South baseball snaps four-game skid

PARKERSBURG – Several opportunities had passed, but Parkersburg South finally put an end to a four-game losing streak after defeating John Marshall 7-3 Tuesday afternoon at Hank Greenburg Field.

“It feels good that we played better defensively and that’s what cost us games last weekend,” Parkersburg South coach Matt Null said

Making just his second outing of the season following a lengthy tournament run during the basketball season, Patriot pitcher Wes Mitchem eclipsed the 100-pitch mark and appeared to be laboring during a three-run seventh inning before retiring three of the final four batters he faced during his complete-game victory. The senior scattered seven hits, walked three and struck out six.

“In the seventh inning, I think I left pitches maybe not in the right spots – I threw them with the exact zip I wanted,” Mitchem said. “I’m just trying to get my arm back into the shape it needs to be, so where I can go seven innings every time out.”

South improved to 8-4 after eight of its nine players in the batting order contributed at least one hit, including Braxton Johnson going 2-for-4 with two runs scored, a run-batted-in and a stolen base. Out of the clean-up spot, teammate Tre Jackson singled twice, stole a base and had one RBI.

Supplying the extra base hits for the Patriots were Jordan Braniff with an RBI triple, Tyler Berry with a double and run scored, and Brad Brubaker’s RBI double.

“It was good to see the guys put the ball in play, and see a lot of guys contribute,” Null said.

South led from the outset after scoring three unearned runs off John Marshall starter Mitch Whorton in the bottom of the first inning. John Marshall (8-7) committed three of its six errors in the frame.

The Patriots tacked on one run in the fourth after two were out. Jacob Wilcox singled, stole second then advanced to third base on the catcher’s throwing error. Johnson followed with an RBI base hit.

In the fifth inning with two on and two out, Brubaker doubled to left field to drive in Berry, who had earlier doubled to practically the same location.

South capped off the scoring with a two-spot in the sixth. Braniff tripled home Johnson and scored on the same play as the cutoff throw eluded the third baseman trying to make a play on Braniff.

Mitchem, meanwhile, pitched six straight innings of shutout ball with the help of his defense, which committed just one error before the three-run seventh inning.

John Marshall did have its share of baserunners. At the same time, the Monarchs couldn’t come through with the clutch hit and stranded eight baserunners for the game.