Local Sports, Sports, University

Early lead holds up as University hangs on to beat Linsly

MORGANTOWN — Three games into the season and the University High School baseball team is living by the Cobra Kai motto – strike first, strike hard, no mercy.

The Hawks (3-0) have outscored their opponents 18-0 in the first inning and that included a 4-0 start to Tuesday’s contest against visiting Linsly.

Unlike the previous two games, UHS was unable to put the Cadets away as it hung on for a 6-5 victory.

“Our goal is to get out to a lead. We want to score first,” UHS head coach Brad Comport said. “I think the difference (Tuesday) is we kept a really good team around and didn’t put them away when we had opportunities, and they were able to sneak back into the game.”
If it weren’t for junior shortstop Daniel Grabo, the Hawks would have suffered their first loss of the season.

Grabo went 2-for-4 at the plate and picked up his first save of the season by recording the final two outs on the mound.

“I can’t say enough good things about Danny,” Comport said. “His competitiveness and just how cool, calm and collected he is in big moments. I am just really proud of him and the entire team as a whole.”
Grabo got things going early for the Hawks as he punched a two-out double to center field in the bottom of the first inning that scored three runs. He added an RBI single in the fourth inning that scored Wenkai Campbell.

“Coming out strong is definitely something we focus on,” Grabo said. “We want to be precise in the field, precise at the plate and precise with our pitching. We really focus on getting out to an early lead and scoring first.”
UHS starting pitcher Logan Vance cruised through the first two innings with just a single hit before Jaxon Murray hit a one-out triple in the third inning and then scored on a groundout off the bat of Carson Gessler.

Vance (1-0) wiggled out of trouble in the fourth inning as he surrendered just two runs after giving up three walks. He finished with seven strikeouts and allowed just three hits.

“Logan kept us in the game and battled,” Comport said.

UHS then turned to its bullpen as Mason McDonald pitched the fifth inning, Brodee Latocha pitched out of a jam in the fifth and then Grabo got the final two outs after entering with one out and the bases loaded in the seventh.

“I was just trying to throw strikes,” Grabo said. “That’s all I can do. We have one of the best, if not the best defenses in the state. I know that I throw strikes, they’re behind me.”
Comport said he would like to see his team tack on more runs in the later innings as UHS added just two runs after the big first inning. Riley Anderson had an RBI single in the fourth inning to close the scoring out for UHS.

Linsly cut the UHS lead to just one run in the top of the seventh as Evan Zido hit a one-out single and later scored on a wild pitch to make it a one-run contest.

Grabo, Campbell, Mason Chaney, and Brance McCune each had two hits in the contest for UHS. Zido led the Cadets (1-1) with two hits and Rocco Paolina suffered the loss on the mound as he struck out five and surrendered nine hits in four innings of work.

University returns to action today when it travels to Wheeling Park for a 5 p.m. contest.

BY ERIC HERTER/For The Dominion Post

Box score
University 6, Linsly 5
Linsly 001 210 1 – 5 7 2
UHS 401 100 X – 6 12 2
Linsly – Murray 4 1 1 0, Gessler 4 0 0 1, Skadra 3 1 1 0, Selmon 4 0 0 0, Zido 3 2 2 0, Paolina 2 1 1 1, Wilson 3 0 1 0, White 3 0 1 2, Berhalter 3 0 0 0. Totals: 29 5 7 4.
UHS – Latocha 3 0 1 0, Chaney 3 1 2 0, Anderson 3 0 1 1, Campbell 3 2 1 1, McDonald 2 0 0 0, Grabo 3 1 2 3, Cash 3 0 1 0, McDonough 3 0 0 0, Vance 1 0 0 0, McCune 2 1 2 0. Totals: 26 7 12 5.
2B – UHS: Campbell, Grabo, McCune. 3B – L: Murray. WP – Vance 4ip 3h 2r 1er 3bb 7k. LP – Paolina 4ip 9h 6r 5er 1bb 5k. S – Grabo 0.2ip 0h 0r 0er 0bb 1k.

Trinity Christian 15, Notre Dame 1

CLARKSBURG — The Trinity Christian baseball team opened its season with a win, downing Notre Dame 15-1 on the road Tuesday.

Trenton Timperio and Sam Fulk led the Warriors with a triple and three RBI each. Ryan Parker collected three hits, an RBI and two runs scored.

Will McPherson started on the mound, throwing five innings of one-run ball while allowing just two hits and striking out five.

Trinity will travel to Jefferson-Morgan (Pa.) today at 5 p.m.