WHEELING - You could say that Moundsville Post 3 was at a little bit of a disadvantage when it came to its matchup against Wheeling Post 1 at the 1-470 baseball field on Tuesday.
Post 3 only had nine players available. Not because of injury or any other baseball-related issue, but because school just let out, kids want to go to the beach.
Bill Burkett didn't using that as an excuse though after his club dropped a 6-2 contest to Post 1.
Wheeling Post 1’s Trevor Stewart delivers during Tuesday’s game against Moundsville Post 3.
''You can't blame it on just the nine kids, but that's all we got,'' Burkett said. ''(The other players) went to the beach. They went on vacation. There's no excuse. They just didn't play well and the game's over.''
Moundsville did jump out to an early 2-0 lead, however.
After Mitchell French was walked, Shane Wellman tripled into right field and then scored after Post 1 catcher Dom Ellis couldn't control a throw from the outfield.
Ellis did atone for it in the second.
With Jesse Hartley at first, the Linsly rising senior blasted one over the center field fence to tie the game at 2-2.
''He got a pitch he could handle and drove it into left center,'' Wheeling coach Ricky Szeligo said. ''That was a big at-bat for us. It put us back in the game. After that at-bat, we kinda rallied for more runs.''
They did, with a little help from Post 3.
After an error loaded the bases for Wheeling, Ellis drove the ball down the third base line, where it, too, was bobbled, giving Nate Bakaitis and Andrew Kowalo enough time to score and give Post 1 a 4-2 advantage.
''We took advantage of some of their mistakes in the infield which helped out a lot,'' Szeligo noted.
Wheeling added another run in the fifth off of a Momo Felt single and scored its final run in the sixth as Nick Naumann scored on another Post 3 error.
''Too many errors,'' Burkett pointed out. ''(Starting pitcher Shane) Wellman had 105 pitches. If we wouldn't had had all of those errors, he'd had thrown 80 pitches.''
Trevor Stewart picked up a victory for Post 1, while Matthew Brooks came on in the fifth to earn a save.
''Pitchers did a great job again,'' Szeligo said. ''What'd I like to see out of our pitchers is more getting ahead in the count. Make the batters feel more defensive at the plate. But overall, it wasn't a bad game. We still have areas to improve in.
''They're one of our rivals. We play them in our area tournament to get down state. It's a big win.''