Wheeling Central Catholic hands Williamstown first loss, 8-6

WHEELING, W.Va. — Trailing 4-0 just six batters into the game, Wheeling Central Catholic chipped away at an early deficit to deal No. 1 Williamstown their first loss of the season, 8-6 Monday evening at the J.B. Chambers I-470 Complex.

The No. 3 Maroon Knights posted their eighth consecutive victory and defeated a top Region I rival in their first of two meetings in the span of just over a week.

“It is that big-game mentality we are trying to get used to,” said Wheeling Central Catholic head coach Todd Cover. “We are a young team. We are trying to get to the level that the Williamstown’s and the Charleston Catholic’s are at. It is fun to win one game but it is about sustaining it for the season.”

After falling behind in the first inning, Wheeling Central Catholic answered with three runs in the first and another run in the second to level the game at 4. Five of Central’s twelve hits came in the first two innings.

“I think that was the key to the game. They did that to us last year and we kind of just folded. It is a new year and a new team. I think we have a lot of good senior leadership. I think that was the difference. Coming back and getting three, getting us back in the game was key.”

Williamstown regained the lead in the top of the fifth when WVU signee Maxwell Molessa hit a solo home run and Ty Ott later scored on a wild pitch. However, one big swing of the bat from Gary Hatfield gave the Knights their first lead of the game. His three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth put Central ahead 7-6.

“When he finds the barrel, he finds the barrel and it usually goes. So it was a big hit for us to take the lead. I thought we battled all night long as far as hitting.”

Staked to an 8-6 lead, Steven Brodegard came out of the bullpen and stranded four runners on base over the final two innings, including a bases loaded situation in the seventh.

“Adrenaline helped him get through it,” Cover said.

Brayden Cover pitched five innings to earn the win for the Maroon Knights (9-1). Jenner Burge pitched five innings for the Yellowjackets (10-1) before being relieved by Parker Schramm.

Hatfield went 2-for-3 for Central with four runs batted in. Eli Tucker had three hits for the Knights while Braxton Billick and Cover each had two hits.

Carson Hill had three hits for the Yellowjackets while Molessa went 2-for-3.

These two teams will square off once again on April 22 at Williamstown.





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