Local Sports, Sports, University

University wins regular season finale against Lewis County

MORGANTOWN — In its regular season finale, the University High School baseball team showed why the Hawks are still a threat for a deep playoff run.

The Hawks (15-13) pounded out 11 hits and got a strong pitching performance from sophomore James Bryner on the way to a 6-5 victory over visiting Lewis County on Thursday.

“I think we are in a good place mentally and physically,” UHS head coach Brad Comport said. “I think we had a tough schedule, and we don’t run from that but definitely along the way we could have won some more ballgames. We made some mistakes and dealt with some injuries, but I think we’re in a good place to go compete and give this sectional all we can.”

University, the defending Class AAA regional champions, have discovered a young arm this season with Bryner (3-2) developing into a top-of-the-rotation talent.

“James put in a ton of work this offseason and he has just continued to improve and get better and better each start,” Comport said. “Even as just a sophomore, I am really proud of his growth and development. He’s pitched against some really good teams this year and he’s done a great job.”

Bryner finished Thursday’s game with 4.2 innings of work, six strikeouts, one walk and scattered five hits.

“After the trip to Myrtle (Beach), I came back with a different mentality,” Bryner said. “I have a lot more confidence on the mound after going up against some really good teams.”

Lewis County managed to score two runs in the first inning as Trenton Hunt hit a double that scored Joey Aman and then Hunt later scored one of the four UHS errors in the contest.

The Hawks answered back with one run in the bottom of the first when Mason Chaney hit an RBI single that scored Wenkai Campbell. UHS took a 3-2 lead in the third inning as Campbell hit an RBI triple and then Chaney added an RBI sacrifice fly.

University finished its scoring in the fourth inning as Mason McDonald and Brodee Latocha each had RBI doubles and Campbell added an RBI single. Campbell finished just a home run shy of the cycle in the contest as he went 3-for-4 with two RBI and one stole base.

“It was really good to see Wenkai hitting the ball hard all over the yard,” Comport said. “It’s really good to see him coming back to his level of play especially when it’s going to matter the most at this point in the season.”

The Minutemen (15-6) made things interesting with two runs in the sixth and one more run in the seventh. Campbell pitched the seventh inning to pick up his third save of the season.

UHS struck out just once as every UHS starter reached base in the contest. Brock McDonough went 2-for-3 as the only other University player with multiple hits in the game.

The Hawks return to action on Monday when they host Buckhannon-Upshur at 5 p.m. in the first round of the Class AAA sectional tournament. University enters the sectional as the No. 2 seed.

By ERIC HERTER/For The Dominion Post

University 6, Lewis County 5
LCHS    200  002  1  –  5 6 2
UHS      102  300  X  –  6 11 4
LCHS – Carder 4 0 1 0, J. Aman 3 2 1 0, Hunt 3 1 1 1, Good 4 0 0 0, Cayton 2 1 1 0, Clem 3 0 0 0, Jeffries 3 1 1 1, R. Aman 3 0 0 0, Jones 3 0 1 1. Totals: 28 5 6 3.
UHS – McDonald 3 2 1 1, Latocha 4 1 1 1, Campbell 4 2 3 2, Chaney 2 0 1 2, Anderson 2 0 0 0, Cash 3 0 1 0, Seggie 3 0 1 0, McDonough 3 1 2 0. McCune 3 0 1 0. Totals: 27 6 11 6.
2B – LC: Hunt, Cayton. UHS: McDonald, Latocha, Campbell
3B – UHS: Campbell
WP – Bryner 4.2ip 5h 2r 1er 1bb 6k
LP – R. Aman 3.2ip 9h 6r 6er 2bb 0k