St. Joe sweeps White Falcons, 7-4

By Bryan Walters -

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — No luck with the Irish.

A five-run third inning ultimately provided host Huntington Saint Joseph with all of the offensive support it needed Thursday night during a 7-4 victory over the Wahama baseball team during a non-conference matchup in Cabell County.

The visiting White Falcons (12-9) led 1-0 after an inning of play, but the Irish (7-12) countered with two runs in the second before erupting in the third en route to a commanding 7-1 cushion through three innings of play.

WHS rallied with two runs in the fourth and added another score in the seventh, then had the tying run at the plate when the Red and White ultimately ran out of outs. The outcome also allowed HSJ to earn a season sweep after picking up a 9-8 decision in Mason back on April 8.

The White Falcons — who have dropped three of their last four outcomes — took their only lead of the game in the top of the first as Dalton Kearns singled home David Hendrick with two outs, giving the guests a 1-0 advantage.

Lenny Washington led the bottom of the second off with a triple, then came around to tie the game on an error that allowed Noah Beter to reach safely. St. Joe took a permanent lead one batter later as Trevor Barnes doubled in Beter for a 2-1 edge through two complete.

The Irish sent 10 batters to the plate in the home half of the third, which resulted in five runs on two hits, four walks, an error and a sacrifice fly — making it a 7-1 contest.

Wahama responded in the fourth as Tyler Bumgarner led things off with a double, then advanced to third on a single by Tanner Smith. Bryton Grate lifted a sac fly to center that allowed Bumgarner to score, then Smith came around on a Wyatt Edwards ground out that trimmed the deficit down to 7-3 after four full frames.

Down four headed into the seventh, the White Falcons got consecutive one-out singles from Nyles Riggs, Hendrick and Jared Oliver to load the bases.

Philip Hoffman lifted a sacrifice fly to center that allowed Riggs to score, but Hendrick was eventually ruled out for leaving early while attempting to advance to third on the sac fly — which also proved to be the final out of the contest.

Wahama outhit the hosts by a slim 8-7 overall margin and both teams committed an error apiece in the game. Each squad also stranded six runners on base.

Bronson Barker was the winning pitcher of record after allowing four earned runs, eight hits and one walk over seven innings while striking out one. Hendrick took the loss after surrendering seven runs (six earned), four hits and four walks over three frames of work.

Oliver and Smith paced WHS with two hits apiece, followed by Hendrick, Kearns, Bumgarner and Riggs with a safety apiece. Hoffman, Kearns, Grate and Edwards each knocked in a run in the setback.

Barnes led the Irish with two hits and four RBIs, followed by Washington, Beter, Charlie White, Chris Harris and Trenton Sparks with a safety apiece. Beter also had two RBIs and scored twice, while Washington also accounted for a pair of runs.

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

By Bryan Walters