GLEN DALE - Like most, the John Marshall baseball team has had a difficult time getting on the diamond this spring because of unfortunate weather. Combine the Monarchs' young, inexperienced lineup and the pitching of Morgantown's Tyler Shorter, and Wednesday's meeting at Monarch Field was a mismatch.
Shorter was in control throughout, finishing with a two-hit shutout that included 14 strikeouts, as the Mohigans (8-5) took a big step toward playing host to the sectionals with a 5-0 victory against the Monarchs (2-2-1).
''We have to play a lot more,'' JM coach Bob Montgomery said. ''We've got 12 juniors and even some of our seniors are brand-new varsity.
Photo by Shawn Rine/John Marshall second baseman Hunter Sadoski awaits an incoming hit during the game against Morgantown Wednesday at Monarch Field.
''That's the first real good pitcher they've seen. Hopefully we learned a little bit from it.
''This game is humbling.''
The Monarchs hung around most of the game as starting pitcher Trevor Hardesty pitched around a flare here and there. But the Mohigans, who got all their offensive production from the 7-9 spots in the order, broke through in the top of the sixth inning.
J.T Stegmaier coaxed a leadoff walk on five pitches and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by River Hames. Nick Gallagher then slid a bouncer under a diving JM first baseman and into right field for a 1-0 lead. One out later No. 9 hitter Jordan Page singled into left to make it 2-0.
That was more than enough for Shorter, who struck out the side four times, including the sixth and seventh innings. Both hits he surrendered were singles - Alex Whorton in the second, Jerrek Waldrum in the seventh - and he faced two batters over the minimum.
''The first two starts this year weren't so great, but that's two good ones in a row,'' Mohigans coach Mark McCarty said of Shorter. ''He's throwing more under control and he's not trying to throw too hard.
''His breaking ball was on, which helps because he doesn't have to rely just on his fastball.''
Morgantown got three more in the top of the seventh off Hardesty, who allowed 13 hits, but only three for extra bases. Shorter and Stegmaier had back-to-back singles to start the inning but Hardesty retired the next two batters.
However, a little two-out lightning put the game out of reach.
Reed Croft dropped a double just inside the right-field chalk to score a pair and Page doubled - also to right - to score the third run.
''It's a game of thinkers and a game of failure, and I think we learned something in the (batter's) box,'' Montgomery said. ''We'll be in the mix.
''(Hardesty) has been a real good one for us. We're all in the same boat. (Sectionals) will be a battle.''
Wheeling Central 4 Paden City 0
PADEN CITY - Brian Campbell had two hits, including a double, and drove in a run in the Maroon Knights' victory.
C.J. Burch had two singles and drove in a run, John McLaughlin doubled in a run and J.D. Griffith had a sacrifice fly to plate a run.
Zach McAbee went the distance and struck out one with one walk.
Michael Wilcox had two singles for the Wildcats and Isaac Hall doubled.
Tyler Consolidated 6 St. John 2
BELLAIRE - Darren Heintzman singled in a run and scored two more to lead Tyler Consolidated past St. John. Evan Davis added two singles, two runs, two stolen bases and an RBI for the Silver Knights, while Colby Lash singled twice.
Jared Keiser paced the Irish with a single, double, RBI and run scored. Zac Schnegg and Mason Kull added two hits each.
Indian Creek 9 Harrison Central 3
WINTERSVILLE - Mason Gibbins had a pair of singles and drove in two runs and Mike Freshwater singled twice and drove in a run to lead Indian Creek.
Aaron Crawford struck out six and picked up a victory.
Giovanni Rocchi singled in a run for Harrison Central.
Wheeling Park 15 University 5
MORGANTOWN - Dylan Baciak had three hits and a RBI and pitched three innings of effective relief as Park rolled past University.
Michael Grove had three singles and three RBI and Grove Calvert and Justice Jackson had a pair of hits and drove in two runs apiece.
River 3 Barnesville 1
BARNESVILLE - Cole Isaly went the route and struck out seven to lead River (2-7) past Barnesville (2-4).
Isaac Curtis singled twice and plated a run for the Pilots, while Ben Riley also collected two hits.
Collin Wilson singled in the Shamrocks' run.
Buckeye Local 10 Union Local 1
MORRISTOWN - Brandon Panepucci doubled three times to drive in four runs as Buckeye Local (4-4) took down Union Local (2-5).
Jonathan Borkoski drove in two for the Panthers and Eric Banal (RBI), Chase Hopkins and Eric Williams evenly divided six hits.
