Riders defeat Brooke

WEIRTON – Weir and Brooke engaged in a dandy Monday at Ed Bowman Field.

With one out, the scored tied 1-all and Weir’s Matt Cessna sitting at third in the bottom of the seventh, Jeremy Swartzmiller hit a ground ball to first base. Brooke first baseman Eric Johnson fielded it cleanly, but was unable to get the throw home in time to get Cessna, who scored to give the Red Riders a 2-1 victory.

“This was a very well-played baseball game by both teams,” said Weir head coach Bob Rosnick. “It’s a shame somebody had to lose that game, but we did what we had to do in the last inning to get it done.

“We had a couple of situations where we didn’t get the bunt down, but, as luck would have it, we got away with it, and manufactured a run to win the game.”

Added Brooke head coach Ron Ujcich, “Tough one to lose, but we battled the whole way through. We made some great defensive plays. We worked out of several jams.

“We needed some key hits to plate some runs. We didn’t do that, and it came back to bite us.”

Zach Knuutila picked up the win for the Red Riders, entering in the fourth in relief of Michael Curtis, who also pitched well before leaving with a sore shoulder. Both pitchers struck out three and combined to give up four hits.

“Knuutila came in stone cold,” said Rosnick. “He was scheduled to start (today), we had to bring him in because of injury, and he did a great job.

“He only had three days rest, he came in, did a great job and he was our MVP today.”

Despite the loss, the Bruins’ received a strong effort from pitcher Austin Schambach. He gave up four hits before being relieved by Aaron Walker with one on and no outs in the seventh.

“He threw a lot longer than we expected him to, and he did a great job,” said Ujcich of Schambach. “He threw strikes, he stayed ahead of batters, and, for the most part, he got outs. That’s what we were looking for.

“We were looking to make a change (in the seventh), give them a different look, and it just didn’t work out for us.”

Offensively for the Red Riders, Curtis had a double, William Larch and Cessna each had a single and a run scored, and Swartzmiller had a single and drove in the game-winner on fielder’s choice.

Kelaen Welch and Eric Johnson each had a double for the Bruins with Alec Buchmelter adding a run-scoring single and Heath Hildreth connecting for a single and scoring the team’s lone run.

The win gives Weir (5-7) a little momentum going into today’s game at Bowman Field.

“We’re starting to learn how to win now,” said Rosnick. “We’ve won three of our last four, and we’re starting to feel a little better about ourselves.

“We have Linsly (today), and we’ll be going out for another win.”

Brooke (2-12) hosts Indian Creek today.

Weir 2, Brooke 1

Brooke 000 100 0 – 1 4 3

Weir 000 100 1 – 2 4 0

BROOKE (2-12): Schambach (LP, 1K, 2BB), Walker (7th, 0K, 0BB) and Harper. Welch D; Hildreth S, R; Buchmelter S, RBI; Johnson D.

WEIR (5-7): Curtis (3K, 0BB), Knuutila (4th, 3K, 2BB) and Beck. Curtis D; Larch S, R; Cessna S, R; Swartzmiller S, RBI.