Wheeling Post 1 Sparked By 10-Run Inning
WHEELING — With the Beast of the East in the rear view mirror, Wheeling Post 1 can now focus on the regular season schedule and it’s gotten off to a great start.
Following a 16-1 thumping of host Wellsburg on Tuesday, Post 1 celebrated its regular season home opener with a 13-3 triumph over Wellsburg on Wednesday at the J.B. Chambers I-470 Complex.
After scoring three in the first, Wheeling opened the floodgates in the second with a 10-run outburst and never looked back.
“It’s good to see guys hitting,” Post 1 coach Jon-Michael Brunner said. “We’re still trying to figure out where to put some different guys. We have a lot of athletes so sometimes it’s tough to figure out the right combination but I think we’re doing a good job of figuring that out.”
Typically by the time the Beast of the East rolls around, Post 1 and all legion teams are in midseason form but with the high school baseball season running later into the year, squads are still looking to hit their stride.
“It’s different and we were just talking about how the Beast of the East usually comes around the midway point of the season,” Brunner said. “Usually we have a good idea of where we’re going to have guys for the long stretch but I don’t think our record (7-4) indicates, in my opinion, how well we’ve played.”
Brunner’s bunch certainly found their groove on Wednesday as Hunter Kelley smashed a two-run triple and Michael Toepfer added a RBI knock in the first for a 3-0 lead.
In the 10-run second, Kaden Yocum, Seth Hand and Jack Scouvart delivered RBI hits, Kelley and Toepfer each added RBI to their names and Dylan Gongola, Zac Taylor and Kelley drew bases loaded walks as Post 1 batted around.
“During the Beast we had a couple of unfortunate games,” Brunner said. “We had guys hitting the ball right at guys but that’s just baseball. We had some guys squaring the ball up well (Wednesday) early on and Seth (Hand) on the mound was what we expected.”
Hand retired the first seven batters he faced and only surrendered four hits in four innings.
Zach Davis, Matt Swanson and Andrew Coursin each drove in a run apiece for Wellsburg in the fourth and fifth innings to get on the scoreboard.
“This is our first year back in the league after almost 10 years,” Wellsburg coach Micah Knisley said. “Now that we’re established again, we’ll start talking to kids earlier and trying to get them to stay here and play for Wellsburg.
“Wheeling always has a good team and they hit the ball but we have a good group of kids. They want to play baseball and they play hard.”