By NICK CARROLL
SHORT GAP, W.Va. - The Petersburg baseball squad sailed into Mineral County on Friday evening boasting nine straight wins and the No. 2 seed, but the Viking victory ship got flipped fast as a flurry of Falcons pecked out 15 runs en route to a big-time blowout 15-1. The No. 1 seed Frankfort Falcons (21-4) clinched their bid into the Section 1 Region 1 Championship scoring 29 runs in 2 postseason games while surrendering only 1 run.
This Falcon team is similar to a Zambelli fireworks show. Great to see live in person, always exciting, and you never know which player might explode during any given game. On Friday night it was senior Nick Corwell’s turn to sparkle in the spotlight. In the first inning with 2 outs on the board, all three sacks were packed with Falcons with Frankfort leading 2-0. Corwell fought back from an 0-2 count to clobber a line drive double to center field scoring Wyatt Yates, Blake Rhodes, and Brendan Whiteman. After posting 5 runs in the first inning Frankfort scored 2 mores runs in the second inning as Caleb Hare smacked a double to score Zack Whitacre. Then Wyatt Yates connected on a ground ball to score Caleb Hare.
In the 3rd inning Frankfort scored a total of 7 runs which was highlighted by Nick Corwell’s at bat as he once again came to the plate with ducks on the pond. The bases were loaded because Petersburg pitching went erratic and they walked a combined 5 batters in the bottom of the third. This time Mr. Clutch Corwell catapulted a double to left field scoring Wyatt Yates, Blake Rhodes, and Brendan Whiteman giving Frankfort a 14-0 lead. The Falcons tacked on 1 more run in the bottom of the fourth inning as Foster Conis hit a line drive to center field scoring Zack Whitacre.
Blake Wasson was the winning pitcher of record for the Falcons tossing a total of 86 pitches in 5 innings, throwing 61 strikes, 7 strikeouts, allowing 3 hits and 1 run (0 earned runs allowed). Wasson was close to a shutout but an error in the field cost Wasson the chance to keep a goose egg on the board for the Vikings as they squeaked out 1 run in the top of the 5th.
Nick Corwell stuffed the stat sheet going 2-for-3 at the plate (both doubles) and racking up a total of 6 RBI’s. Zack Whitacre finished the game with a triple, a double, a walk, and 3 runs. Caleb Hare dinged a double with 1 RBI and 2 runs, Brendan Whiteman went 1-for-2 with 1 RBI and 2 runs, and Foster Conis went 2-for-3 with 1 walk, 1 RBI, and 2 runs.
Wyatt Yates was 2-for-3 at the plate, with 1 walk, 2 RBI’s, and 2 runs. In addition to his outstanding performance on the mound, Blake Wasson had a solid day at the plate going 1-for-2 with 2 walks, 2 RBI, and 2 runs. Blake Rhodes also swung the stick with success in the batters box going 2-for-3 with 1 walk, 2 RBI, and 2 runs.
In the visitor dugout, Peyton Sindledecker, Trad Harman and Dawson Tingler each recorded a hit for the Vikings. With the loss Petersburg tumbled into the loser’s bracket which will have them play against the No. 4 seed Golden Tornado. Keyser stayed alive in the loser’s bracket as they defeated Grafton on Saturday afternoon.
With the victory the Frankfort Falcons will get some rest awaiting their next opponent from the loser’s bracket (Keyser or Petersburg) in the Section 1 Championship. The Keyser vs Petersburg game was postponed on Monday night, but the two teams look to tangle today, Tuesday May 15th (weather permitting) for the right to play in the Sectional Championship. Time and location for the Petersburg vs Keyser game will be determined Tuesday morning. Follow me on Twitter @MineralSports or Facebook for updates.