July 26, 2019
From Elkins Intermountain Newspaper
ELKINS — Elkins took the driver’s seat in the American Legion Area 5 Tournament with a 12-2 victory over Buckhannon Thursday night at Robin Harvey Memorial Field.
Post 29, which improved to 2-0 in the double-elimination tourney, will look to lock down the title at 7:30 p.m. today when it faces the winner of today’s elimination game between Buckhannon and Weston. That contest is scheduled for 5 p.m.
In Thursday’s opening contest, Cole Barker excelled both at the plate and on the mound as Weston eliminated Summersville with a 13-1 victory in five innings.
Barker not only blasted a pair of home runs and finished with three hits to lead Post 4 at the plate, but he also notched the win in five innings pitched. He allowed just three hits, struck out six and walked none.
Conner Johnson and Kole Bozic added two hits each for Weston (8-10), while Levi Fox tripled and scored three runs.
Summersville’s Nathan Hanshew (4) steps on first base as Weston’s Conner Johnson (2) takes a high throw Thursday in American Legion Area 5 tourney action at Robin Harvey Memorial Field.
Bradie Vance, Hunter Lester and Jess Kuhl had Post 131’s hits in the contest. Vance suffered the loss in one inning of work.
In Game 2, Nathan Cooper had two hits and drove in four runs to help power Post 29 to its win over Post 7.
Buckhannon held the early edge and took a 2-1 lead into the home-half of the third inning when Elkins crossed four base runners to take a 5-2 lead. Cooper had a two-run single in the inning, while Will Knight knocked in a pair of runs with a double.
Post 29 tacked on another run in the fourth before icing the contest with a six-run fifth inning. Cooper tallied another two-run single in the frame, while Cory Reed smacked a two-run double. Smith chipped in a with a run-producing single in the set.
Smith finished with three hits to lead Elkins’ 11-hit attack, while Reed and Read Schumacher collected two base hits apiece. Schumacher also scored four runs.
Matthew Gainer (5-1) allowed just three hits in five innings of work to earn the win for Post 29.
He gave up just one earned run, struck out eight and walked four.
“I thought we really responded well after getting down early,” said Elkins Manager Chris George, whose squad is now 25-15 on the season. “I give Buckhannon credit, they came out and jumped on us early. I was happy with the way we handled a little adversity early on and came back with a big inning in the third. Nathan (Cooper) had one of his best games of the year at the plate and Matthew (Gainer) went out and pitched great after shaking off the little rust early on. He (Gainer) hadn’t pitched for a couple of weeks so it was good to get him back out there.”
Wes Rosencrance suffered the loss for Buckhannon (11-13) in three innings pitched. He allowed five runs on seven hits while striking out two and walking two.
Trey Leigh, Nick Calef-Boring and Zach White had hits for Post 7.