PARKERSBURG - A seven-run third inning propelled visiting Wheeling Park to a 10-0, five-inning victory against Parkersburg South in a W.Va. Class AAA Region One baseball semifinal Tuesday night at Hank Greenburg Field.
In addition to the 10 runs, Park (18-6) also prospered on the mound to hit South with a double whammy. Southpaw starter Justice Jackson hurled the first three innings and Matt Brooks followed with two innings of relief as the duo combined on a two-hit, one-walk shutout.
Wheeling Park advances to Thursday's 5 p.m., Region One Final at Morgantown, with the winner headed to the state tournament in Charleston.
PHOTO BY JEFF BAUGHAN
Wheeling Park relief pitcher Matt Brooks works to the plate during action of Tuesday’s West Virginia Class AAA Region One semifinal against Parkersburg South.
For South, finishing its season at 12-21, Alex Simon walked in the first, Tyler Parsons singled in the second and Damon Gandee doubled in the fifth and advanced to third on a wild pitch. But that was the extent of South's offense in the game.
Park took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on Daniel Baciak's leadoff double and Eric Crow's one-out RBI single.
In the decisive third, Park batted around plus two to plate seven runs and surge to an 8-0 advantage. Baciak singled in two runs and Michael Grove added a run-scoring single before Chalmer Moffett doubled home another run. Grove Calvert's single and an outfield fielding error on the play each enabled a run to cross home, and Zane Hummel completed the inning with an RBI single.
Moffett, with his second two-bagger of the game in the fourth, knocked in two more runs to finish with three RBI.
"We gave up one big inning and couldn't answer," South coach Matt Null. "Their guys pitched a great game."
Null recalled that South has "faced Jackson a couple years now, so we knew he would work in and out on against us, and keep the ball low. We did have some encouraging at-bats, but just couldn't string anything together. But that doesn't really matter when you give up 10 runs and make a couple errors.
"The bottom line, though, is that they hit the ball really well, moved runners well and got 'em in."
Despite Tuesday night's outcome, Null felt his team proved something in the last week.
"Not a lot of people gave our kids a shot to advance in the tournament," he said. "But I told our senior group (of 10) that we were proud of them for doing that (versus Parkersburg last week in the sectional), although we wish we had been a little more competitive (Tuesday)."