LOST CREEK, W.Va. — Midland Trail got multi-hit efforts from each of the first five hitters in its lineup, helping the Patriots produce plenty of offense Monday in a 14-4 five-inning win at South Harrison.
The first five hitters in the Midland Trail (6-4) batting order combined to go 11-for-16 with nine RBIs, eight runs and a pair of doubles as the Patriots never trailed.
“Lately, one through nine there’s not really a hole in the lineup,” Midland Trail coach Matt Hanshew said. “We’re a hard out one through nine.”
Leadoff batter Colin Dempsey singled and scored the game’s first run on a passed ball to give the Patriots a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
The Hawks (3-7) still trailed 1-0 in the top of the second and retired the first two Midland Trail batters of the frame before an error allowed the Patriots to keep batting. Indiana Eades then drew a base-on-balls before Trail put on a double steal that led to an error and Griffin Boggs scoring his team’s second run.
Trail was just getting started, however, and followed its second run with five straight hits, the first of which was a Dempsey single that scored Eades. Nathan Hanshew and Travis Scarbrough connected for back-to-back RBI doubles to up the lead to 5-0, before Cy Persinger slapped a run-scoring single to left-center for his first of three hits.
After Brent Barnette took over for starting pitcher Hunter Lipps, the Patriots’ Peyton Sheaves singled to shortstop and an error on the play enabled Persinger to score his team’s seventh run.
“At this level, you can’t make that many errors and mistakes and be competitive,” South Harrison coach Kris Southern said. “You have to capitalize on all the situations.”
South Harrison showed signs of life with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third that cut the Hawks’ deficit to five.
An error allowed Camden Southern to score his team’s first run and Barnette followes with a single to right to bring home Brandon Gray.
But just as it looked like South Harrison was drawing closer, Midland Trail put together a seven-run fourth inning to put the contest out of reach.
Nic Waugh singled home Persinger for the Patriots’ first run of the inning and Boggs’ bunt single allowed Sheaves to score for a 9-2 Trail lead.
“It’s been a little bit of a learning curve for us with young guys knowing when to get the ball in play or laying a bunt down when you need to put a bunt down,” coach Hanshew said. “When you put pressure on the defense, good things will happen.”
Later in the fourth, Hanshew and Scarbrough each had two-run singles and Sheaves’ single to center scored Tyler Brasse.
South Harrison added two more runs in the fourth on Noah Dyer’s RBI fielder’s choice and Landon McFadden’s RBI single.
The Hawks threatened to extend the game after putting a pair of runners on in the fifth inning, but Scarbrough got a fly out to left and induced a groundout to short to end it.
Scarbrough had a solid five-inning start and picked up the win despite not recording a strikeout.
“He had no strikeouts, but he pitched extremely well,” coach Hanshew said. “He was extremely efficient and got his off-speed stuff across early when he needed to. That’s going to be the key for us down the road. We don’t have a whole lot of pitching, so we have to be extremely efficient and we were today.”
Persinger had a game-high three hits, while Dempsey, Hanshew, Scarbrough and Sheaves added two hits apiece.
Lipps suffered the loss after allowing seven runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings.
Gray had three hits for South Harrison, which finished with six errors.
“To be a better program, we have to play these tougher teams,” Southern said. “But we’re going to have to start stepping it up.”