Brilliant upends Weirton in Beast of the East

WEIRTON — The sequel almost was as crazy as the original.

For the second time this week, the Brilliant Post 573 and Weirton Post 10 Legion baseball teams staged a wild affair on the diamond. This time, Brilliant collected a 15-9 victory in the 31st annual Edgar Martin Beast of the East tournament Friday morning at Edwin Bowman Field.

“You have two teams that can score a lot of runs,” Brilliant (7-6) head coach Keith Rejonis said. “The other day it was 15-11, and this one was 15-9.”

The game was called at the end of the fifth inning due to the two-hour game rule.

“Whenever you have us versus Brilliant, it’s either going to be 2-1, 15-14 or 15-9,” Weirton (4-10) head coach Jason Swartzmiller said. “We are two evenly matched teams. When we play, it is going to be a fight. Brilliant is a good offensive team. They can score a lot of runs. We are hot right now offensively, and we can score a lot of runs.”

Post 10 scored six unanswered runs in the final two innings to defeat Post 573, 15-11, Monday down at Bill Mazeroski Field. That game lasted 2 hours and 44 minutes.

Brilliant led 7-2 after two innings on Friday, but Weirton battled back and pulled within 7-6 at the end of the third.

The momentum was on the side of Post 10, but it did not last long. With the heat on, Brilliant erupted for even runs in the top of the fourth inning to take a 14-6 and gain some much needed breathing room.

“It was real important,” Rejonis said about his team’s second big inning of the game. “We hit the ball, we were able to drive it and we were able to score some runs. We are hitting one through nine. Our heads were not down. We know we need our offense to score runs.”

Post 10 plated a pair of runs in the home half of the inning to pull within 14-8, but Weirton had a golden opportunity to pull even closer by a hard line drive to third was caught and a throw to second resulted in a double play ending the inning.

Both teams tallied a run in the fifth.

“It was a typical game between us,” Swartzmiller said. “Both teams can score a lot of runs. When you score a lot runs, it takes time, and because of that we were only able to play five innings. If we were able to play a full seven innings, who knows what would have happened. I felt confident that we were going to score more runs, and I’m sure they did too.

“You can say what if, but you can’t rely on what if. We did not get the job done defensively. We gave up too many runs because of too many errors. Going by that, you cannot look at what if.”

Collin Holmes went the distance to pick up the win for Post 573. Holmes struck out four and did not walk a batter, while giving up nine runs on 13 hits.

“Our pitcher did what he could,” Rejonis said. “He made them look. He was able to go the distance. We play good defense for the most part. I know we had some fielding errors in the second and third innings.”

Nick Paul started for Post 10 but took the loss. Paul struck out one, walked three and allowed six runs in 1 2/3 innings of work. Andrew Goettel replaced him with two outs in the second. Goettel did not record a strikeout, walked one and allowed eight runs on seven hits in another 1 2/3 innings of work. Joey Dawson relieved Goettel with one out in the fourth. Dawson struck out three, walked two and allowed one run on three hits in his 1 2/3 innings.

“I thought our pitchers threw well,” Swartzmiller said. “Nick Paul did well for as long as he was in there. Andrew Goettel came in and did a very good job. Joey Dawson came in and did a really good job as well. They threw strikes.

“We had too many errors. I give them credit in the fourth inning. They earned those runs. That wasn’t the case in the second inning. We had too many errors in that inning. We gave them a lot of runs. We have to do a better job defensively. We can’t keep throwing the ball away. This was another game we gave away because of our errors.”

Through two innings, Brilliant tallied seven runs on just two hits, while Weirton committed five errors. Post 10 committed seven errors overall, while Post 573 committed five.

Antony Coggins contributed two singles and three RBIs for Brilliant. Austen Rejonis and Owen Long each recorded two singles and an RBI. Mason Goddard delivered a single and two RBIs. Bobby Roth, Daniel Kelly and Holmes all collected an RBI single, while Dasyn Hores added a double.

For Weirton, Nick Leonard delivered two doubles, a single and four RBIs. Luke Beatty tallied two singles, a double and an RBI. Dawson delivered two doubles and RBI, while Elijah Gillette collected two base hits and an RBI. Riley Nolan ripped a double, Luke Gillette contributed an RBI single and Paul picked up a base hit.

Brilliant took the early lead with a run in the first, but Weirton answered right back with two runs in the home half of the inning to take a 2-1 advantage.

Post 573’s first big inning came in the second as the victors recorded six runs to build a 7-2 advantage.

With the win, Post 573 improved to 3-0 in the tournament. Brilliant opened the tournament with a 10-7 win against the Fayette Patriots in six innings Thursday morning at Vaccaro Field before defeating Monroeville, 8-5, in the last game of the day Thursday at Edwin Bowman Field.

“This tournament has a local vibe,” Coach Rejonis said. “We are a local team. Weirton is a local team. This is the 31st year for this tournament. Our kids do what they need to do. This tournament is in their backyard.

“Last year, we were in the third-place bracket. This year, we are 3-0. We are doing better this year than we did last year.”

With the loss, Post 10 dropped to 1-2 in the tournament. The Steel Town Maulers defeated Weirton, 13-4, in five innings in Post 10’s first game of the tournament Thursday morning at home before defeating the TCT Kings, 5-1, in the second game of the day.

After playing at 8 a.m., both Brilliant and Weirton were scheduled to play in games at 6 p.m.

Brilliant was scheduled to play the Steel Town Maulers at Brooke.

“With the heat, it is nice for the boys to get a break,” Rejonis said. “Though we are local, most of our kids have to drive 40 miles to get here. It’s the 4th of July weekend. You have people camping and stuff. Our kids are doing well with it.”

Weirton was scheduled to play the Fayette Patriots in the late game.

“We’ll find out if the break was good for us,” Swartzmiller said. “(Thursday), playing back-to-back worked out well for us. This was our third game in less than two days. We played well in the second game (Thursday).”

Both teams are scheduled to play two games today at Edwin Bowman Field.

Brilliant is slated to play the TCT Kings at 8 a.m. and the Triple Crown Royals at 10:30. Meanwhile, Weirton is scheduled to play the Triple Crown Royals at 1 p.m., before playing Monroeville at 6 p.m.

Brilliant 15, Weirton 9

Brilliant 1-6-0 7-1 — 15-12-5

Weirton 2-0-4 1-1 — 9-13-7

BRILLIANT (7-6): Holmes (wp, 5IP, 9R, 13 H, 4K, 0BB) and Coggins

WEIRTON (4-10): Paul (lp, 1 2/3IP, 6R, 2H, 1K, 3BB), Goettel (1 2/3IP, 8R, 7H, 0K, 1BB), Dawson (1 2/3IP, 1R, 3H, 3K, 2BB) and Beatty

TWO OR MORE HITS: Brilliant 3 (Coggins 2, Rejonis 2, Long 2); Weirton 3 (Beatty 3, Leonard 3, E. Gillette 2, Dawson2 ). DOUBLES: Brilliant 1 (Hores); Weirton 4 (Beatty, Dawson, Leonard, Nolan). TRIPLES: none. HOME RUNS: Brilliant none. RBIs: Brilliant 9 (Coggins 3, Gooddard, Holmes, Roth, Rejonis, Long, Kelley); Weirton 8 (Leonard 4, E. Gillette, Beatty, Dawson, L. Gillette).