WHEELERSBURG — The Wheelersburg Pirates’ push towards another Southern Ohio Conference Division II baseball championship included two more runaway wins on Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, in a regularly-scheduled SOC II tilt at South Webster, the Pirates pounded the host Jeeps to the tune of 20 runs on 18 hits en route to a 20-1 five-inning win.
On Saturday, in a makeup matchup against Eastern, Wheelersburg roared to another mercy-rule rolling —this time a 13-1 shutout.
With the weekend SOC II sweep, the Pirates —which shared the 2019 conference title with Minford — are once again tied with the Falcons atop the division at 7-1.
Wheelersburg’s lone league loss took place at Minford on April 9 — when the Falcons forged a 6-2 triumph.
The Pirates raised their overall record to 11-2, with the only other loss (6-3) coming against Division I stronghold Hilliard Darby in the season opener at Chillicothe’s VA Memorial Stadium.
The Friday loss left South Webster at 4-9 and 2-6, while Eastern is now 2-8 and 0-8 in the league.
Minford’s only SOC II defeat is in fact against the Jeeps, as South Webster won that first meeting by a count of 11-7.
For the Pirates, against three Jeep pitchers, they scored four first-inning runs on four hits — followed by five more markers on five more hits in the third, eight runs on six knocks in the fourth, and finally three final runs on four final hits in the fifth.
South Webster was actually able — after facing the entire order in the opening inning before the Pirates sent 10 men to the plate in the third, 14 more in the fourth and another nine in the fifth — to retire the Pirates 1-2-3 in the second.
Wheelersburg split its pitching duties against the Jeeps between junior Hunter Thomas and senior Elias Robson, as Thomas took the mound for the first three frames followed by Robson with the final two.
Thomas, before retiring seven of the final eight Jeeps he faced including his only strikeout, allowed an earned run in the bottom of the first.
Aidan Andrews opened the at-bat by drawing a walk, advanced to second on an error, went to third on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Robert Martin, and later scored.
Cam Carpenter had a single in the inning for the Jeeps’ only hit, as Isaiah Ruth drew a second-stanza walk.
Robson, in facing seven Jeeps, struck out five —and did not allow a free pass,
Against Eastern, the Pirates sent a dozen to the dish in their first at-bat — gaining eight runs on only three hits.
In the second, and with two outs, D.J. Horton and Creed Warren whacked back-to-back doubles — with Warren driving in Horton to make it 9-0.
Finally, in the third, the Pirates batted around —and this time churned out four more runs on four more hits.
Wheelersburg went down 1-2-3 in the fourth, but no worries as the Pirates allowed only an unearned run in the top of the fifth.
This time, Braden Horr was Wheelersburg’s winning pitcher by going the opening four innings —shutting out the Eagles and allowing only three hits and one walk with five strikeouts.
Horr faced four Eagles apiece in the first and fourth, did give up his two hits in the third but countered those with three of his strikeouts, and retired Eastern 1-2-3 in the second.
Connor Estep pitched the fifth for Wheelersburg — walking two and whiffing two while allowing a Logan Clemmons single after an error.
Clemmons also singled in the first for two of Eastern’s four hits.
© 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved