MARTINS FERRY - Maximizing your chances and making other teams pay for their mistakes are key ingredients in the recipe for baseball success.
Monroe Central's list of mistakes included four errors, six hit batsmen and two balks.
The homestanding Purple Riders added to the Seminoles' problems by connecting on timely hit after timely hit and eventually posted a 17-7 victory in five innings during the opening game of a twinbill high atop the sun-splashed Purple City.
T-L Photo/SETH STASKEY
MARTINS FERRY’S Brendan Baire watches a base hit in the fifth inning during Saturday’s game against Monroe Central.?Additional images may be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
The Seminoles righted the ship somewhat in the second game and posted an 8-7 victory to garner the split.
"Our timely hitting was the name of the game today, and we'd been waiting on (our offense to break out) for a long time," said Ferry head coach Anthony Reasbeck. "We need to progress doing that as the season continues."
The Riders needed the offense after Monroe Central, which played at PNC Park in Pittsburgh on Friday, jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Chad Alleman doubled down the left-field line, which cleared the bases.
"We got off to a good start and swung the bats pretty well, which was a carry over from (Friday)," said Monroe head coach Ryan Rosnick. "We knew Martins Ferry was going to hit the ball well, so we knew we had to make plays. And we did everything but make a play, so when you have a team that hits the ball like (Ferry) and you don't get outs you need, you're in trouble."
The offensive fireworks were just beginning, however.
The game was tied at five when the Purple Riders, who pounded out 13 hits off a trio of Seminole pitchers, came to bat in the home half of the third. Senior pitcher Luke Straub came on in relief of Matt Barbour and proceeded to sit down six straight Seminoles.
The Ferry offense just kept ringing up hit after hit or free pass after free pass.
In the third inning, Ferry sent 12 to the plate, scored six times and seized total control of the game.
Senior first baseman Robert Vargo delivered the big hit for the Riders with a three-run double.
Junior Garrett Trudo, who had an impressive offensive day, singled in two more runs in the fourth with a single. He also had a two-run single in the second and then ended the game with his third two-run base hit of the afternoon in the bottom of the fifth.
Ethan Baire also had three singles and a RBI for Ferry. Barbour had a RBI single. Marcus Sutton drove in a run and lead-off hitter Brenden Baire had three singles and scored a like number of runs.
"Our top guys get on base, so if we can start driving those guys in, I think we can be dangerous," Reasbeck said. "We have to get better defensively, which I think will help our offense."
Straub finished with the mound victory for the Riders. He worked three innings, fanned two, walked two and allowed two runs.
Monroe Central's offense in the first game was led by Ethan Groves, who had a RBI single. Peter Frontz had two singles. Eric Ward had a RBI and Alleman finished with four ribbies.
IN GAME TWO, Monroe Central struck for all eight of its runs in the opening three innings and then held on to post the victory.
Bryan Duffy earned the pitching win for the Seminoles in six innings of work. He also had three base hits. Alleman had three hits as well.
Martins Ferry was led by two RBI singles by Vargo.