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Post 34 takes 10-inning thriller over Post 45

Photo by Andrew Grimm Wellsburg Post 34 celebrates after Raymond DeFranco scored the winning run on an error in the bottom of the 10th inning, lifting Post 34 past Follansbee Post 45.

WELLSBURG — Some 326 minutes went by between the opening pitch and Wellsburg Post 34’s Raymond DeFranco crossing home plate in the bottom of the 10th inning Thursday night at Brooke High School.

In that span, there were a combined 19 runs, 21 hits, 13 errors and 10 pitchers take the hill.

When the dust settled, DeFranco’s run, after he reached with a lead off single and came around on a pair of throwing errors, was the difference for Post 34 in a come-from-behind, 10-9 win in extras over in-county foe Follansbee Post 45.

“That was a shootout,” Wellsburg coach Micah Knisley said. “That’s the way we like them, wild and crazy.”

Post 34 had trailed 4-1 through three innings and 9-7 in the bottom of the ninth after battling back to take a lead with a four-run sixth.

“We had some errors early that put us down, but we just kept battling and never quit,” Knisley said. “We got up and we got down, it was a just a crazy game here at Brooke High.”

For Post 45, it was tough loss after losing the early lead, losing another in extra innings and leaving the bases loaded in the top of the seventh when they had a chance to re-take the lead.

Eight errors, including on the winning play, added to the heartbreak.

“It’s a tough way lose but it was enjoyable,” Follansbee coach Mark Fidak said. “We got a lot of reps in and learned a lot of things we need to work on.

“These games are fun because these guys all know each other, have played together. We beat them the first time by one and they got us by one. They’re all wonderful kids, it’s an enjoyable game. We got 10 innings of baseball in and lots of reps.”

Brooke’s Braelynn Sperringer and Garrett Hornick each had an RBI in the first for Follansbee (3-2), Sperringer adding another in the third to make it 4-1 after Brooke grad Andrew Coursin drove in a run in the second for Wellsburg.

A Matt Swanson RBI single in the fourth and another run in fifth made it a one-run game, before Follansbee added two more to the lead in the sixth.

The four-run outburst by Wellsburg (2-5) in the bottom half, though, gave Post 34 its first lead of the game headed to the seventh. Brooke’s Hunter Mozingo and Clyde Vanderpoole, who entered as a reliever, had RBI’s.

Follansbee tied the game with a bases-loaded walk in the seventh, but left the bases-loaded up and the game continued.

Follansbee reliever Henry Anderson and Wellsburg’s Vanderpoole dueled in relief for their respective teams, but neither ended up with a decision.

Anderson fanned nine batters in 3 1/3 innings, giving up two runs, one earned, one two hits.

Vanderpoole also fired 3 1/3 and fanned nine batters, allowing two runs.

“Clyde didn’t play last year, didn’t play high school, so this is about two years since he last played baseball,” Knisley said. “He is getting back into the swing of things and is doing well.”

Brooke’s Hunter Mozingo pitched a scoreless top of the tenth after Colton Palmer’s scoreless ninth to get the win for Post 34, who is headed to Buckhannon Post 7 for a doubleheader on Saturday.


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