Pirates blank Jeeps 3-0

Staff report

SOUTH WEBSTER — What one fly ball can do to teams’ fortunes.

For the visiting Wheelersburg Pirates, a dropped fly ball by the South Webster Jeeps jarred the door open on Wednesday — with the Pirates scoring all three of their runs in the sixth inning, and ultimately blanking the Jeeps 3-0 in a Southern Ohio Conference Division II baseball bout.

With the win, the Pirates pushed their SOC II tally to 2-0 —part of 2-1 overall with Tuesday’s non-league loss to Greenup County.

Wheelersburg opened its campaign with a 13-3 six-inning mercy-rule runaway win of Waverly on Monday.

Conversely, it’s been a tough week with the loss for South Webster, which fell to 2-3 — including one-run road setbacks at West (6-5) on Monday and at Wellston (5-4) on Tuesday.

The Jeeps dropped to 0-2 in the SOC II —with West rallying from a 5-1 deficit with a walkoff being South Webster’s other league defeat.

South Webster’s wins were a pair of one-run (2-1 and 5-4) decisions against non-league and visiting Whiteoak on Saturday.

The Pirates and Jeeps stood scoreless through five full frames, but a two-out error in left field off the bat of Connor Estep allowed three Pirates points to push across —including Cole Estep, who led off the inning by reaching on an error.

Hunter Thomas, who was hit by a Robert Martin pitch, also scored — as did Landon Hutchinson, who drew a one-out walk.

Connor Estep then relieved Caden Conn for the final two innings —and retired the Jeeps 1-2-3 in both at-bats to gain the save.

Estep only needed 25 pitches, punching up three strikeouts along with three groundouts.

Conn worked the opening five for the Pirates and was the winning pitcher —thanks to Wheelersburg’s runs in the top of the sixth before Estep came on in relief.

He struck out five, retired the Jeeps 1-2-3 in the opening three innings, and then faced 11 more batters before finally giving way to Estep.

In the third, he walked Gavin Baker and Martin —sandwiched around a Jaren Lower single which helped load the South Webster bases.

However, Conn escaped the jam —inducing Cam Carpenter into a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.

In the fifth, the Jeeps loaded the bases again —on an Isaiah Ruth single, followed by back-to-back two-out walks to Connor Bender and Baker.

But Conn, who fired 84 pitches, struck out Lower to end the inning.

Martin suffered the tough-luck pitching loss, facing 30 Pirates over the opening six frames— and tossing 106 total pitches.

He struck out nine, and none of his three runs allowed were earned —as he scattered singles to Isaac Bockway in the third, to Thomas and Conn in the fourth, and to Cooper McKenzie in the fifth.

McKenzie doubled and Bockway was hit by a pitch with two outs in the first, but Martin got a strikeout to end the threat.

Martin hit Thomas with a pitch in the second, and walked Bockway in the fifth, while Hutchinson had walks in the fourth and sixth.

Lower pitched the seventh for South Webster, and walked Bockway while striking out two.

Wheelersburg hosted Ironton on Thursday for a non-league affair, while South Webster will host Valley on Friday for an SOC II tilt.


Staff report

© 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

© 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved