June 05, 2017
From the Elkins Inter-Mountain:
MOOREFIELD –The Elkins Post 29 American Legion baseball team got the season off to a hot start Sunday, taking a pair of games from Moorefield Post 64. Elkins won the first contest, 9-1, and edged by in the second game, 6-5.
“It was a good effort,” Post 29 manager Chris George said. “It was hot. It was 90 degrees in Moorefield. The effort was wonderful. The kids were focused. We made some mistakes in the second game, but they preserved and battled through. Overall, it was two very good team wins. It’s a good way to start the year, 2-0.”
Matthew Gainer earned the victory in the first game. He went 6 innings, surrendering 1 unearned run on 6 hits, while striking out 6 and walking zero. Reliever Mike Gherman closed out the contest, striking out 1 batter and walking 1 other in the seventh inning.
Moorefield’s Garrett Haggerty shouldered the loss for Post 64. He gave up 4 runs on 7 hits, while striking out 4 and walking 3.
Ben McDonald set the pace at the plate for Post 29. He went 3 for 5 with an RBI. Blake Loftis finished the day 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs, while Cole Harlan and Jared Kerns both went 2 for 5.
“Matthew Gainer pitched really well,” George said. “His change up was excellent, it was his best pitch. He threw strikes. His command was excellent, he really pitched a heck of a game for a sophomore … It was a workman like effort at the plate for the first game and workman like effort got the job done.”
In the second game, Kyle Riggleman earned the victory in relief. He surrendered 3 hits in 2 innings pitched, striking out 4 batters and giving up 1 run. Brett Smith got the start on the mound. He went 5 innings, scattering 4 runs on 4 hits while striking out 3 batters and walking 5.
Moorefield’s Sloan Williams notched the loss. He gave up 3 runs on 5 hits in 1 inning pitched.
Post 29 was down 5-3 going into the top of the 7th inning, when the team rallied from behind to take the lead. Ben McDonald got things started with a single. Sam Ross hit into a fielders choice that erased McDonald from going to second. Harlan singled to move Ross to second. Loftis then connected with a single to push Ross across the plate. That made the score 5-4. Ben Huffman hit a single to score Harlan and tie the game. Then, with two outs, Smith smacked a single to score Cole Crumm, who was pinch running for Loftis. That gave Elkins a 6-5 advantage. In the bottom of the seventh, Kyle Riggleman stuck out 3 straight batters to preserve the victory.
“We got behind early,” George said. “We had six errors and that really hurt us, that set us back. The boys kept battling and fighting. I’m proud of the seventh inning, how they kept it alive. They hit the ball well and had good at bats. They got timely hits. They had a never-say-die attitude. It really challenged them and they came back. It was a great team win.”
Elkins Post 29 (2-0) returns to action on Tuesday to face Garrett County, Md. Post 214/71 at 6 p.m.