MORGANTOWN – The Morgantown High School baseball team saw something it hasn’t seen yet this season on Thursday at Dale Miller Field.
The seventh inning.
MHS, which won two mercy-rule-shortened contests against University and John Marshall to start the season, still managed to record its third shutout of the year with a 7-0 win over Parkersburg South.
“I told these guys that winning is not easy,” MHS head coach Pat Sherald said. “We have to enjoy when we do win ball games.”
Thursday’s contest started a little rocky for the Mohigans (3-0) as starting pitcher Caleb Cottle struggled with command and managed to walk the bases loaded. However, a quick mound visit seemed to set things right and Cottle was able to wiggle out of the early trouble.
From there, the big right-hander was able to command his pitches and tossed three and two-third innings of shutout baseball. He struck out five and allowed just three hits before giving way to junior Tristan Milik who pitched the final three and one-third innings.
“Caleb struggled to find the zone early,” Sherald said. “But he just kept on competing and competing and he worked his way out of jams and ended up hanging up some zeros.”
Those zeros came, especially early, back to haunt the Patriots (0-3) as they struggled to come through with key hits in the game. In fact, South left nine runners on base and had multiple opportunities with less than two outs with runners in scoring position.
“Loading the bases and coming away with nothing kind of set the tone for the rest of the night,” Patriots head coach Matt Emerick said. “They obviously had some good arms out there, but we had way too many strikeouts and didn’t put the ball in play during those key situations.”
Meanwhile, the Mohigans started things off by playing some small ball. They started the game with two bunt singles off the bats of Weston Mazey and Ty Galusky and then a one-run double by Aaron Jamison brought Mazey home. Galusky scored on an error by the second baseman and then Jamison scored when Cottle grounded out to the first baseman.
The small-ball approach is something that Sherald said his team is working on as it moves toward the season’s ultimate goal of competing for championships.
“We work a ton on (bunting),” Sherald said. “We tell our guys that if it comes down to getting in the lineup between a guy that can handle the bat from a guy who can’t bunt, it’s gonna be the guy that can bunt that is going to get in the lineup. You aren’t always going to win 7-0, 10-0. You have to be able to execute and manufacture runs.”
The Mohigans scored two more runs in the fifth inning as Ryan Fluharty singled home Mazey and then Cottle added an RBI single that scored Jamison. MHS wrapped up its scoring in the sixth as Galusky had an RBI single that scored Mazey and then Jamison hit his third double of the day to score Galusky.
Jamison finished 3-for-3 in the contest with three doubles, two RBI and also scored two runs. Mazey and Galusky both added a pair of hits. Cottle picked up the win on the mound and added two RBI with a single while Drew Bailey had a double.
Morgantown returns to action today when it travels to Wheeling Park for a 5 p.m. contest.
By ERIC HERTER
Morgantown 7, Parkersburg South 0
PSHS 000 000 0 – 0 4 2
MHS 300 022 X – 7 11 0
PSHS – Perry 3 0 0 0, Camp 2 0 0 0, Holliday 3 0 0 0, Kinzer 3 0 1 0, McLain 3 0 1 0, McMullen 3 0 0 0, Miller 2 0 0 0, T. Davis 2 0 0 0, DeMoss 1 0 1 0, E. Davis 3 0 1 0. Total: 25 0 4 0.
MHS – Maze 3 3 2 0, Galusky 4 2 2 2, Jamison 3 2 3 2, Fluharty 4 0 1 1, Bailey 2 0 1 0, Cottle 3 0 1 2, Anderson 3 0 0 0, Wolfe 3 0 0 0, Whanger 1 0 1 0. Total: 26 7 11 6.
2B – MHS: Jameson 3, Bailey.
WP – Cottle 3.2ip, 3h, 0r, 0er, 4bb, 5k
LP – Holliday 4.1ip, 7h, 5r, 3er, 3bb, 0k