MORGANTOWN — A quick trip to the beach can do wonders for anyone.
The University High School baseball team is hoping it was the cure for what has ailed them so far this season.
Despite going 1-3 at the Myrtle Beach Classic, the Hawks might have found some offense, defense, and timely pitching for the stretch run.
On Monday, UHS (6-6) battled back from a 4-0 deficit to pick up a 7-4 win over visiting Linsly.
“Definitely good to see us respond in a different way than we had earlier in the year,” UHS head coach Brad Comport said. “I always trust our guys and have trust in our team. You know, I think with our lineup that we are starting to realize that even if we spot a team two, three, four runs we’re never out of it.”
UHS cut the deficit to 4-2 in the bottom of the second inning when Cody Thomas drove in Jake Croston on an infield single and then Gabe Templeton scored on the first of three errors from the Cadets in the contest.
“Cody is just a warrior,” Comport said of his senior shortstop who is signed to play at Salem University. “Whatever he is asked to do, he is going to do it 100 percent. I have total faith in him in any situation at any time and he knows that. I’m just super proud of how he did both at the plate and on the mound. That’s what you expect out of a kid like Cody.”
University cut the lead to 4-3 in the fourth inning when Gabe Jansen scored on an RBI single off the bat of Wenkai Campbell and the Hawks took the lead for good in the fifth inning as Thomas hit a double to deep left field that scored Templeton and then Thomas scored on a sharp single from Jett Walters.
“I was really just sitting fastball,” Thomas said of his 3-for-4 night with four RBIs. “Going to Myrtle really changed my approach. I realized I need to just attack the fastball when I get them.”
The Hawks tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning as Thomas, once again, provided the spark with a two-run single that scored Noah Braham and Templeton.
Logan Vance picked up the victory on the mound as he settled down from two rough innings to finish five innings. He struck out three and surrendered just four hits while stranding six runners on base.
“I told Logan after the game that he didn’t have his ace stuff today and he knows that,” Comport said. “But what he did do is he kept us in it. He kept making big pitches and getting out of some tough jams.”
UHS also played solid defense behind Vance as it turned three double plays.
“The competition we saw (at Myrtle) was really good,” Comport said. “We played some really big schools and I think a trip like that can bring guys together and bring them closer. We want to be playing our best ball in the last two-thirds of the season.”
Jack Scouvant and Trey Prather each had two hits for the Cadets while Xavier Fankhouser took the loss in relief.
Templeton finished with two hits for UHS, including a double, while Jansen also added two hits with a double. Thomas picked up the save as he tossed the final two innings with four strikeouts.
University returns to action at 5 p.m. Tuesday, when it travels to Parkersburg South.
UNIVERSITY 7, LINSLY 4
LINSLY – J. Scouvant 3 2 2 0, Prather 2 0 2 2, Selmon 3 1 0 0, Paull 3 0 1 0, M. Scouvant 3 0 0 0, Taylor 2 0 0 0, Skadra 3 1 1 0, Wilson 4 0 1 0, Murray 4 0 0 0. Totals: 27 4 7 2.
UHS – Campbell 4 0 1 1, Latocha 2 0 0 0, Braham 4 1 1 0, Croston 2 1 0 0, Templeton 3 3 2 0, Thomas 4 1 3 4, Jansen 3 1 2 0, Walters 2 0 1 1, Smolkin 2 0 0 0. Totals: 26 7 10 5.
Linsly 220 000 0 – 4
UHS 020 122 x– 7
2B – Linsly: Prather, Paull. UHS: Templeton, Thomas, Jansen.
WP – Vance. LP – Fankhouser. S – Thomas
— Story by Eric Herter