BEAVER — This time, on the day after, the Wheelersburg Pirates’ return to Pike County was much easier —and the outcome much better.
That’s because the visiting Pirates, one day after losing 1-0 in eight innings at Waverly with the Tigers taking the game on a pair of walk-off doubles, poured on 25 runs against the Eastern Eagles —winning 25-1 in five innings in a Southern Ohio Conference Division II baseball makeup matchup on Thursday.
Eastern’s only run occurred in the opening inning, and by even then, the Eagles trailed 6-0.
Wheelersburg went off for six runs in the first, followed by two more in the second, and finally a pair of seven-spots in the third AND fourth frames before three more in the fifth.
The Pirates outhit the Eagles 19-2, and despite making two errors —greatly benefited from the Eagles’ 10.
With the win, Wheelersburg wrapped up SOC II play at 13-3 —and tied with Waverly as those two split.
The Pirates shared the league title two years ago, which was the last season before this spring —with the 2020 campaign being canceled because of the coronavirus threat.
The Pirates are now 18-7, and added a non-league contest at Greenup County (Ky.) for Tuesday.
First pitch is set for 5 p.m.
Against Eastern, the Pirates drew seven walks, but senior Eric Green with four and Cooper McKenzie and Garrett Welch with three apiece led Wheelersburg’s hit parade.
A trio of Pirates —Case Dyer, Chase Conley and D.J. Horton —had three hits apiece, as Creed Warren, Ethan Ison and Braden Horr had one.
Dyer, McKenzie, Conley and Ison all doubled once, as Green —who was hit by a pitch —stole a base.
As for runs scored, Green and McKenzie scored four times, Dyer, Conley and Warren wound up with three, Mason Montgomery and Hunter Thomas tallied two apiece —and Elias Robson, Connor Estep, Ison and Horr had one each.
McKenzie accounted for a quarter (four) of the Pirates’ runs batted in (16) — as Green, Warren, Welch and Horton had two.
Dyer, Robson, Conley and Horr had one apiece.
Estep pitched the first four innings for the Pirates for the win, throwing 71 pitches and allowing one unearned run on two hits with one walk.
Estep struck out four, as Horton had one inning of relief work —with one strikeout on 10 pitches.
Both of the Pirates’ errors, and the lone walk to Dylan Morton, resulted in Eastern’s only run —scored by leadoff man Nate Havens.
But from there, Estep sat down the next four Eagles he faced —as Eastern’s only other baserunners after Jacob Overly was stranded were Logan Clemmons with a third-inning double, Lance Barnett with a third-inning single, and Braylon Lamerson getting hit by a pitch in the fourth.
Clemmons had an RBI on Eastern’s only run, as Barnett at third and Clemmons at second were left stranded in the third.
Wheelersburg, which is the second-seeded squad in the entire Southeast District Division III tournament, will host either Crooksville or Zane Trace for a sectional championship on Saturday.
First pitch is set for high noon, as Crooksville and Zane Trace tangle in a sectional semifinal on Wednesday.
The Pirates played, and won, against Zane Trace 2-1 in a non-league encounter earlier in the season.
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