Wheeling Park sweeps Weir High in doubleheader

FIELDING — Weir High’s Elijah Gillette fields a play against Wheeling Park on Saturday. (Photo by Josh Strope)

WHEELING — The Wheeling Park baseball team made Weir High pay for its mistakes on Saturday.

Weir committed five errors — and that is not counting balls that weren’t caught that are technically ruled hits — and the Patriots used timely hitting, en route to an 8-0 victory Saturday in Game 1 of a doubleheader.

It was also the home opener for Wheeling Park.

“It was a good win, and our pitchers did an excellent job of controlling the pace of the game,” first-year Wheeling Park coach Steve Myers. “They threw strikes and toughened up at times when they needed to. We had some timely hits and some good approaches at the plate.”

The game couldn’t have started better for Wheeling Park and worse for Weir.

Jacob Shia led off with a double, which could have been an out but the Weir center fielder lost it in the sun and it fell to the ground. The next batter, Noah Mattern, hit the ball to the exact same place, and the Red Riders center fielder again had trouble, although this time he dropped it, allowing Shia to score from second. Mattern advanced to third on the play. Trevor Thomas brought Mattern home with an RBI groundout.

After three-straight walks by Weir starter Nick Paul, Billy Gooch — who replaced Brock Archer after one pitch because of a knee injury — hit a sacrifice fly to score the Ben Taylor from third.

“There was a lot of mentally, unfocused action going out there,” Weir coach Jason Angle said. “Lot of miscommunication, and that is something that can’t happen. You have to adapt and overcome. I thought Nick pitched well enough that we should have been able to compete a little bit better.

“The old saying is, ‘When you are down, you battle back.’ It took a little bit to get that going, especially at the plate.”

In the bottom of the third, the Patriots again pounced on a Red Riders mistake.

Thomas led off with a double and Taylor walked. Ryan Hummel laid down a sacrifice bunt, which was mishandled, and an errant thrown to first allowed Thomas to come home.

The next batter, Bryce Bauer, hit a monster shot to left that thanks to a strong wind, barely stayed in the ballpark. It went for a double and scored Taylor for a 5-0 Wheeling Park lead.

Wheeling Park tacked on three more in the fifth, as James Salvatori recorded a two-run double. Weir left fielder Zak Wypasek couldn’t come up with a diving catch.

Salvatori came around, as a ball dropped between two Red Riders infielders for the final run.

“Our guys took advantage of the situation when they had to,” Myers said. “That shows they are a pretty heady group and focus on the game when the game is going on.

“This is a tough place to play sometimes with the wind and the high skies. A fly ball can be a really tough play sometimes.”

Tristan Curry and Isaac Hines combined for a shutout, striking out seven and allowing four hits.

“They did an excellent job,” Myers said. “They picked guys up when they needed to, worked in front and both guys wanted the game. They came out with the attitude they were going to what they needed to do.”

For Weir, it was the end to an up-and-down week where the Red Riders were mercy-ruled by Linsly, then earned a mercy rule victory against Wheeling Central before being shut out by Wheeling Park.

“I see a lot of early season action and a lot of mistakes being made,” Angle said. “Not being on the field enough and not seeing live pitching, but the excuses are going to run out and we are not going to make them. As it we don’t make excuses. But there is a lot of room for improvement and I expect that is what we are going to.”

In the second game, Wheeling Park won, 8-3.

Weir’s Tyler Komoroski went the distance but took the loss, walking one and striking four. Komoroski also tallied two singles, while Tanner Mikula had three.

Weir travels to Catholic Central on Wednesday.