The Wheelersburg Pirates were full of satisfaction after Tuesday night's 9-3 road victory over Portsmouth, the first night game at Hatcher Field.
The Pirates used the strength of ten hits – one being a first inning solo home run off the bat of Dakota Luster – a complete game pitching performance from Austin Boyer and capitalization of four Trojan errors in the game to pick up the victory.
“We always talk about the urgency to find a way to be the first team to dent the scoreboard,” Wheelersburg coach Michael Estep said. “At that point, you're making people play catch up from the first inning or whenever it happens to be throughout the course of a game.”
Luster's round-tripper was the first at the new Portsmouth confines. It would be the only hit for the Pirate third baseman as he finished 1-for-3 with three runs batted in, an intentional walk and he was hit by a pitch.
Wheelersburg scored three more times in the top of the second off starter Jeremy Scott.
“That's one thing that we try to do as well,” Estep said, “to put pressure on every inning.”
The Trojans responded in the bottom half of the frame as they scored three runs to shorten the deficit to 4-3. The three-hit inning was highlighted by Adam Bray's two-run homer.
Portsmouth had four hits in the entire game. To co-head coach David Shoupe, not getting into a rhythm of playing every day has not helped his team.
“We just need to keep playing,” Shoupe said. “All of this rain and playing once every week or twice a week is hard to get into rhythm. That's going on with our hitting, we just need to get out there and play every day.”
Bray's shot, which was the first Trojan home run at Portsmouth this season, came a pitch after catcher Brennan Howard was hit by a pitch. In all, the Pirate and Trojan pitching staffs combined to hit seven batters.
The scoring for Portsmouth ended after the second as Wheelersburg scored in every inning the rest of the game except for the fifth. In the top of the fifth, Scott was pulled after walking the eighth and ninth batters in the the Pirate lineup. Scott lasted 4 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on five hits while striking out one, walking seven and hitting two more batters.
His counterpart, Boyer, allowed just four hits and three runs as he picked up the win. Boyer struck out eight, walked three and hit four more batters.
“I was really proud of how he faced some adversity there in the middle innings where they got a few runs and closed the gap,” Estep said. “...I was really proud of his effort. I thought he really competed well for us today.”
Neither team could capitalize on the other team's mistakes. The two combined to leave 22 people on base while committing seven errors in the field.
“We left too many guys on base,” Shoupe said. “We had opportunities to put some runs up with a hit here-and-there. We had a few mental errors late.”
CODY LEIST can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at (740) 353-3101 exr. 242.
Wheelersburg 1 3 1 1 0 1 2 ̵̶ 9 10 3
Portsmouth 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 ̵̶ 3 4 4
Wheelersburg – Hood 2-4 (HBP, 2 RBI, R), Shears 1-5 (RBI), Luster 1-3 (HR, IBB, HBP, 3 RBI, R), Parsley 1-4 (BB, RBI, R), Timberlake 0-3 (2 BB, R), Hall 2-3 (BB, R), Boyer 2-3 (2 R), Moore 0-3 (RBI, R, BB), Massie 1-2 (2 BB, R).
Portsmouth – Coakley 0-4 (SB), Scott 0-3 (HBP), Howard 1-2 (2 HBP), Bray 1-2 (HR, 2 BB, 2 RBI, R), Poage 0-3 (BB, R), Gower 1-3, Gibson 0-1 (HBP), Collins 1-3 (RBI).
WP – Boyer
LP – Scott
Records – Wheelersburg 13-1; Portsmouth 3-4.