GLEN DALE - With the cold, snowy and wet conditions blasting the Ohio Valley in recent weeks, the high school baseball season has barely had a chance to get off the ground.
While the temperature remained below average Thursday, Parkersburg South and starting pitcher Brad Brubaker brought a little heat to Marshall County with a mid-season type performance against John Marshall.
Brubaker fired a one-hitter, throwing 58 pitches, including 39 for strikes, while Tre Jackson doubled, tripled and plated a pair of runs as the veteran Patriots rolled to an 11-0, six-inning victory against the Monarchs on a windy, chilly day at John Marshall High School.
The victory moved Coach Matt Null's squad to 4-0 on the season while Bob Montgomery's youthful Monarchs dropped to 1-1 and will play host Parkersburg in a noon doubleheader this afternoon.
"They are a very good, veteran ball club that believes they can win a state championship," Montgomery said. "They have 14 seniors and are no longer in the same region with Ripley, who they beat last week, but have struggled with in the tournament for the last few years."
While the visitors did a fine job executing the entire day, it was Brubaker, who fanned six and walked one, who was the difference maker. John Marshall's only hit came off the bat of catcher Zach Winland on an 0-2 pitch leading off the second inning.
However, after a courtesy runner was thrown out trying to tag, Brubaker faced just one over the limit.
"Bru (Brubaker) did an outstanding job locating his fastball and throwing his off-speed pitch for a strike," Null said. "He had the luxury of having multiple pitches working for strikes and was just very efficient all day. All we ask of him is to throw strikes on two of three pitches and he did that (Thursday).
The Patriots got on the board quickly on a Logan Walters leadoff double to right field, a wild pitch and Braxton Johnson's run-scoring sacrifice fly to left for a 1-0 score. South manufactured another run in the second when Jordan Braniff singled to left, stole second and third and scored on a throwing error.
It was the top of the order that made more noise for the Wood County crew in the third. Walters singled to right and moved to second on Johnson's bunt base hit to get things started. The visitors made it 3-0 on an error, with runners advancing to second and third. After a Dylan Weaver RBI sacrifice fly, Tre Jackson doubled to again put a pair of runners in scoring position.
Jacob Wilcox's fielder's choice chased home the Patriots' fifth run, the third of the frame.
John Marshall (1-1) threatened in the fourth, getting a leadoff walk and an error. However Brubaker recorded a strikeout before a 6-4-3 double-play, ended the threat.
Parkersburg South loaded the bases with no one out in the fifth, but settled for just a single run on pinch-hitter Tyler Berry's two-out sacrifice fly. The Patriots turned it into a shortened affair with five more in the sixth, highlighted by Jackson's two-run triple to deep center.
"We are not a team that is going to come out and hit a bunch of home runs; we are more of an old-school team, but we do a good job of going out and getting the little things done," Null added.
Jeremiah Fromhart started and took the loss for the Monarchs, but did a good job throwing strikes, something that was not overlooked by Montgomery.
"I felt like Jeremiah pitched well, but we did a couple of things to hurt ourselves," Montgomery said. "We are a little thin on the mound and pitching is a critical position. We still have several kids who have not played a lot of varsity baseball, but we will continue to work and get better.
"Brubaker was very sharp for them, he only allowed one hit and he is just a very nice high school pitcher."