Post 3 Is Off to A Big Start

GLEN DALE – Just two games into the 2012 American Legion baseball campaign, Moundsville Post 3 seems to be putting things together quickly in all phases of the game.

Jake Lucas scattered five hits, fanning four and walking two while throwing 64 pitches, and John Mirandy singled, homered and plated four runs as Moundsville blasted Cadiz Post 34 by a 12-2 count in six innings Tuesday at John Marshall High School.

The victory moves Manager Bill Burkett’s squad to 2-0 following a 7-0 blanking of Richmond on Monday. Meanwhile, Post 34 has struggled early on and falls to 0-4.

Moundsville will get a stern test Thursday when St. Clairsville pays a visit.

”We have a real nice mix of kids this season and they have blended well early on,” Burkett said. ”I am going to try and keep everyone happy with playing time, and I was able to get a lot of them into the game (Tuesday).

”I really think we are going to be all right in the long run.”

After Post 34 wasted a leadoff double in the top of the first, Moundsville produced its first run in the bottom of the inning. Jimmy Henderson singled, stole second, advanced to third on a two-out fielder’s choice and made it 1-0 on Todd Schmidt’s run-scoring single to left-center.

Cadiz finally got to Lucas a little in the third after two quick outs. D.J. Busby plated a run with a triple to left field and made it 2-1 when he raced home on a passed ball.

However, the lead was short-lived as Post 3 came to life in the bottom of the inning. Mitchell French reached on a leadoff double ahead of Henderson’s infield single.

After Tanner Hanna moved them up 90 feet with a sacrifice bunt, Mirandy clubbed the first pitch he saw deep over the right-field fence for a three-run bomb and a 4-2 upperhand.

But the hosts weren’t done. Schmidt reached on a single and went to second on a two-out fielder’s choice, then crossed the plate when Lucas reached on a error.

Burkett’s bunch added four more in the fourth on a Hanna run-scoring fielder’s choice and Mirandy’s fourth RBI on a one-out base hit to center to make it a 7-2 count.

Mirandy and Schmidt, who walked and went to second on a fielder’s choice, both scored on Phillip Smith’s two-run single to left that made it 9-2.

Lucas added a two-run single in the sixth while pinch-runner Austin Cunningham scored what turned into the game-ending tally on a two-out error.

Overall, Lucas was in the strike zone most of the game, finding the mark on 45 of his 64 offerings with just 19 called balls.

”Jake was very efficient on the mound and did a real good job,” Burkett said. ”We also played very good defense behind him, got some key hits and ran the bases well.”

Henderson finished with three hits while Mirandy, Schmidt and French had two each.