SOUTH WEBSTER —It was indeed a perfect week for the South Webster High School baseball team.
That’s because the Jeeps captured four victories, including three in the Southern Ohio Conference Division II —with a 7-0 win over Wheelersburg on Wednesday being the Jeeps’ first triumph over the Pirates in exactly 21 years.
The other league wins were bookend bouts — a 15-4 rout at West on Monday before a 1-0 well-played victory over visiting Valley on Friday.
In between, the Jeeps scored three runs in the second inning, notched nine in the third, and added one more in the fifth for a 13-3 non-league mercy-rule win over visiting Chesapeake on Tuesday.
With the win over Valley, that made it eight wins in nine games for South Webster.
The Jeeps did lose a 1-0 pitchers’ duel at Waverly on Monday — as they now have six setbacks in SOC II play.
In the win over West for that season sweep, South Webster scored in every inning sans the opening —including a six-run seventh to pull away from a 9-4 advantage.
Jaren Lower pitched the first six innings for the win, allowing only two earned runs on three hits with six strikeouts —which offset seven walks and four wild pitches in facing the Senator lineup three times through.
Robert Martin paced the Jeeps’ 15-hit attack with four, which included a double.
Speaking of Martin, the Jeeps’ senior ace pitcher posted his second shutout of the season —the other being a no-hitter against non-league Fairfield at Chillicothe’s VA Memorial Stadium two weeks ago.
In the season opener, Martin one-hit the Senators —in a 2-1 win at South Webster.
Against the defending SOC II champion Pirates, the Jeeps supported Martin with a big five-run third frame —followed by two more markers in the fifth for the 7-0 lead.
Wheelersburg was guilty of five errors, as the Jeeps rapped out seven hits —three from freshman Jacob McGraw, including a double.
McGraw was one of eight underclassmen SWHS starters — five freshmen and three sophomores, as around the entire infield at first base, second base, third base and shortstop were all freshmen.
“Timely hitting is the key to winning baseball games and we’ve started to come through in those spots as of late,” said SWHS coach Ryan McClintic. “Jacob McGraw had a big hit for us to open up the scoring and we never looked back.”
McGraw, sophomore designated hitter Tristan Belford and fellow sophomore Brody Perkins posted a run batted in, as freshman Brycin McClintic, the senior Lower, Martin and Belford had singles for the other four South Webster hits.
Martin, meanwhile, mowed Pirate batters down.
He faced the lineup three times through, needed only 88 pitches, struck out seven and allowed only five hits —and did not walk nor hit a batter in gaining the complete-game shutout.
“Robert was around the zone all night and challenged their hitters for seven innings. He didn’t nibble at all out there,” said Coach McClintic. “There is a good defense behind him and he trusted them to do their job.”
That the Jeeps did, by committing only one error.
Connor Estep roped a double for the Pirates, as their other four hits were all singles — one apiece by Isaac Bockway, Lane Hutchinson, Kolton Salyers and Creed Warren.
On Friday, the Jeeps got a good 1-0 win over Valley —as this time Lower landed the complete-game three-strikeout shutout, with only two walks this go-around in throwing 75 pitches and facing 26 Indians.
And, one of those walks was intentional in the seventh inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, and off Valley ace Carter Nickel who pitched the first five frames for the Indians, the Jeeps drew a walk with Perkins leading off.
Coach McClintic pinch-ran for Perkins with freshman Danny Marinski, as fellow freshman Benaiah Andrews sacrifice bunted him to second.
Marinski then raced to third on a wild pitch, and Belford walked, as another freshman —Hunter Barnard — belted a basehit down the left-field line to score Marinski.
That was the only hit Nickel even allowed —as freshman Carson Powell pitched a 1-2-3 sixth stanza for the Indians.
Nickel did walk four of 21 Jeeps faced, but struck out eight on 98 pitches.
Barnard, McGraw, Belford and Perkins all walked —as George Arnett and Tate Queen collected singles for the lone Valley hits.
Both teams committed one error apiece.
© 2023 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved