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Post 33, Parsons find bats in BOTE as young Dons keep learning

LAUNCH ANGLE — Jefferson County’s Matt Parsons, an Edison High School product, connects for his second hit of the game against Madonna during Saturday action in the Beast of the East at the Edison Unified Sports Complex. Parsons also had a grand slam in the game and finished with five RBIs for Post 33, who prevailed 11-2. -- Andrew Grimm

RICHMOND — Jefferson County Teramana Post 33 may not have won the Beast of the East, but the team overall at times in the four-day tournament and one of its key players found their bats.

The team did so in a big way on Saturday against local opponent Madonna in the afternoon.

Post 33 got a grand slam from Edison’s Matt Parsons in the second inning to break things open and cruised to an 11-2 victory, then Parsons homered again, a two-run bomb, in the nightcap against the Ohio Valley Mountaineers, a 14-3 win to grab a top-eight spot for the Sunday bracket.

“We barreled it up (Saturday), playing every day this week, things are starting to click,” Post 33 coach Anthony Pierro said. “I just think we’re getting a little rhythm now. It’s been a little up and down, but we’re taking the positives and rolling with it.

“There is excitement playing a local team (like Madonna).”

PLAY AT THE PLATE — Madonna’s David Connors slides home as Post 33 catcher Zach Smith catches the relay during Saturday’s Beast of the East pool play game at Edison. Connors was safe on the play. -- Andrew Grimm

Parsons later added a well-hit RBI single to give him five RBIs in the Madonna game.

“The thing is with Matt, he was struggling a little in the last four or five games so that was absolutely huge for him,” Pierro said.

Indian Creek’s Ty Householder had a two-run triple, while Big Red’s Hakim Edwards also added an RBI base knock, as did Steubenville grad J.T. Thompson.

Edison’s Brayden Moses got the start on the mound for Jefferson County and fired all five innings, striking out a pair.

In the second game, Jefferson County used several pitchers.

On the Madonna side, the experience of the weekend, while not necessarily showing on the scoreboard in the BOTE games, will pay dividends down the road as a young group gets experience against older, more experienced opponents.

“We had a bad inning, and in that inning (Jefferson County scored eight in the second) Dom (Brncic) had all three of his walks and we had all four of our errors,” Baire said. “You can’t do that, especially against teams like (Post 33). That’s the lesson for them to learn, it’s about learning to have desire to be on the ball field, learning to communicate … baseball is a sport where repetition makes all the difference.

“We talked about (after the game) learning to be in the rhythm of the game, learning to communicate. It’s the small things that lead to a lot of the errors that we’re going to work on. That’s part of these guys being young and learning.

“The best thing for these guys is being out here and learning, seeing these situations against varsity players and learning how to react to them. We’ll get there.”

Baire, who’s team’s morning game was rained out Saturday, has also liked the way the team has kept putting at bats together even after a tough inning has put the score out of reach. Madonna, which at one point led 1-0 in the second inning, came back and added a run in the fourth after falling behind.

“Once again, we kept battling,” Baire said. “We could have quit and given up, but we kept battling and got another run. That is the one thing that I am, more than anything, excited about with this group the last couple days. They don’t quit and you can’t teach that.

“This is great experience for these guys. You can’t get them experience of six ball games against varsity players in three days anywhere else.”

While Jefferson County battled for the trophy on Sunday, the Dons were also slated to be on the field for a couple of consolation games.

Post 33 fell in the quarterfinals of the championship bracket on Sunday morning, 1-0 to Hiland, the team made up of members of the recent Div. IV state runners up, but Parsons stayed red-hot with a triple.

Unfortunately, though, Jefferson County could not find the big hit to score him and the tie the game.

Hunter Rothacker, Edison’s ace, fanned four before leaving in the third inning with an injury.

Blackburn had a strikeout in going the rest of the way.

Post 33 is set to visit St. Clairsville on Tuesday and host the Wheeling Wildthings on Thursday.

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