By Carl Holcomb
Scoring 14 runs in the opening frame enabled Moorefield to cruise to a 19-5 victory over Pendleton County in the Little League Area 2 Junior Baseball Championship last Sunday at the Moorefield Town Park.
“This is a strong group and we’re expecting them to do well. We’ve got 13 good baseball players. The future is really bright in this area with this group coming,” Moorefield Junior League Baseball manager Kevin Reed stated.
“You never really count your chickens before they hatch, but we kind of anticipated that we would be okay in the first level of district play and we will go see what happens next week. We have a strong pitching group we can count on to pitch and we won’t hesitate with any of them. They all can play multiple positions which is nice. All 13 players got at least one hit today.”
Pendleton County starting pitcher Josh Alt issued back-to-back walks to Kennan Mongold and Branson See.
A throw toward third base trying to eliminate a steal by Mongold was off the mark and Mongold was able to race home.
[private] Isaac Van Meter produced a single, followed by Hayden Baldwin launching the ball into right field and the ball eluded the glove of Brayden McClanahan for an RBI double.
Mason Ours created a 3-nil score on an RBI single for Moorefield.
Karson Reed knocked home two runs on a double into left field to go up 5-0, then Pendleton County brought in Cole Day to pitch.
Jayden Moore kept the Moorefield attack going with an infield single at third base, then Garrett Strickler added a single to left field to load the bases.
Coleman Mongold notched an RBI single with the help of an error in left field as the ball bounced past the glove grab of Cole Day.
Kennan Mongold returned to the plate and made a bases clearing triple into right field for a 9-0 advantage.
See’s hit to the shortstop Cameron Kisamore was fumbled creating another run.
Van Meter hit his second single with a grounder into left field with no outs.
A steal of home plate was denied for the first out, then Baldwin was issued a walk.
Ours hit an RBI groundout to make it 11-0.
Reed sliced the ball just past the shortstop’s grasp and Moore followed with a second single landing in left field and an RBI added.
Strickler connected for another single with a run coming home this time around to make it 13-0.
Walks to Coleman Mongold and Kennan Mongold pushed one additional run across the plate before Pendleton County got out of the inning on a groundout, 14-0.
Pendleton County’s Laiken Bennett reached on an error, then Moorefield pitcher Hayden Baldwin tossed a strikeout to Tanner Townsend.
Bennett was safe stealing second base, then as Cameron Kisamore received a walk, catcher Isaac Van Meter attempted to throw out Bennett at third base and the ball eluded Ours allowing Bennett to slide home.
Baldwin countered with a strikeout and induced a groundout to end the inning, 14-1.
In the second inning, Pendleton County pitcher Garrett Vandevander’s defense prevented a Moorefield runner to come aboard as Van Meter flew out to right fielder Brayden McClanahan, Baldwin grounded out to Kisamore and Jacob Frederick flew out to left fielder Cole Day.
Alt reached first base for Pendleton County on an error by Kennan Mongold, then Vandevander singled to center field with the throw coming late to second base.
Baldwin threw two straight strikeouts, then walked Bennett to load the bases.
After a balk plated a run, Townsend ripped a two run producing single into center field with Strickler slipping on the play for a 14-4 score and Baldwin finished with a strikeout.
Pendleton County’s Taylor Wimer and Cayden Mongold were both hit by a pitch, then Alt grounded out to advance the runners.
A pickoff attempt at third base went awry and a run scored to make it 14-5, then Baldwin got out of the inning with two strikeouts.
After a groundout, Moorefield’s Kennan Mongold reached on an error at third base in the top of the fourth inning.
Gavin Wolfe stepped up and crushed an RBI triple to the left field fence.
Van Meter and Baldwin drew walks to load the bases for Frederick, who unleashed a two-RBI double in left field for a 17-5 lead.
Reed was hit by a pitch, then Jayden See connected for a two-run single into center field as Moorefield grabbed a 19-5 advantage.
Pendleton County turned a double play to retire the side as a pop-up was caught by Wimer and throw to second base was in time.
Baldwin pitched a strikeout to Josh Parker, then Bennett singled up the middle.
Townsend hit into a fielder’s choice, then Kisamore grounded out on the 81st pitch by Baldwin.
Moorefield’s John Lahmeyer singled into right field to begin the fifth inning, but was left on base.
Moorefield pitcher Kennan Mongold opened with a walk to Wimer before tossing two strikeouts and inducing a game ending groundout for the 19-5 final.
Moorefield advances to the District 6 tournament in Martinsburg on July 1.