MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Moorefield coach Wade Armentrout likes the way his team is playing late in the regular season.
After recently beating Hedgesville and East Fairmont, the Yellow Jackets capped off their week Saturday with a grand performance, defeating Notre Dame, 11-1, at the Mon County Classic.
“It all starts with our pitching and that’s the way it’s been from the middle of the season on. Those guys go out there with confidence,” Armentrout said. “We have a great pitching staff and they throw a lot of strikes. Our defense has been playing really well recently, so even if we don’t strike players out, we’re able to make defensive plays.”
The Class A No. 1 Yellow Jackets (19-8) scored three runs in both the second and third innings, which was plenty of support for pitcher Isaac VanMeter.
Blake Watts’ double to left field allowed Grant Keller and Derek Hoyt to score the first two runs of the contest, while VanMeter brought in the third run with a ground ball to the pitcher that resulted in one of six Irish (16-7) errors.
In the third, Matthew Jenkins scored on a wild pitch, Thomas Williams connected for an RBI single and Williams scored on an error for a 6-0 Moorefield lead.
“These are really good character guys and they’re so coachable and patient,” Armentrout said. “They work hard and work extra and they believe in each other. Now they’re believing in themselves and that’s really important.”
Elias Gordon’s single in the bottom of the third plated Garrett Collins for Notre Dame’s only run.
VanMeter induced a fly out to center off the bat of Justin Frazier to strand a pair of runners in the fourth, then retired the side in order in the fifth.
Moorefield got a run-scoring single from Jenkins in the sixth to take a 7-1 lead, before adding more insurance in the seventh.
VanMeter delivered a two-run triple to right, while Hayden Baldwin and Jenkins each accounted for RBI singles in the final inning.
VanMeter finished with three RBIs at the plate and pitched six strong inniongs, striking out four, walking one and allowing only three hits.
“He kept the ball down so he really made them have to go down and get some base hits and earn that,” Armentrout said. “He’s real accurate and can move the ball in and out.”
Jalen Miller was tagged with the loss. He allowed six runs on six hits in five innings.
“Jalen didn’t pitch bad at all. The defense let us down today, we know that,” Irish coach John Calvert said. “It just seemed like Murphy’s Law.
“We have avoided bad innings most of the year, but we had two of them in the second and the third. If we make those plays in the field like we have for Jalen most of the year, that’s a way different game.”
Baldwin and Jenkins had three hits apiece in the win, while Watts and Williams each followed with a pair of hits.