Local Sports, Sports, University

Balanced Hawks cruise to mercy-rule victory over North Marion

MORGANTOWN — A baseball lineup can be constructed a number of ways

It’s a subject that is debated at local bars, in the stands and of course among coaches.

Generally, it’s the speed guy at the top, the power hitters in the middle and the contact guys at the bottom.

University head coach Brad Comport has his own thoughts on how a lineup is built.

“In our lineup, we have guys all over that can pick each other up,” Comport said. “If our middle of the order happens to be struggling that day, it’s the guys at the bottom that can pick them up.”

On Tuesday, the UHS bottom-of-the-order hitters provided plenty of offense on the way to an 11-1 mercy-rule-shortened victory over North Marion.

No. 8 hitter Brock McDonough finished the game 1-for-1 with two runs scored and an RBI single while No. 9 hitter Brance McCune went 1-for-3 with a three-run triple that blew the game open in the third inning.

It was that third frame that saw UHS (14-13) send 13 batters to the plate, smack seven hits and score eight runs to break a 1-1 tie with the Huskies.

“I thought overall we had a good performance,” Comport said. “We started a little bit slow but I’m really happy with how the game progressed and we were able to close things out.”

The Huskies (7-11) scratched a run across in the first inning when Colin Verbosky drew a one-out walk and then scored on a double off the bat of Gavin Owens. That was all the offense North Marion could muster against UHS starter Riley Anderson who pitched three innings with three strikeouts and just two hits.

Brodee Latocha pitched the final two innings as he wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning.

Latocha also had a good day at the plate as he finished with a team-high three hits including a pair of RBI doubles that both occurred in the marathon third inning.

It was McCune who provided the big blast in the third as he drove an 0-2 pitch into the right-center gap and then raced around the bases for the three-run triple.

“We always try to be solid at the bottom of the order,” McCune said. “If we continue to do our job, it only boosts what the top of the lineup can do.”

McCune said he widened out his stance and choked up on the bat before hitting the triple – his second of the season.

Senior centerfielder Wenkai Campbell ended the game with a single to center field that scored McCune for the final run of the game.

Campbell and Mason McDonald each had two RBI singles in the game while Anderson added an RBI single as well.

The Hawks finish the regular season on Thursday when they host Lewis County at 6:15 p.m.

“We need to prepare like this last game is a playoff game,” Comport said. “It won’t do us any good to show up and just go through the motions. Next week the playoffs begin, and we need to approach the rest of these games with a positive mentality.”


University 11, North Marion 1
NMHS 100 00 – 1 4 2
UHS 018 01 – 11 11 1
NMHS – Craig 3 0 0 0, Verbosky 1 1 0 0, Parrish 3 0 0 0, Owens 2 0 1 1, Hess 3 0 0 0, Bland 2 0 1 0, Rhodes 1 0 0 0, Kucish 1 0 0 0, Weekly 1 0 1 0, Runner 2 0 0 0. Totals: 19 1 3 1.
UHS – McDonald 2 2 2 2, Latocha 4 1 3 2, Campbell 3 1 2 0, Chaney 3 0 0 0, Anderson 3 1 1 1, Cash 3 0 1 0, Quarrick 0 1 0 0, Seggie 3 1 0 0, McDonough 1 2 1 1, McCune 3 1 1 3. Totals: 25 11 11 11.