Toronto now to 9-0 with win

WHEELING – Toronto’s baseball team staged a clinic Wednesday afternoon at the J.B. Chambers I-470 Youth Sports Complex.

The Red Knights sent 46 batters to plate, batted around in the fifth and sixth innings, scored in every inning and pounded out 13 hits in handing Wheeling Central a 14-1 defeat in six innings.

Toronto, which has won 18 consecutive Ohio sectional titles, is now 9-0.

”That’s been a key for our early success,” Red Knights coach Brian Perkins said. ”We have a lot of kids who step up and work hard every day.

”They just pick each other up all day long. If we continue to do that, hopefully, that will make us successful this season.”

Blaze Glenn (two singles, RBI), Tyler Antinone (two singles) and Austin Lucas (double, two singles, three RBIs) recorded multiple hits for the Red Knights, who also benefited from four Wheeling Central errors.

”Fielding the ball,” Maroon Knights coach Jim Wodusky said when asked about his team’s biggest struggle so far this spring. ”We’re not fielding the ball well. We’re probably averaging four to five errors per game and you can’t do that in high school baseball if you want to win.

”That forces your pitcher to throw a lot of pitches. Then you get frustrated and lose sight of the strike zone and walk a few guys. And when you face a team like (Toronto) they punish you.

”Toronto is as fundamental as they come.”

Brad Melville’s first-inning double scored Tyler Owens and Antinone to give Toronto a 2-0 lead. The advantage ballooned to 4-0 in the second thanks, in part, to an RBI single by leadoff batter Blaze Glenn, who went to the plate six times in the game.

In the third, catcher Bill Solomon smacked a double that scored John Romney to make it a 5-0 game. Then, in the fourth, the Red Knights tacked on two more to make the score 7-0 and chase Maroon Knights starting pitcher Justin hammers from the mound.

J.D. Griffith, who finished with two singles, and Mario Peroni started off Wheeling Central’s half of the fourth with back-to-back singles. With one out, Jeff Gwynn’s RBI single scored Griffith to get the Maroon Knights on the scoreboard. The inning ended a short time later when Nick Bakaitis hit into a 6-4-3 double play.

Wheeling Central (4-8) didn’t threaten again as Red Knights starter Tyler Owens did the job, striking out five and walking two.

”He threw a good game,” Perkins said.

”He kept our fielders awake and we played pretty good baseball behind him.”

In the fifth, Wheeling Central walked four batters and committed an error as the Red Knights scored three more runs to take a 10-1 lead.

With the bases loaded and one out in the sixth, Lucas ripped a single up the middle scoring Chez Glenn and Owens to make the score 12-1. Romney followed with a shot that landed just short of the fence in center, scoring Melville and Lucas to cap the scoring.

While he was pleased with the effort of his young team, Wodusky said he hopes his players use Wednesday’s game as another step in the learning process.

”We’re still a maturing team,” he said. ”We’re still not sure on the at-bat thought process. Overall, it’s still a work in progress.

”We got beat by a better team.”

Toronto 14, Wheeling Central 1

Toronto 221 234 – 14 13 1

Wheeling Central 000 100 – 1 10 4

TORONTO: Owens (WP, 5K, 2BB) and Solomon. B.Glenn 2S, rbi; Antinone 2S; Melville D, 2rbi; Lucas D, 2S, 3rbi; Romney T, 2rbi.

WHEELING CENTRAL: Hammers (LP, 1K, 5BB), Griffith (4th, 0K, 5BB), Shaw (6th, 0K, 2BB) and Yocke. Gwynn S, rbi; Griffith 2S.