LUCASVILLE — For the second time this baseball season and on a Wednesday, the Wheelersburg Pirates and Valley Indians squared off on a cold day.
And, for the second time this season, the Pirates posted a key Southern Ohio Conference Division II shutout.
That’s because Wheelersburg senior Elias Robson recorded the winning blanking on Wednesday at Valley High School — as the Pirates put together single runs in innings one, three and seven — and captured a consequential 3-0 victory.
Robson, in crafting the complete-game shutout, hit Valley’s Andrew Andronis with a pitch to lead off the Indians’ at-bats —but only a seventh-inning walk to Landon Jones was his only other free pass permitted.
In between, Robson struck out seven of the 29 Indians he faced — and retired the Tribe 1-2-3 in innings four and six.
He also faced four Indians apiece in innings four and five, and stranded seven throughout the entirety of the contest.
Both teams had six hits, but Robson’s defense did the job behind him — not committing a single error compared to Valley making three.
With the win, Wheelersburg completed the season sweep of the Indians — and raised its record to 12-2 and 8-1 in the rugged SOC II.
The Pirates, perhaps more importantly, remained right with Minford atop the division standings — as the Falcons are 9-1 in the league, as Wheelersburg lost at Minford on April 9 for its only conference defeat.
The young Indians, on the other hand, fell to 8-6 —and 6-4 in the division.
In the first meeting on March 31 in Wheelersburg, it was another chilly Wednesday —but ‘Burg senior Ethan Ison had the hot hand, and an even hotter bat.
Ison earned the pitching win with six solid innings of allowing two hits and two walks, striking out nine Indians in the process.
Ison also — in that matchup — doubled to lead off the second inning, smashed a three-run home run in the fourth, and twice was hit by a pitch.
Wheelersburg won its league opener with a 9-0 decision.
This time, Wheelersburg’s wealth was spread out against Valley ace George Arnett — as Eric Green garnered two hits with five others amounting one hit apiece.
In the opening at-bat, Green singled to lead off and Case Dyer reached on an error in the outfield —as Dyer later scored combined with back-to-back fielder’s choices off the bats of Cooper McKenzie and Ison.
In the third, Dyer scored again —singling, stealing second, and scoring on a McKenzie double.
In the seventh, Chase Conley doubled to lead off as Gabe Welch pinch-ran for him — and Welch crossed to make it 3-0 on D.J. Horton’s RBI-double.
The sophomore Arnett, in also going the distance for the Indians and fanning four, allowed only two earned runs —and did not plunk a Pirate nor issue a walk.
He retired the Pirates 1-2-3 in the second, fourth and sixth, and faced four batters in the fifth frame.
For the Indians, after Andronis was hit by a pitch and advanced on a balk, Arnett’s two-out single put runners on the corners.
But Robson ended the opening inning by inducing Chase Morrow to hit into a 6-4 fielder’s choice.
In the third, Hunter Edwards and Arnett singled with two outs —and Edwards stole second —but again Robson left the Indians on the corners.
In the seventh, Carter Nickel singled and Jones walked — but Robson registered the final two outs to end the game with runners at second and third.
Blake Wood in the second and Andronis in the fifth accounted for Valley’s only other hits.
* * *
Wheelersburg 101 000 1 —3 6 0
Valley 000 000 0 — 0 6 3
WHS: Elias Robson 7IP, 0R, 0ER, 6H, 1BB, 1HB, 7K, 29BF
VHS: George Arnett 7IP, 3R, 2ER, 6H, 0BB, 0HB, 4K, 28BF
W — Elias Robson; L — George Arnett
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