Albus Shines For Beallsville

Beallsville High School baseball coach Patrick Wells couldn’t have asked for much more from Joey Albus during Wednesday’s 15-4 Blue Devils romp against homestanding Bishop Donahue at St. Jude Park in Glen Dale.

The Beallsville right-handed pitcher limited the Bishops to six hits, struck out seven and issued one walk in a game that was halted after six innings by the mercy rule.

And, oh yes, Albus also led the 15-hit Blue Devils offense with four singles and five RBI.

He stroked a pair of two-run knocks during a nine-run, third-inning uprising that put away Beallsille’s first victory after four defeats.

”Joey did a really nice job for us,” Wells said. ”We definitely needed a game like this where we played well defensively, got some big hits and strong pitching.”

Beallsville had been unable to get in many games until this week because of poor weather conditions in the area so Wells is hopeful playing \every day will help get his team on a roll. He also is counting on better play from the Blue Devils’ defense.

”Finally, we had a game where we didn’t have seven or eight errors. We’ve been scoring enough runs but our fielding hurt is in all of our previous losses,” Wells added.

One of previous setbacks was by a 12-11 score at home a week ago against Bishop Donahue. A bright spot in that defeat, however, was a late-inning relief effort from Wednesday’s starter.

”We brought Joey in to pitch in the sixth inning and he faced seven batters, striking out six and walking one.”

Still, Bishop Donahue (6-7) got off to a good start in the return game, scoring single runs in the first two innings to take the lead. In the bottom of the first, Zac Whitfield singled into right center with one out, stole second and rode home on Michael Angalich’s shot up the middle. The lead was extended to 2-0 an inning later after Ryan Jones walked with two out, swiped second base and scored when Jordan Angalich’s grounder to short was booted for an error.

But the roof fell in on the Bishops’ victory hopes when Beallsville sent 14 batters to the plate in the third inning. Seven straight Blue Devils reached base.

The inning opened with a Timmy Jones sharp single to right, a walk to Kevin Stoney and Jed Marling’s base hit up the middle that loaded the bases. Albus, who struck out with two runners aboard against Michael Angalich in the opening inning, got the Donahue senior this time by raking his first pitch into left field for a two-run single. The rally also featured an RBI hit from Josh Clark, Jerrod Kinney’s two-run double down the first base line and Albus’s second two-run hit of the frame, a single into right field.

The Blue Devils threatened to end it early in the fifth inning with a four-run explosion. Jerrod Kinney started things off by drawing a walk and was on third with two down when Stoney’s single brought him home. Marling and Albus followed with base hits to load the bases. Jimmy Reisz then doubled to score two runs, with another runner crossing the plate on an error.

Trailing 13-2 entering the last of the fifth, Bishop Donahue stayed alive thanks to an Andrew Smith single, an RBI double off the bat of Mike Matheny and Bo Groves’ run-scoring single.

Albus got his fifth run batted in with a single in the top of the sixth after Kinney had singled and came around on an outfield error, giving the Blue Devils their 11-run lead.

Bishop Donahue coach Don Gillis expressed his frustration following the one-sided loss.

”We didn’t get much pitching at all,” he said. ”We walked too many people and when we do get pitching our outfield and infield didn’t know what to do with it. We don’t know how to do cutoffs an we have problems with our priorities.

”When we quit making mistakes, we don’t play bad,” Gillis continued. ”We’re just young and we’re not that good to overcome our mistakes,” he sighed.

Beallsville’s multi-hit attack also included two singles and a double by Reisz. Kinney contributed with a double, single and two RBI.

Matheny’s double was Donahue’s only extra-base hit.