By Michael Minnich
Tribune Sports Editor
mminnich@newstribune.info
MORGANTOWN—Romney Post 91 split their pair of two-game sets in Morgantown this weekend, defeating Morgantown Post 2, by mercy rule on Friday, 17-7, losing the rematch in the same fashion on Saturday, 18-1, then splitting two 7-inning games on Sunday versus West Virginia Prospects, dropping the opener, 6-2, and winning the second game, 9-7.
All games were played at Mylan Park.
In Friday’s game, Romney got great production from the top of their order (Bryce Strawderman was 4-for-5 with five RBIs and two runs scored in the leadoff spot) and the bottom (Tyler Ault knocked in four with two singles and two doubles, scoring three runs out of the 9-hole).
The middle wasn’t bad, either: cleanup hitter Vinnie Cuthbertson homered as part of a 4-for-5 day, finishing a triple short of the cycle with two runs scored and two RBIs, with Zack Whitacre and Wyatt Yates setting the table in front of him with two and three hits, respectively.
Yates also drove in two runs.
John Judy and Eli Hott each scored three times.
Romney took the lead for good in the top of the first as Whitacre doubled and scored on Cuthbertson’s two-run home run.
After starter Yates worked a scoreless bottom of the first, Romney padded their lead in the second.
Judy and Blake Wasson singled, then, after a wild pitch, Ault plated a run with a ground out and Strawderman rapped a two-out RBI single.
Strawderman then stole second base and scored on a Whitacre single: 5-0.
A passed ball and an error scored two runs for Morgantown in the bottom of the second, then the home team added another in the third on Tyler Hart’s RBI ground out.
Romney added to their 5-3 lead in the top of the fourth.
Hott and Ault singled, then Strawderman reached on an error on his sacrifice bunt, with Hott coming home.
Yates followed with a one-out RBI hit: 7-3.
Strawderman scored Hott with a single in the top of the fifth, then, after Andrew Berry’s two-RBI hit pulled Morgantown within three runs at 8-5, Romney broke it open in the sixth.
Yates singled, Cuthbertson doubled, and Brett Whiteman lofted a sacrifice fly for the first run of the inning.
Judy was hit by the pitch and Wasson walked to load the bases, then a walk to Hott forced in a run: 10-5.
Ault then smashed a two-RBI double and Strawderman followed with a two-RBI single: 14-5.
Romney moved into mercy rule territory with three more run in the seventh.
Judy walked and scored on an Ault double, then Strawderman hit an RBI single and Whitacre reached on a two-out error.
Yates singled home Strawderman.
Morgantown scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh but could not extend the game.
Yates earned the win, allowing five runs, three earned, on seven hits while striking out six, all looking.
The roles were reversed in a big way on Saturday: Morgantown scored one in the first and four in the second to take a 5-0 lead, then, after Whiteman’s solo home run got Romney on the board in the top of the third, Morgantown proceeded to score three in the bottom of the fourth, six in the fifth, and four in the sixth to bring the mercy rule into effect in a decisive way.
Cuthbertson singled twice and Wasson and Andrew Butts added a single each for Romney, who suffered their first loss of the year.
Whiteman allowed eight earned runs in 4 2/3 innings, walking seven, to pick up the loss.
Berry singled, doubled twice, tripled, and drove in seven runs for Morgantown.
On Sunday, Romney took an early 2-0 lead only for the Prospects to score two in the fourth to tie and four in the bottom of the fifth to eventually win.
Brandon Stotler singled twice for Romney, while Whiteman singled and drove in a run.
Strawderman and Cuthbertson each singled and scored, while Wasson singled.
Wasson pitched a complete game for Romney, allowing four earned runs on six hits with seven strikeouts.
Romney took an early lead in the second game with five runs in the top of the first, while the Prospects scored one in the home half of the inning.
Each club scored a run in the third, then, after Romney scored two in the top of the fourth to lead 8-2, only to see the Prospects answer with five in bottom of the fourth to make it a one-run game.
Romney added an insurance run in the top of the fifth, and it was enough.
Andrew Clem doubled, drove in two runs, and scored one to lead Romney offensively.
Butts, Cuthbertson, and Stotler each singled twice and scored once, with Butts and Stotler picking up an RBI apiece.
Andrew Liller was the winning pitcher for Romney, allowing six runs, four earned, on eight hits with five strikeouts in six innings.
Strawderman picked up the save with a scoreless seventh, striking out two.
Romney (3-2) hosts Fort Cumberland today at 6 p.m. at Hampshire High School.