players the rest of the way.
The Lightning took advantage with a pair of singles and a Moundsville error that allowed one run to score on Michael McCarty's base hit. The second runner was gunned down at the dish on a fine throw from center field to keep it at a 4-1 score.
The southern squad had another chance in the seventh, getting a leadoff walk and a base hit to left to put two on with none out, but Kahl got a pop-out and then fanned the next two hitters to end the threat and the game.
''We have some pretty good pitching and Dalton (McDonald) and Brett (Kahl) are our two best,'' Chad Clutter said. ''McDonald did a real good job using all four of his pitches, and Kahl got two very big strikeouts there at the end.
''Overall, this is a very nice young group of kids who can play some ball. Some of them will be freshmen next year, so I just hope that they all keep with it and continue playing.
''Things did get a little interesting in the end when we went down a player, but you have to expect them to try and take advantage of that and it was a situation that couldn't be avoided.''
McDonald went five innings, allowing three hits while fanning six and not issuing a walk while Kahl cleaned things up, giving up three singles while fanning a pair and one walking one for the save.