Late rally comes up short for PHS

PARKERSBURG – Meeting for the third time this season, visiting Capital tallied three runs in the third en route to handing host Parkersburg a 4-3 setback in the 11th place game of the Mountain State Athletic Conference baseball playoffs played Monday night at Stadium Field.

“We split a doubleheader against them (PHS) earlier in the season,” said Cougars head coach Robert Massey. “In fact the kid they had pitching (Caleb Thrash) shut us out 6-0 in the first game.”

That would not be the case, however, Monday as Capital’s Anthony Gavin led off the second inning with a solo home run that came within inches of hitting the scoreboard in right centerfield. The Cougars weren’t finished as catcher Seth Roadcap followed with a single, but was thrown out at second as Thrash fielded a bunt by Capital’s Brandon Thomas and threw a bullet to shortstop Jeff Davis to get Roadcap at second.

A single by Trenten Campbell put runners at first and second with only one out and it appeared as if Thrash would work his way out of the jam when he induced the Cougars’ Jordan Berry to hit a grounder to short which Davis turned into a 6-4 force for the inning’s second out.

Capital centerfielder Austin Hupp would prove to be the thorn in the side, however, as the Cougars’ leadoff hitter drove a Thrash offering into left field, bringing home Thomas and Bray to give the visitors a 3-0 lead.

Parkersburg, now 10-11 with a home game against George Washington slated for 6 p.m. today, got one run back in the bottom of the fourth thanks to a walk, a sacrifice bunt by Damon Ribeiro and a pair of errors by the Cougars.

Capital, now 13-15 with a game at George Washington on Wednesday, tallied what would prove to be the winning run in the top half of the sixth on an RBI-single by Kaleb Kinder that brought in Bray.

But, the explosions were only beginning.

First baseman Kyle Foster, who went 3-for-3 on the night, opened the home half of the seventh with a single and advanced to third on an Anthony Kist double to left center field.

Foster would come home on a groundout to third by Lucas Goodwin with pinch runner Colby Bennett taking third on the play. Bennett would then score the Big Reds third run of the game when Cole Parker grounded out to second for the second out of the inning.

That would be as close as it would get as winning pitcher Jacob Williams induced Levi Casto to ground out to second to end the game.