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Patriots win home debut

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Tuesday night’s baseball game between Wheeling and St. Clairsville was a total reversal of last Thursday’s 10-2 win by the Stogies.

St. Clairsville (1-1) played errorless defense, received another solid effort on the mound and scored early in posting a 7-2 decision on the sun-baked Memorial Park diamond on the Belmont County hilltop.

“I was really proud of the way the kids responded and bounced back tonight,” St. Clairsville manager Mike Muklewicz said. “We shook off that first outing and put it behind us.”

Cole Porter have the Patriots a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when he launched the first pitch he saw from Wheeling starter Gage Thomas well over the short fence in left.

After the Stogies (2-1) drew even in the fourth on a Zac Taylor single, St. Clairsville took advantage of some shoddy defense by the visitors in the bottom of the inning, scoring three times and never looking back. Jakob Jarvis roped an RBI double down the left field line to score Porter. Dakota Hess followed with a single that plated Jarvis and, after Mason Goddard walked, Will Balgo singled to left to knock in Hess.

Wheeling got one run back in the fifth when Dylan Gongola’s double off the fence in dead center scored Trevor Thomas, but Jake Probst singled with two outs in the bottom of the inning to drive in Matt Snedeker, making it 5-2.

The hosts completed the scoring with two runs in the sixth without the benefit of a hit as Wheeling pitchers walked in both tallies.

“We ran a couple of things and the kids executed. I was proud of that,” Muklewicz said. “We also got the timely hits when we needed and we bunched some hits together there in the fourth.”

Jarvis added a single to his double as the Patriots managed seven hits. Taylor singled three times to lead the Stogies’ eight-hit attack. Sal Pompeo singled twice.

“There were some things that I was disappointed with tonight. It’s just fundamental stuff like (missing) signs and missing relays,” Wheeling manager Jon-Michael Brunner said. “The hitting and the fielding will come, but the mental mistakes that we pride ourselves on not making, we had a couple tonight. We’re still trying to knock the rust off

Drake Dobson went the first five innings for St. Clairsville. The Martins Ferry product struck out six, walked none and scattered seven hits. He worked out of jams in the second, fourth and fifth frames. Colby Shriver finished up with three Ks in two innings.

“Drake threw a heckuva game. He was in control of his pitches. We let him go to about 85 and then we cut him off,” Muklewicz noted. “Then Colby came in and did his job.”

Wheeling hosts the Washington (Pa.) Renegades tonight at Patterson Field in Elm Grove. St. Clairsville is idle until Thursday when it plays in the Don Coss Tournament in Cambridge. The Patriots play Parkersburg at 6 p.m. and Cambridge at 7:30.

Jefferson County Elite 19A 4, Coshocton 0

At Mingo, four pitchers scattered nine hits as JCE (17-5-1) blanked the visiting Redskins on the Indian Creek Middle School diamond.

Connor Shultz went the first four to earn the win. He allowed six hits.

Zac Berger laced a two-run single while Alec McBane singled twice to produce a run. Clayton Criss singled in the other tally.

Jefferson County Elite 19B 11, Tri-State Blue Dons 7

At Weirton, C. Cottis and Jayden Sanders each singled, tripled and drove in a run while Evan Lewis singled twice to plate a pair. Caden Buxton homered and Branyan Wade tripled in a run.

OVBL

Barton 4, Weirton 3

At Crescent, the host Braves (9-4) scored all of their runs in the bottom of the sixth in stunning the Bobcats (5-7).

Tyler Blomquist had the game-winning, two-run homer to cap the late outburst. Colton Coss had an RBI single and scored the winning run on a passed ball.

For Weirton, Levi Mikula had a two-run double and Jake Rosnick singled twice.

The same two teams play again tonight at Murphy Field in Steubenville.

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