By CODY LEIST
PDT Sports Writer
SCIOTOVILLE — When the West Union baseball team stepped off the bus Thursday morning to take on East in a doubleheader, nine players dressed.
By the time the Dragons hopped back on the bus to head back to Adams County, they finished the twin billing with eight players and a pair of five-inning victories.
“Any time a team shows up with nine, in the back of your mind you expect to win,” Tartans coach Lance Davis said.
In the opener of Thursday’s festivities, West Union base runners had their way with East pitching, stealing 10 bases. Leading the charge for the Dragons was leadoff hitter and starting pitcher Tyler McCoy, who was 1-for-1 with three walks, four stolen bases and four runs scored.
“He seems to be a pretty special player,” Davis said. “He’s got great speed, he changed speeds and threw strikes on the mound.”
West Union roughed up starter Austin Bateman, who went 4 and 2/3 innings and allowed 12 runs on eight hits. Bateman struck out six but walked eight.
The Tartans rallied in the final two frames, scoring all of their seven runs in the home half of the fourth and fifth innings. But McCoy was able to limit East with 10 strikeouts.
“In the first game, I thought we battled offensively,” Davis said. “We managed to put some things together.”
In the finale, McCoy returned to the mound and pitched the first two innings before giving way to Chris Fox. When he finished, McCoy had thrown 154 pitches in the combined two games.
“I was kinda surprised when I saw he was starting Game Two,” Davis said. “At the same time, I think that played mind tricks with our kids.”
In the top of the second, McCoy plowed into Bateman at home, who was the catcher in Game Two. Both benches were warned by the umpiring crew to slide into home for safety concerns.
In the top of the fourth, Lance Holbrook did not heed the advice of the umpires. He collided with Bateman at the plate and was immediately ejected, leaving West Union with eight players left in the field.
Davis was glad to see how Bateman was able to keep his composure despite the physical nature of his day.
“I think he’ll sleep well tonight after pitching Game One and catching Game Two,” Davis said.
But the Tartans could not find a way to capitalize on the opportunity for the split. They were only able to muster four hits and committed six errors.
“I felt like we laid down in Game Two and just took a butt-whooping,” Davis said.
Davis felt there was a pattern in both contests.
“We failed to get off to a good start,” Davis said. “We were behind the eight ball in both games from an early standpoint.”
East will try to regroup after a long weekend off when the Tartans take on Eastern Monday to resume SOC I play.
Cody Leist can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 242, or email@example.com.
West Union 1 0 4 3 4 — 12 8 2
East 0 0 0 3 4 — 7 5 4
West Union — T. McCoy 1-1 (3 BB, 4 SB, 4 R), Kramer 2-3 (BB, 2 SB, 2 RBI, R), Helterbrindle 2-3 (BB, 3 RBI, 2 R), Daniel 0-4 (RBI), Holbrook 1-3 (RBI), Taylor 2-3 (2B, 3 SB, R), Fox 0-2 (BB), Grooms 0-3 (RBI, R), J. McCoy 0-1 (2 BB, SB, 2 R).
East — Rittner 2-3 (2B, BB, R), Egerton 1-2 (BB, 2 R), Crager 0-2 (BB, SB, 2 R), Bateman 0-2 (HBP), Taylor 2-3 (3 RBI, 2 R), Parson 1-1 (BB), Watkins 0-3 (RBI), Seibert 0-2 (HBP, R), Welch 0-0 (BB).
W — T. McCoy (3-1)
L — Bateman (0-2)
Records — West Union 3-2; East 3-5.
West Union 5 2 2 0 2 — 11 8 1
East 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 4 6
West Union — T. McCoy 2-4 (2 SB, 2 R), Kramer 3-3 (2B, 2 SB, 3 RBI, 3 R), Helterbridle 1-3 (BB, SB, RBI, R), Daniel 0-1 (3 BB, 2 SB, R), Taylor 1-2 (BB, SB, RBI, R), Fox 0-2 (BB), Grooms 1-2 (BB), J. McCoy 0-2 (BB, 3 R).
East — Rittner 1-3, Egerton 1-2 (SB), Crager 1-2 (2B), Taylor 1-2 (SB), Bateman 0-1 (BB), Seibert 0-1 (BB).
W — Fox (1-0)
L — Egerton (0-1)
Records — West Union 4-2; East 3-6.