LUCASVILLE — The Portsmouth West Senators saw several players step up in their road win over Valley on Friday — ending their month of April as winners of three out of four contests as the 2021 postseason approaches.
West’s pitching gave up just three hits to Indian hitters, each of which came during the game’s first five innings.
Luke Howard earned the victory on the mound for the Senators (9-9, 5-8 SOC II), pitching five complete innings and surrendering no earned runs and no walks.
Fellow senior Rodney Moore entered in relief and didn’t allow a hit in a two-inning save — leaving the game-tying run at third in the bottom of the seventh with a game-ending backwards K.
First-year West coach Larry Goodwin praised his team’s ability to step up as a unit in the road victory — one that avenges their 12-0 home loss to the Indians back on April 9.
“We put together a great win because we came together as a team,” Goodwin said. “Guys played places they don’t usually play, had great pitching and we did what we needed to do to come out on top.”
Jacob Davis and Caleb Hazelbaker scored each of West’s runs in the second and fourth innings, respectively.
Davis scored on a Tanner Cantrell sacrifice RBI, while Hazelbaker crossed home on one of two Valley errors.
An error on Howard scored Indians senior Andrew Andronis from third after Breckon Williams singled to move Andronis into scoring position in the home half of the third inning.
Carter Nickel took the loss on the hill for the Indians (11-7, 8-5 SOC II), pitching a complete game and allowing no earned runs on six hits.
West now prepares for their final week of SOC II contests — a home game with Eastern on Monday and road trips to face South Webster and Oak Hill later this week.
As winners of three of four entering the month of May, the Senators are hoping their season-long preparation will pay dividends come tournament time.
“We’ve made a plan that everyday we have a game — we come early. We take batting practice in our brand new facility, we take infield every day,” Goodwin said. “You had those hour and 15 minutes every day and it makes you a lot better. My varsity assistants, Mark Bradford and Pat Bays have done a great job all season. They work relentlessly on a daily basis helping our guys reach their full potential.”
West: 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 — 2 6 1
Valley: 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 — 1 3 2
W: Howard (W), L: Nickel (V), S: Moore (W)
Caleb Hazelbaker 1-3, R
Evan Whitt 1-3
Jacob Davis 1-3, R, 2B
Tanner Cantrell 0-2, RBI
Jacob Tipton 1-3
Rodney Moore 2-2
Andrew Andronis 1-3, R
Breckon Williams 1-2
Hunter Edwards 1-3
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved