PARKERSBURG – Parkersburg South’s nine, one and two hitters scored six times, Wes Mitchem went the distance to earn the pitching win and the Patriots of skipper Matt Null ended rival Parkersburg’s baseball season here Thursday night at Hank Greenburg Field as the Big Reds were eliminated from the postseason following an 8-2 setback in the Class AAA, Region I, Section 2 tournament.
Parkersburg South, which will move on to play in a regional semifinal yet to be determined, bounced Big Red losing pitcher Jeff Davis in the second inning.
The Big Reds (14-14) managed just single tallies in the second and fourth innings for head man Alan Burns. PHS got an RBI single from No. 9 hitter Austin Alatorre to drive in courtesy runner Colby Bennett for the first run. Alatorre also had a two-out double and scored on Lucas Goodwin’s RBI single to center.
Mitchem allowed seven hits, the two earned runs, walked a pair and recorded seven strikeouts in his 111-pitch complete-game effort. The senior right-hander had thrown 95 pitches through five frames, but needed only 12 in the sixth and a mere four in the seventh. He actually retired the final eight Big Reds in order.
Leadoff hitter Clay Walters worked a seven-pitch free pass to open the bottom of the first and after Braxton Johnson followed with an infield bunt single, the first of his three hits, cleanup hitter Jordan Braniff delivered a one-out two-run single to center for a quick 2-0 Patriot cushion.
Parkersburg South (22-8) took control of the game by putting up four runs in the second. Ninth-place hitter Jacob Wilcox, who tripled and scored in the third thanks to Walters’ sacrifice fly RBI, drew a one-out base on balls to get things going. After a steal of second, Walters singled to center and Wilcox scored on an outfield error. Johnson then produced an RBI single and the bases were loaded after Tre Jackson singled and Braniff walked.
Tyler Berry was credited with an RBI on what should’ve been a fielder’s choice, but turned into a Big Red infield miscue. Braniff later scampered home on a Davis wild pitch for the 6-1 advantage.
The Patriots tacked on an insurance in the sixth. Johnson singled, Jackson walked and after Braniff put down a sacrifice to move runners to second and third, Johnson scored on a wild pitch from PHS relief pitcher Caleb Thrash.