Story & Photos
By Carl Holcomb
East Hardy commandeered a 7-0 lead and held off a late rally by the tenth ranked Yellow Jackets for an 8-4 victory at George Hott Field in the second round of the Class A Region II Section 2 Baseball Tournament on Tuesday to gain the advantage in the double elimination format and solidified the position in the driver’s seat with a 9-4 win over fifth ranked Pendleton County to take one step closer to the Region II championship series.
“The keys were we came out focused and ready to play. They wanted to win and it showed,” East Hardy coach Eric Heflin stated.
“Brett Tharp came out and pitched another great game, threw strikes and limited his walks. We came out hitting the ball, but kind of let up there at the end of the game. At the beginning of the game and through the middle of the game, we pounded the ball. Our defense made good fundamental plays. We are taking it one game at a time and not looking too far ahead. We will start preparing for our next game once we find out who we are playing.”
The Cougars opened the sectional tournament with a 16-4 victory over Union which included home runs by Corey McDonald and Brett Tharp.
East Hardy got the scoring started against Moorefield in the first inning as Tharp reached on an error and McDonald singled to right field off
Yellow Jackets pitcher Holden Sions to put runners on the corners for Austin Whetzel hitting directly to shortstop Brent Moran and safely plating Tharp with no play to be made while reaching first base successfully, 1-0.
Sions got Moorefield out of the jam with a strikeout to Clay Skovron and induced a groundout from Austin Smith.