Wheeling Tops Moundsville
WHEELING — After a season-opening loss to Morgantown Post 2, Wheeling Post 1 has rattled off an impressive nine-game winning streak, the latest victory coming Wednesday against Area One rival Moundsville Post 3 at the J.B. Chamber’s I-470 Sports Complex.
Acting Manager Scott Castilow watched his team use high quality pitching and plenty of patience at the plate along the way.
Steven Graebe fired one-hit baseball over five innings, with Jarrod Jones completing the job in the sixth while Butter Murray helped close things out in the sixth with a two-run single as Wheeling rolled to a shortened 10-0 triumph over Moundsville.
In all, Post 1 recorded eight singles on the day, was the beneficiary of nine walks, four hit batsmen, two errors and numerous wild pitches and passed balls to steadily pull away.
Graebe, who fanned 11 without allowing a walk, set down 13 consecutive hitters after allowing a two-out double to B.B. Santamarino in the top of the first, Post 3’s only hit of the game.
“Our pitching was phenomenal (Wednesday), led by Steven Graebe, who we are still trying to take it slow with as he continues to rehab,” Castilow said. “But he was very, very impressive out there and we couldn’t be more enthused about the possibilities with him.”
After going quietly in the top of the first, Moundsville was its own worst enemy in the bottom of the frame. Wheeling used one single, two walks, a hit batsman, two wild pitches and a passed ball to put up the initial two runs of the contest. Most of which came after Post 1 hit into a double-play trying to be aggressive on the bases.
While Wheeling wasn’t pounding the baseball in the fourth, it still managed to score a pair of tallies to add to the lead. Dom Gorrence dropped a base-hit in front of the left fielder before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt.
Jacob Shia then eased a soft blooper over third that plated Gorrence. After stealing second, Shia scored when Isaac Rine dropped a base-hit of his own into short center to push the margin to 4-0.
Post 3 once again hurt themselves in the fifth as Post 1 added a run without the benefit of a hit. Ben Taylor was hit by a pitch with one out before Bryce Bauer walked. Both runners moved up on pinch-hitter Zach Kahle’s sacrifice bunt before Taylor crossed the plate thanks to another wild pitch.
Moundsville’s biggest threat came in the top of the sixth against relief pitcher Jarrod Jones. After Graebe had retired 13 in a row, and Jones the first batter he faced, William Pelley walked and moved to second when Doug Clark reached on an error.
A fielder’s choice put runners on the corners before Jones induced a ground-out to end the threat.
The hosts loaded the bases on three separate occasions in the sixth, getting Murray’s two-run single, another run on a passed ball and two more on run-scoring walks to finish things off.
Wheeling scored three runs on wild pitches, another on a passed ball and two via bases loaded walks.
“It was another good day at the plate for us,” Castilow said. “It’s all about the little things and getting them done when you have to. When that happens you can accomplish good thing and it can help change, or quicken, the outcome of a game.
“I think one of the biggest differences at the plate for us this year is that the guys are exhibiting so much more maturity. Obviously, everyone likes to hit the baseball, but these guys have really improved by leaps and bound this season at the plate and it has been very impressive to watch.”
Moundsville manager Bill Burkett had very little to say following his team’s loss, but did agree with the fact that his team struggled at the plate all day and must get better moving forward.
Post 1 will be looking to run its winning streak to 10 games this afternoon at 6 p.m. when they travel up-river to Toronto to take on Post 86.