Post 33 team heating up
Jefferson County records 21 hits, Blawut shines during 12-2 victory
STEUBENVILLE — The Jefferson County Teramana Post 33 Legion baseball squad is heating up at an ideal time with the annual Beast of the East tournament starting on Thursday.
Fresh off capturing the Morgantown Wooden Bat title on Sunday, Post 33 took a day off and came out firing against Barnesville Post 168 on Tuesday. It collected 21 hits during the 12-2, eight-inning affair to extend its winning streak to eight straight.
“We’re playing a lot of baseball, and when you do that, things start clicking and guys get into a rhythm,” head coach Anthony Piero said. “I think we’ve played 10 games in like seven days now. We have the Beast of the East coming up, so that’ll be eight or nine more games. You can really tell on the field the kids are getting their rhythm.”
Jefferson County (15-8) scored in six different innings, including three in the first, four in the fourth and two without recording an out in the eighth to put the mercy rule in affect.
Caleb Blawut shined on the mound with five no-hit innings. The only run that scored off him came on a fielder’s choice following a walk, a stolen base, reaching third on a groundout and scoring on a wild pitch. He also walked a pair and struck out four.
“Caleb has been doing a really, really good job for us on the mound. He’s a really good player for us,” Piero said. “He was really good for coach (Mike) Valesko at Harrison Central. He’s telling his guys to play for us because we can make them better, and we want to keep it that way. We want to keep the Post 33 name going as long as we can.”
Andrew Gresko tossed three innings of relief and allowed one run on three hits, no walks and punched out three.
Every Post 33 hitter reached base at least once, and all but one tallied at least one hit.
Ryan Anderson, the No. 2 hitter, was the star with two singles, two doubles that nearly were home runs and three RBIs. Ian McBane had three singles and two RBIs, while Aiden Fernandez also recorded three base knocks and a run batted in. J.T. Thompson singled, tripled and brought one run home. Blake Connelly produced a pair of singles. Caesen Sutton, Jayden Sanders, Coy Amis and David Ferroni each had a single and an RBI.
“The only way you get better at baseball is by playing, and these kids are committed,” Piero said. “That’s what we want from them to represent this area. Our kids are just getting better and better, and our 16U team just won a tournament. The level of baseball is really increasing for us.
“They know what they signed up for. They know they’re going to play seven or eight games in just one week. I respect them for coming out every day to play. We were here two hours before this game in the batting cages in the heat.”
As for Barnesville, it is still getting its feet wet after starting its season just four days prior. The high school team reached the state tournament, so Post 168 had to cancel roughly a dozen games already.
Post 33 has another day off before the Beast of the East runs from Thursday through Saturday, possibly Sunday. It will play all of its games in Moundsville, while other contests will be held at Vaccaro Field.
“We got in kind of late, so that’s where they put us. But, it’s not a big deal. The more games the better,” Piero said.
“This is our last tournament, then we have games for another week or two before the district tournament. This is a big step for us. We should have a good shot at it.”
The Jefferson County 16U squad tentatively hosts Brilliant today.
Jefferson County 12, Barnesville 2
Barnesville 0-0-0 0-1-0 1-0 — 2 3 0
Jefferson 3-0-1 4-0-1 1-2 — 12 21 2
BARNESVILLE: Wildes (LP, 3 2/3IP, 7R, 9H, 4BB, 3K), Gummere (3 1/3IP, 3R, 9H, 0BB, 3K), Carpenter (0IP, 2R, 3H, 0BB, 0K) and Robb. Edwards D; Carpenter D, RBI; Bliss S.
JEFFERSON COUNTY: Blawut (WP, 5IP, 1R, 0H, 2BB, 4K), Gresko (3IP, 1R, 3H, 0BB, 3K) and Amis. Thompson S, T, RBI; Anderson 2S, 2D, 3RBIs; Amis S; McCoy S, D; Ferroni S, RBI; Fernandez 3S, RBI; Connelly 2S; Cottis D; McBane 3S, 2RBIs; Sutton S, RBI; Sanders S, RBI.