GLEN DALE-Shut down for six innings by Parkersburg Post 15 pitcher Cody Starcher, Moundsville Post 3's rally came up short as the hosts fell 5-1 in the opening game of a Saturday doubleheader at heat-scorched Monarch Field.
Post 3 battled back with 10 runs in the third inning of Game 2 and hung on for a 15-13 victory to forge a split.
After Starcher had retired the first two hitters in the bottom of the seventh, Moundsville loaded the bases after a double by Wylie Koontz, a free pass to Hunter Kaschke and Mark Walker's scratch single off the glove of Parkersburg third baseman Jonathan Murphy.
Jimmy Henderson then picked up an RBI infield single when his chopper up the middle was gloved by shortstop Clay Walters whose throw to first was too late to nip the hustling Post 3 leadoff hitter. Jake Lucas then stepped up to the plate and hit the first pitch to the left side of the infield and Walters turned it into a game-ending force play with his throw to second base that was taken by Lucas Goodwin.
Starcher, throwing 25 of his 114 pitches during the final inning of the hot day, went the distance on a seven-hitter, striking out seven while walking three. He was working on a four-hitter through the first six innings and stranded no more than one runner at any time until Post 3 filled the bases in the final frame.
The former Roane County pitching ace who recently finished his red-shirt season at Fairmont State University this spring. owns two victories against Post 3 this spring.
In an earlier doubleheader which saw the two talented clubs split, Starcher prevailed 12-2, pitching five innings as the game was shortened due to the 10-run mercy rule.
"Cody did a nice job both times against Moundsville," Parkersburg coach Jim Goodwin said. "He stayed ahead of the hitters for the most part before tiring a little bit because of the heat in the last inning."
Goodwin also had praise for Starcher's pitching opponent Kaschke, a rising junior at Bishop Donahue his school.
"Their kid pitched very well and kept us off balance. The big difference is we were able to convert a couple of opportunities we had to score. The middle of our lineup was able to get on base and pick up some key hits."
Kaschke also went the distance, throwing 106 pitches while allowing eight hits, striking out three and walking four. He was the victim of one big error and a passed ball that cost him two runs in the third inning.
Parkersburg's three runs were scored in the sixth and that damage could have been less if Moundsville had been able to complete a couple of tag plays on the bases.
"He pitched well but we didn't support him at bat or in the field," Post 3 coach Billy Burkett said. "To win games like this you have to be able to hit and catch the baseball."
The victory in the opener improved Parkersburg's record to 26-4 on the season, while Moundsville slipped to 20-12.
The visitors' two-run third inning started on a two-base throwing error with two outs and the bases empty. Britt Burns, the cleanup hitter, beat out an infield single, advancing Jacob Wilcox to third. Zane Marchel found the gap in center for an RBI double and Burns later scored the second run as the result of a passed ball.
Kaschke hit Burns with a pitch leading off the top of the sixth. With one out, Murphy singled to left and both runners took an extra base when Burns eluded a tag at third base. Haverty then reached across the plate on an outside pitch and flared the ball into right field for a two-run single. The final run scored as Dalton Ribeiro tripled into the right-center gap.
Moundsville 15, Parkersburg 13
In the second game, John Mirandy had two hits, including a home run, and drove in four as he helped Post 3 get even.
Lucas added a double and three RBI, while Shane Wellman and Henderson each plated two runners.