Hopkins was the winner, striking out five, allowing three singles and not giving up a walk.
Bellaire 16 Martins Ferry 1
MARTINS FERRY - Tyler Ransey, Hunter Westlake and Tyler West had three hits each and combined for six RBI in Bellaire's big victory.
Nick Patrone, Brendon Ross and Wyatt Black had two hits and Spencer Badia and Bear Cumberlidge combined to toss a two hitter.
Garrett Trudo scored the lone Martins Ferry run.
Wheeling Park 7 St. Clairsville 5
WHEELING - Kat Donzella and Kaleigh Sidon hit solo home runs in the Patriots' victory against St. Clairsville.
Sidon had two hits for Park, which took advantage of nine Red Devils walks, and Colleen Tracy had a double.
Skyler Carrington and Carly Greer, who picked up a victory, combined to strike out six against one walk.
Mackenzie Otto had three singles and Lauren Figura two doubles for the Red Devils.
River 12 Paden City 0,
Cameron 5 Paden City 1
PADEN CITY - Monica Curtis tossed a three-inning no-hitter as River downed homestanding Paden City.
Emelie Heater had two singles and a triple, Curtis had two singles and a RBI, Rosey Romick had a double and drove in two runs and Haylee Bowers tripled and had a RBI.
In the second game, Cameron's Linda Hall had six strikeouts and Marissa Meintel had two singles and drove in a run to lead Cameron.
Megan Pierce had a single and a RBI for Paden City.
Buckeye Local 2 Oak Glen 1
CONNORVILLE - Rachel Zeroski had three hits including two doubles and Morgan State singled twice and plated a run as Buckeye Local (4-2) edged Oak Glen (9-7).
Kierstyn Czuchran also had two hits for the Panthers in support of winning pitcher Sandra Gardner, who struck out two.
The Golden Bears' Hannah Clunk was the tough-luck loser, scattering nine hits and striking out 11.
John Marshall 6 Brooke 5
WELLSBURG - Jessica Kinnick struck out two in relief and Hannah Rogerson had two hits and drove in two as John Marshall (10-3) edged Brooke.
Maddie Kaylor and Sissy George had two hits each for the Monarchs.
Brette Geary, Isabella Preston and Sabrina Duffy evenly divided six hits for the Bruins.
Bridgeport 6 Madonna 2
BRIDGEPORT - Freshman Miranda Bowers struck out two and also drove in two runs with a single as Bridgeport took down Madonna.
Keri Renzler had two hits and three RBI to pace the Bulldogs offense, while Julie Nowakowski plated another.
Barnesville 13 Beallsville 3
BEALLSVILLE - Avery Hanlon scattered four hits and also hit two triples and a double to drive in four runs as Barnesville (1-3) routed Beallsville (2-7). Sydney Ralston, Hannah Hannahs, Emily Sleeth and Sharon Blackstone had an RBI each for the Shamrocks, while Michaela George singled and doubled.
Kaikyn Tubaugh homered for the Blue Devils. Shania Phillips and Koty Taylor drove in one apiece.
Linsly 4, Oak Glen 3
WHEELING - Western Mead and Nick Kinyanjui won singles matches and then teamed up for a victory at No. 1 doubles as Linsly edged Oak Glen. The Cadets' doubles tandem of Tim Chung and Jae Wook Ahn clinched the victory.
Nate Bennett and Evan Hall won at Nos. 3 and 4 singles for the Golden Bears, and then teamed for another victory in doubles.
John Marshall 4, Wheeling Park 3
GLEN DALE - Ryan Hooker and Billy Fox combined for a thrilling 9-8 victory in No. 4 doubles to give John Marshall a victory against Wheeling Park.
Hayden Blazer and Austin Litman won in singles for the Monarchs, while Blazer teamed with Tyler Keller in a victorious doubles duo.
The Patriots received singles triumphs from Zac and Ollie Marra. The team of Jared Jorden and Ollie Marra also won in doubles.
John Marshall 4, Wheeling Park 3
GLEN DALE - John Marshall shot to a 3-1 lead behind singles victories from Alaina Pauley, Anna Tordella and Samantha Rulong, but needed the No. 4 doubles tandem of Marissa Tordella and Annie Younger to pull a victory to prevail.
MacKenzie Rogers was the lone Park player to win a singles match, and she also teamed with Lexie Patterson to capture No. 1 double. Claudine Ayala and Marianna Kibak also won in double for the Patriots.