WEIRTON – Weirton American Legion Post 10 and Moundsville American Legion Post 3 locked up in an old- fashioned pitchers’ dual Wednesday with Post 10 coming from behind for a 2-1 walk-off victory in 10 innings.
Post 10 scored the winning run in the bottom of the 10th when William Larch bounced a base hit through the box to scored Pat Reardon with the winning run from second base.
“We kept fighting and scratching and we were the lucky ones today,” said victorious Weirton coach Bill Magnone. “Both pitchers threw great and both teams fielded the ball, and neither team could hit off the others pitcher.”
Sam Hockenberry worked the first nine innings for Post 10 yielding one run and four hits. He walked three and struck out 10 Moundsville batters, but got a no-decision. Mario Lombardi, who came in to work the top of the 10th, got the win.
“Hockenberry pitched a whale of a ballgame today,” Magnone continued. “He kept us in it.”
He needed to as the Post 10 bats that had pounded out a lot of hits during the regular season were stifled by the right hand slants of Shane Wellman.
Wellman hurled eight innings giving up a run on five hits while striking out eight and walking two.
“We’re not hitting the ball. We didn’t hit a lot all year,” said veteran Post 3 coach Bill Burkett. “Wellman pitched a good ball game for us and so did Hunter (Kaschke), but he hit that guy in the 10th and that hurt us. But he usually hits three or four in a game.”
Kaschke relieved Wellman in the ninth inning and even though Weirton shortstop Mitch Viakely greeted him with a double high off the left field fence, he left him stranded at second.
However, the hit batsman to Weirton catcher Pat Reardon to lead of the 10th was crucial. Kyle Woodruff followed with a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Reardon to second and an out later came Larch’s walk-off single through the middle of the infield.
“When Reardon got hit with that pitch, I knew we had to bunt again and Kyle laid it down perfectly,” said Magnone, whose team had three successful sacrifice bunts in the game. “Larch did a great job with two outs and two strikes on him.
“In a game like this, we had to play small ball. We probably laid down more sacrifice bunts in this game than will did all season,” Magnone chuckled. “That one by Woodruff in the 10th proved to be the gem.”
Larch was the only Post 10 hitter with more than one hit. He also singled in the second inning.
Anthony Antinone got an RBI single to right field in the bottom of the seventh inning to score Matt Cessna, who had walked to open the frame.
Moundsville’s lone run came in the top of the fourth inning without benefit of a hit.
It was a leadoff walk by Hockenberry to Schuyler Callahan that got things going for Post 3. He went to second when Post 10 misplayed Alex Riedel’s grounder, went to third on Kaschke’s fly ball to center field and scored when Joe Myers lifted a sacrifice fly ball to right field.
The win moved Post 10 to the winner’s bracket final today at 5:30 p.m. It faces Wheeling Post 1. Meanwhile, Moundsville will meet St. Marys at 2 p.m. today.
The tournament continues with the losers’ bracket final on Friday at 5:30 p.m. and the championship Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.
Weirton 2, Moundsville 1
Moundsville 000 100 000 0 1 5 1
Weirton 000 000 100 1 2 7 2
Moundsville: Wellman (2BB 8K), Kaschke (9th, LP, 0BB, 1K) and Riedel. Walker 2S; Callahan R; Wellman S, Kaschke S; Myers RBI; Rush S.
Weirton: Hockenberry (3BB, 10K), Lombardi (10th, LP, 0BB, 1K) and Reardon. Larch 2S, RBI; Woodruff S; Cessna S, R; Viakely 2B; Antinone S, RBI; Reardon S, R.