The West Senators used an offensive explosion to get past the Oak Hill Oaks Friday night. West defeated Oak Hill 12-2 in a game that only lasted five innings.
Brady Knittel began the evening for West has he hit a two-run bomb in the home half of the first inning. Then, after the Oaks tied the contest with two runs in the top half of the second inning, Knittel blasted another home run, which plated three more runs.
Knittel finished the contest going 2-for-3 with three runs batted in after the two aforementioned home-run shots.
West (8-1, 4-1) wasn’t content with a three-run margin of error and in the bottom of the fourth inning, Austin Howard was determined to pad the Senators lead. Howard hit a three-run bomb, which increased the advantage to 8-2 for the home team.
“We hit the ball well, but I am really impressed with our pitchers,” West coach Chris Rapp said. “Against Waverly, Knittel threw a two-hitter. But right now, we are taking each game one at a time. We have to take care of our business and not worry about what other teams are doing.”
As hot as the bats were, the Senator’s pitchers were equally up to the task.
Trevar Welch began the game for West and worked the first two frames before giving way to Travis Smith who picked up the victory. Smith tossed four scoreless innings, allowing one hit while striking out five batters.
“He (Smith) came in and stayed ahead of the count,” Rapp said. “He threw strikes. He located his fastball low and he painted corners with it. And his breaking ball broke well. That helps us now, as we head into the season, he is going to have to step up and throw for us to give Brady (Knittel), Luke (Morgan) and Trevor (Welch) some rest. He had been eager to get into a game and he made the most of his opportunity.”
West will return to the diamond Monday as Wheelerburg comes to town.
Chris Slone can be reached at 353-3101, ext 298, or on Twitter @crslone.
Oak Hill 020 00 — 2 1 1
West 203 34 — 12 12 1
Oak Hill — Walls 1-2
West — Knittel 2-3 (2HR, 3RBI, 4R), Morgan 3-3 (2RBI), Howard 4-4 (2B, HR, 5RBI), Smith 1-3 (RBI), Sheets 1-3 (R), Galloway 1-3 (R)
W — Smith (1-0) 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 5 SO, 1 BB
L — Salyers (N/A) 4 1/3 IP, 7 H, 8 ER, 2 SO, 4 BB
Records — Oak Hill N/A; West 8-1 (4-1)