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McNew hits 3 doubles, Ward throws 5 scoreless as Preston holds off late rally to top Clay-Battelle

Apr. 23—BLACKSVILLE — Preston struck first, but Clay-Battelle battled late as the Knights hung on to defeat the Cee-Bees 10-6 Tuesday evening on Sunset Field at Mason-Dixon Elementary School.

Preston (7-7) scored in the top of the first on back-to-back doubles by Robbie Lowe and Bryson McNew and then added six runs in the second to jump ahead 7-0 early. But then the offense dried up as the Knights didn't score again until the seventh.

"If I had eight seniors or juniors starting, I'd have been all over them, but when you've got young kids like that, it's kind of an opportunity for them to grow and learn from it, " Preston coach Glen McNew said. "The more they're in those situations, the more they're going to keep their foot on the gas and start understanding that stuff."

In that six-run second inning, Lyric Moats and Tanner Thomas each drove in a run before Bryson McNew and Caleb Wharton both had two-run base knocks.

After that, however, Clay-Battelle (3-12) starter JC Spears rebounded to pitch four scoreless innings.

"He's the leader of the team, " CB coach Johnny Coombs said of his lone senior starter. "He's the one I tell what I want the other guys to do."

CB made a few mistakes in the frame that contributed to the scoring in the second—a throwing error, a throw to the wrong base and missing a cutoff man in the outfield.

"If you make an error, walk a guy, make another error, someone hits and then that's the snowball effect, " Coombs said. "I just told (Spears) to throw to the corners—up and down, in and out. Those guys were going to hit the ball, we just needed to make plays behind him."

The Cee-Bees played clean defense for the next four innings, even throwing out a would-be base stealer in the fifth and making up for an error by turning a double play in the sixth.

Clay-Battelle then took advantage of two Preston errors in the bottom of the sixth to score a pair of runs. Alex Danser had an RBI single in the process. Preston responded with three more in the top of the seventh with Lowe and Bryson McNew picking up an RBI each.

Clay-Battelle rallied again in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, five straight Cee-Bees reached base as the team scored four runs. CB didn't even hit into an out at the end as it was a baserunning mistake that finally brought the third out.

"If we don't make a base running mistake, I just wonder how far it goes, " Coombs pondered.

Win or not, Coombs was just happy to see some fight out of his club late in the game.

"(Monday) night they just quit, " he said. "Against Tygarts Valley we went into the top of the seventh tied 4-4 and gave up 10 runs."

Spears, Austin Foley and Danser each had two hits for the Cee-Bees. Spears scored twice while Foley hit a double. Cam Merer and Danser had the team's RBIs. Spears' final pitching line was seven runs in six innings on 10 hits with one walk and four strikeouts.

Preston made five total errors in the contest, allowing Clay-Battelle to score six runs despite only having two RBI.

"We had a lot of guys playing different positions and a lot of guys who don't play a ton, " Coach McNew explained. "It was nice seeing those guys get to play, but we kind of fell asleep at the wheel a little bit.

"Those kinds of games, in the long run, can be a benefit because it kind of wakes them up and gets them thinking. It's a good thing we have practice tomorrow and not a game."

Bryson McNew, a freshman, finished 3-5 with three doubles and four RBI. Whorton had two hits and drove in two. Slaton Manko, Lowe, Wyatt Moyer and Thomas all also hit a double.

Ayden Ward was strong on the mound for the Knights, hurling five scoreless innings while striking out four. Ward, a sophomore, only allowed five baserunners on four hits and an error, but his quick delivery out of the stretch allowed him to pitch even better with runners on.

"For a team that has one senior, one junior and the rest are freshmen and sophomores, we've got a bright future coming, " Coach McNew said.

Clay-Battelle is right back at it with a game against Cameron today.

Preston will travel to University on Thursday.

BOX SCORE Preston 10, Clay-Battelle 6 PHS 160 000 3—10 13 5 CB 000 002 4—6 10 2 PRESTON (7-7)—Manko 5 1 2 1 ; Lowe 3 2 2 1 ; Bry. McNew 5 1 3 4 ; Bra. McNew 5 1 1 0 ; Wharton 3 0 2 2 ; Moyer 4 1 1 0 ; Ward 2 0 1 0 ; Adams 0 1 0 0 ; Moats 2 1 0 1 ; McVicker 1 0 0 0 ; Thomas 4 2 1 1. Totals 34 10 13 10.

CLAY-BATTELLE (3-12)—Henthorn 4 1 0 0 ; Spears 4 2 2 0 ; Foley 4 1 2 0 ; Mercer 4 1 2 1 ; Strosnider 2 0 0 0 ; Summers 1 0 1 0 ; Danser 4 0 2 1 ; A. Wilson 1 0 0 0 ; J. Wilson 2 0 0 0 ; Nestor 1 0 0 0 ; Statler 2 0 0 0 ; Nash 1 0 0 0 ; Coen 2 1 1 0. Totals 32 6 10 2.

2B—PHS (Bry. McNew 3, Manko, Lowe, Moyer, Thomas). CB (Foley).

WP: Ward 5ip, 0r, 4h, 0bb, 4k LP: Spears 6ip, 7r, 10h, 1bb, 4k Bridgeport 13, Morgantown 3 BRIDGEPORT—Bridgeport scored seven runs in the first two innings and six in the last to top visiting Morgantown 13-3 on Tuesday.

The Mohigans (16-6) scored three runs in the top of the second to make it a 4-3 game at the time, but couldn't keep pace with the Indians.

Dylan Travinski and Noah Fields each had two hits for MHS while Caleb Nutter had a double and an RBI. Weston Mazey drove in two.

University 23, Buckhannon-Upshur 6 BUCKHANNON—A 14-run top of the fifth inning brought an early end to the game between University and Buckhannon-Upshur on Tuesday as the Hawks won 23-6 in five innings.

Mason McDonald had three hits to lead UHS (12-12), with two doubles and a triple while driving in a run and scoring three. Brodee Latocha and Riley Anderson each had two hits. Latocha scored four runs and Andreson drove in four.

Mason Chaney, Brock McDonough and Thomas Croston all had a hit and two RBI.

Chaney went the distance for the Hawks, striking out three in five innings.