SOUTH WEBSTER — Sometimes, it’s all about in the middle.
That’s because the visiting West Senators scored two runs apiece in innings two, four and five sandwiched around a three-run third frame —en route to capturing a 9-4 Southern Ohio Conference Division II baseball encounter on Wednesday over the South Webster Jeeps.
South Webster went up 2-0 in the opening inning, when Riley Cook connected for a two-run single.
But the Senators struck back for five consecutive counters to lead 5-2, as the Jeeps then twice scored single markers in the third and fourth for a 7-4 deficit.
West went ahead for good with three third-inning runs —thanks to Caleb Hazelbaker’s two-run double on an 0-2 pitch, followed by Evan Whitt with a sacrifice fly.
With the win, the Senators raised their records to 11-9 and 7-8 in the SOC II, while the Jeeps fell to 7-14 and to 3-11 in the league.
The Senators also overcame four errors to the Jeeps’ two by outhitting South Webster 12-8, including a team-high three by Hazelbaker, who also scored a run.
Steven Sadler, Tanner Cantrell and Rodney Moore muscled two hits apiece including a double by Moore — as Sadler, Whitt and Moore managed a pair of runs batted in.
Whitt, Luke Howard and Eli Sayre secured hits as well as Whitt whacked a double, and Sayre singled in a run in the second stanza —before scoring himself.
Sayre and Cantrell crossed the plate twice, as Hazelbaker, Whitt, Howard, Sadler and Luke Bradford scored single runs.
One of Sadler’s RBI was a sacrifice fly, as Howard and Bradford both were hit by a pitch —with Bradford and Sayre drawing walks.
Billy Jones, the first of two South Webster hurlers, went the first four and two-thirds frames — suffering the pitching loss by allowing nine runs on 11 hits with two walks and two hit batsmen.
Seven of the runs which Jones gave up were indeed earned, as he struck out four before Cam Carpenter came on in relief the rest of the way.
West’s ability to gain and eventually build the lead made mound work easier for the senior Howard, who pitched a complete-game gem and threw 111 total pitches.
Howard did scatter eight hits and four walks with three of the four Jeep runs being earned, as he struck out five en route to the win.
Jones helped his cause at the plate with three hits including a double, as Cook also doubled as part of his two-hit afternoon.
Both Jones and Cook collected RBIs along with Robert Martin, as Aidan Andrews with a double — and Carpenter and Gavin Baker both with singles — accounted for the other Jeeps’ basehits.
The Jeeps did leave 10 men on base — as Andrews, Baker, Jaren Lower and Trae Zimmerman all scored runs while Andrews, Carpenter, Cook and Isaiah Ruth all drew walks.
© 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved