Story & Photos
By Carl Holcomb
Rising from the ashes of a humiliating defeat, East Hardy overwhelmed the Vikings 9-1 last Monday in Baker.
“Moorefield handed it to East Hardy last week and they turned around and handed it to us,” Petersburg Coach Mike Landes remarked.
The Cougars kept the pressure coming with two more runs in the second inning and allowing only one base runner on an error defensively.
East Hardy pitcher Clay Skovron, who had numerous walks in the last meeting, garnered two consecutive strikeouts to begin the second inning.
[private] Petersburg’s Cameron Masih reached on an error as Whetzel couldn’t hold on to the pass from Tharp stretching off the bag, but the runner was left on base on a flyout.
After a strikeout, East Hardy’s Austin Smith singled into left field.
Aden Funkhouser hit into a fielder’s choice at second base, then advanced on a single by Phillip Mullin.
Jeffrey Mills and Tharp added to the Cougars lead with back-to-back RBI singles for a 3-0 score and a strikeout retired the side.
Jacob Mauzy hit a leadoff single for the Vikings in the third inning, then East Hardy center fielder Corey McDonald caught a fly ball from Trad Harman and Tyce Wisnewski popped up to Mullin.
Peyton Sindledecker and Hartman were both hit by a pitch which loaded the bases for Petersburg, but Hunter Pool hit into a
fielder’s choice at third base where Ashton Mathias made the tag.
Whetzel singled into center field to Harman, then Skovron hit into a fielder’s choice with Wisnewski off the bag on the play for a safe advance and the out came at first base just in time.
Nick Miller grounded out and collided into first baseman Mauzy, who wasn’t able to make the throw in time to third base and a groundout by Smith stranded Whetzel.
In the fourth inning, Berg and Masih drew walks before Tinger hit into a double play and Mauzy grounded out.
Pool came in to pitch for the Vikings and Funkhouser singled as
Wisnewski made a diving save at second base and couldn’t make the throw to first base,
Funkhouser stole second base and advanced on a wild pitch, then Mullin was issued a walk.
On a fake throw to second base, Funkhouser was caught off guard trying to come home and was tagged in a rundown before Mills hit into a fielder’s choice with Wisnewski throwing home and the ball sailing past the catcher as Mullin touched home plate.
Tharp hit a sacrifice bunt to advance Mills, then McDonald was given a free pass.
Whetzel smacked the ball into left field for an RBI single and the throw to third base wasn’t in time.
The Cougars advanced on a wild pitch and a balk created a run, then Skovron flew out with a 6-0 lead.
Wisnewski singled with one out in the fifth inning for the Vikings in center field, then a pickoff throw got him out at first base with the tag by Whetzel.
Sindledecker and Hartman were issued walks and Pool singled on a bad hop to load the bases and a balk plated a run before Skovron got out of the jam with a strikeout to Berg, 6-1.
Funkhouser was walked and Mullin singled with Mauzy collecting the grounder and had no chance to make a play as the Cougars loaded the bases.
Mills hit into a fielder’s choice with the force out at home, then Tharp ripped a bases clearing double as the ball eluded Harman in center field off a pitch from Mauzy to create a 9-1 advantage.
Mauzy countered with a strikeout to end the frame, but the damage put the Vikings in a deep hole.
Skovron sandwiched two walks around a strikeout before Tharp came in as the closer recording two strikeouts to end the top of the sixth inning.
Whetzel flew out to right field and Skovron hit a deep shot in center with Harman climbing the hill to make the catch and Miller grounded out.
Tharp silenced Petersburg in order during the top of the seventh inning, finishing the game with five consecutive strikeouts.