Momentum Goes Other Way for Post 3
GLEN DALE – After capturing two impressive walk-off victories Friday afternoon, Moundsville Post 3’s fortunes went in the opposite direction during Saturday’s action in the Edgar Martin Beast of the East Baseball Tournament at Monarch Field.
Manager Bill Burkett’s club sustained disappointing back-to-back losses, falling 11-3 to Seneca Valley (Pa.) and 7-4 to the fundamentally sound Long Island Mariners as its record dipped to 3-3 overall in the four-day tournament that concludes this afternoon.
”We didn’t make plays and we made mistakes on the bases in both games,” a disappointed Burkett said. ”I don’t think we came prepared to play.”
After the one-sided defeat to Seneca Valley, Moundsville found itself locked in a tight second game that was knotted at 4-4 after Post 3 scored twice during the top of the fifth. However, the Mariners, doing all the little things right, bounced back in their half of of the inning to score three runs and take the lead for keeps.
Fundamental baseball was the key for the Long Islanders, who followed the time-honored theory of winning baseball by getting runners on, moving them over with bunts or hitting to the opposite side and then getting them in.
When asked on a how travel team such as the Mariners could stick to that style of baseball, Manager Jose Kortright offered a straight forward answer.
”We demand it of our players,” he said. ”We practice fundamentals on a daily basis and if you want to play for us, you have to put the team first and individual goals second.”
Moundsville (16-9) jumped ahead 1-0 in the first inning after one-out singles by Jake Lucas and John Mirandy. After a wild pitch moved both runners up, Lucas scored as Todd Schmidt reached on an infield error.
Long Island countered with the tying run although getting one hit in the inning. Center fielder Jon Martinez began an impressive 4-for-4 game at the plate with a single. Bruce Tyler was sent up to bunt but it wasn’t needed as a wild pitch put Martinez at second. Tyler then succeeded moving the runner over to third with his ground out to the right side and Matt Lynch followed with another bouncer to second baseman Shane Wellman that brought home the run.
In the third inning, the Mariners went on top 3-1, playing small ball again. Martinez singled to center, stole second on the first pitch and advanced another base when Tyler got down his sacrifice bunt. After Matt Lynch was hit by an inside delivery from Post 3 pitcher Ryan Hughes, Martinez scored on a wild pitch. Lynch then took third as Ryan Feminella singled and he later scored when Joe Patriss singled.
Wylie Koontz’s double, Hunter Kaschke’s single and Hughes’ forceout cut the Moundsville deficit to 3-2 in the fourth. However, with two outs and nobody on, Martinez got his third straight hit, a double into left center, and he scored when Tyler singled
Moundsville’s two-run fifth that tied the game included John Mirandy’s single, an error, Wellman’s bunt single that loaded the bases, a wild pitch and Mitchel French’s sacrifice fly.
Again, Long Island came right back to score three times and take the lead for good. The winning rally started with a walk to Patriss, another sacrifice bunt and Cody Smith’s RBI double that ended the day for Hughes, who was replaced on the mound by Tanner Hanna. With two out, Luke Brown walked and scored behind Smith when Martinez singled into right field and the ball was booted for a two-base error.
Dylan Claud with two strikeouts and just one walk, got the pitching victory but needed relief help in the seventh after Schmidt and Wellman opened the inning with seeing-eye singles into left field. Patrick Mayer relieved Claud at that point and sent down the final three batters on a pop out and two fly balls.
Henderson and Mirandy collected three singles each to pace the 13-hit Moundsville attack. Lucas and Wellman had two hits each.
Seneca Valley 11, Moundsville 3
Six errors, including three in the first inning along with a couple of base running no-nos, helped bring a three-game winning streak to an end for Moundsville Post 3 during Saturday’s first game.
Seneca Valley was led by Preston Falascino’s double and single, both of which drove in runs. Leadoff hitter Zach Bredl had a perfect day at the plate with two walks and a pair of singles.
Falascino’ double over the head of Schmidt in center field and Carson Kessler’s RBI single highlighted Seneca Valley’s five-run first inning. The winners also picked up a run on a balk charged to starting pitching Mark Walker and a pair of tallies after a two-out fly ball was dropped in the outfield.
Schmidt’s sacrifice fly after Lucas’ single and a Seneca Valley miscue provided Moundsville’s initial tally during the bottom of the first. Post 3 lost a potential run when Henderson, after reaching on a single, attempted to make it all the way to third base when a pickoff attempt got away but he was gunned down while sliding in to the bag.
After Schmidt singled and Wellman walked to start the fourth inning, Schmidt was tagged out trying to steal third base. French’s double into the right-center gap scored Wellman, cutting the Post 3 deficit to 8-2 at the time. French later scored on Walker’s two out-single.
Henderson was the only Moundsville player with more than one hit as he singled twice. Post 3 managed just six hits overall against the combined pitching of Folascino and Troy Martin, who took over in the fourth inning striking out three without issuing a walk to earn credit for the victory.