PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — From start to finish.
The Wahama baseball team began the 2017 season by defeating Parkersburg Catholic and ended the 2017 campaign in a similar fashion on Wednesday night following an 11-3 decision over the host Crusaders in a non-conference contest in Wood County.
The White Falcons (15-9) never trailed in the contest as the guests built a 5-1 edge through three innings and ultimately never looked back.
The Crusaders (5-11) rallied with a run in the fourth to close to within 5-2, but WHS scored six of the seven runs that came across in the fifth frame — giving the Red and White a sizable eight-run cushion the rest of the way.
The victory allowed Wahama to claim a season sweep after posting a 12-2 decision in five innings back on March 21 in Mason. The White Falcons — the two-time reigning Class A champions — have also won three straight and 4-of-5 overall decisions headed into the postseason tournament.
WHS claimed its first lead of the night in the first inning as Philip Hoffman received a two-out walk and later scored on three straight passed balls, making it a 1-0 contest through a half-inning of play. PCHS tied the game in their half of the opener as Ryan Roedersheimer walked and came around on an error.
The White Falcons took a permanent lead in the second as Tanner Smith scored from third on a successful double steal for a 2-1 edge.
The guests picked up a pair of runs in the third as David Hendrick and Hoffman both scored on an error, the Dalton Kearns scored from third on a successful double steal that led to a 5-1 advantage through three complete.
Isaac Walters reached on an error and later scored on a double by Roedersheimer, allowing the hosts to close to within 5-2 through four complete. The Crusaders, however, were never closer the rest of the way.
Wahama sent a dozen batters to the plate in the top of the fifth, and the guests produced six runs despite having only two hits during the frame. WHS also received three walks and had four batters hit by a pitch during that scoring rush, which eventually gave the Red and White an 11-2 advantage.
Parkersburg Catholic received a two-out single from Joel Stophel in its half of the fifth, which allowed Pat Copen to score for an eight-run deficit. The hosts mustered only two baserunners the rest of the way as the White Falcons wrapped up the decision.
The White Falcons outhit PCHS by a 7-5 overall margin and both teams committed three errors apiece in the contest. The hosts stranded 10 runners on base, while Wahama left nine on the bags.
Kearns was the winning pitcher of record after allowing three runs (two earned), five hits and three walks over five innings while striking out 10. Antonio Serevicz also worked two scoreless innings of relief, allowing only two walks while fanning five.
Copen took the loss for PCHS after surrendering 11 runs (seven earned), six hits and one walk over 4.2 frames while fanning four. Jeb Boice also walked one and struck one out in an inning of relief.
Smith led the Red and White with two hits, followed by Hendrick, Hoffman, Kearns, Jared Oliver and Bryton Grate with a safety apiece.
Kearns drove in a team-high two RBIs, while Hendrick, Oliver, Hoffman and Smith also knocked in a run each. Hendrick, Hoffman, Kearns and Smith each scored twice, while Oliver, Grate and Tyler Bumgarner also had touched home plate once apiece.
Copen paced the Crusaders with three hits, followed by Roedersheimer and Stophel with a safety apiece.
Third-seeded Wahama opens postseason play on Monday when it hosts sixth-seeded Calhoun County in the opening round of the Class A Region 4, Section 1 tournament at 5 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.