ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Wheeling Park pushed across eight runs in the final two innings en route to a 12-5 win over St. Clairsville Tuesday afternoon at Memorial Park.
The come-from-behind win was the 14th against just five losses for the Patriots. In addition, the triumph likely locks up a home OVAC 5A semifinal game for Park. Today is the playoff cutoff.
St. C., meanwhile, absorbed only its third loss in 14 outings. The setback does little damage to the Red Devils’ OVAC tournament placement as they sat comfortably atop the 4A standings.
“It’s always nice to be able to score late in games. We did that really well today,” Park skipper Steve Myers said. “I was happy with how we swung the bats today. We got production from top to bottom.
“I was also pleased with Zach Davis. He gave us a great pitching effort in relief,” he continued. “This is a nice win. We beat a very good baseball team today.”
Davis entered the game in the fourth, taking over for junior Nathan Bittinger. Davis earned the mound win with four quality innings of work. He struck out five and walked three.
Park trailed 5-4 after five frames. The Patriots, however, unloaded a six-spot on the Red Devils in the sixth to build a 10-5 advantage.
Grant Simons delivered a two-run single while Quinn Jamison, Nate Simon and Tino Nardone all delivered RBI singles. Jared Marsh doubled in another Patriot.
Park tacked on two insurance runs in the seventh. Marsh singled and eventually scored on a Gian Degenova single. Ryan Conrad’s single plated Nick Tsoras, who reached on a walk.
All told, Myers’ charges banged out 14 hits.
Marsh led the way with a double and two singles while Conrad, Jamison, Degenova and Simon all checked in with a pair of hits.
“I thought we did some good things. I liked the way we competed,” St. Clairsville Hall of Fame coach Tom Sliva said. “We had a late lead but just couldn’t hold on.
“Give Wheeling Park credit. They really hit the ball well,” he added. “We lost to a quality baseball team today. But our kids competed.”
St. C. took a 2-0 lead in the second. Junior standout Hunter Hoffman ripped a triple and scored on a wild pitch. Zach Vickers walked and subsequently scored on a Brody Saunders sacrifice fly.
Park responded with four runs in the third. Braydon Kupsky, Conrad and Jamison all had RBI singles with a fourth run coming home courtesy of a Red Devil error.
In the home half of the third, St. C. cut the deficit to 4-3 as Max Fogle pushed across a run by drawing a bases-load walk.
The hosts grabbed a 5-4 advantage with a pair of tallies in the fourth.
With one out, Red Devil ace Braylon Blomquist roped a double before Mason Myers and Marcus Bush drew walks to load the bases. Vickers coaxed another base-on-balls to force in Blomquist. Fogle then delivered an RBI single.
St. C. ended with nine hits. Blomquist and Vickers were the lone Devils to record two hits.
Vickers was the first of five St. C. pitchers. He struck out three and walked three in five innings of work.
“I really like how we are playing now. The guys are playing for each other,” Myers said. “It will be nice if we get a home OVAC game. We are looking forward to the tournament.”