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Wheeling Stogies light up scoreboard against Jefferson County Elite B

THROWN AWAY — Jefferson County Elite B first baseman Hunter Rothacker (43) reaches for an errant throw Wednesday night as Wheeling’s Zach Taylor (7) hustles down the line. Taylor reached on an error as the Stogies pocketed a 10-2 victory at Capt. David VanCamp Memorial Ballfield in Wheeling. (Photo by Kim North)

WHEELING — Making progress. That’s one of the things that Wheeling Stogies manager Jon-Michael Brunner wants to see out of his squad this summer.

Wednesday night on Capt. David VanCamp Memorial Ballfield, the Stogies (5-2) took another step in the right direction with a convincing, 10-2, victory over visiting Jefferson County Elite B (10-11-1).

“I was proud of the way the guys hit the ball hard and the way we pitched,” Brunner noted. “I’m pretty happy with where we are at, but there are some little things like baserunning and making some reads in the outfield that we are working on.

“After not playing for three months, we are getting better and better with each outing,” Brunner added. “We still aren’t to double digits in games, but we’re making progress.”

A quartet of Stogies combined on a four-hitter with seven strikeouts and just three walks. Trevor Thomas pitched two hitless innings as the starter. Ryan Hummell, who earned the win, allowed one hit in his two frames, while Gage Thomas and Kaden Yocum each gave up a hit. Trevor Thomas, Hummell and Gage Thomas each recorded two Ks.

“I don’t know if we came completely ready to play today, but they (Wheeling) put the ball in play, hit it hard and put the pressure on us to make the plays. We really weren’t prepared to handle it,” Jefferson County Elite B manager Colin Scott said. “They are a well-coached team that played well tonight.

“These are the kids that are trying to feed their way up to the A team,” he added. “They should have the drive and ambition to want to be up there.”

Wheeling scored all the runs it would need in the bottom of the second as Jon Milton’s two-run double to right highlighted the inning. The first run crossed on one of four Jefferson County Elite errors.

Jefferson County Elite avoided a shutout when Caden Buxton homered to deep left with two outs in the top of the fourth.

Milton sent a laser to deep right that easily cleared the fence with one out in the bottom of the inning. Seth Hand followed with a drive of his own down the left field line for back-to-back jacks and a 6-1 lead.

Three errors, a Ryan Richter sacrifice fly and a hit batter with the batter loaded added up to four runs in the bottom of the sixth as the margin ballooned to 10-1.

Evan Lewis had an RBI double in the seventh to conclude the scoring.

Aiden Fernandez started for Jefferson County Elite. He went three innings, striking out three, walking five while yielding just two hits.

Wheeling is back in action tonight as the Blennerhassett Bears (Parkersburg area) visit Ohio County. The Stogies have a big weekend of action slated, with all games Saturday and Sunday at the J.B. Chambers I-470 Complex. Meanwhile, Jefferson County hosts Steubenville Central Friday for a pair of games, starting at 3 p.m. at the Indian Creek Middle School diamond in Mingo Junction.

Jefferson County Elite A 11,

Weirton Bobcats 9

At Richmond, Jefferson County (22-7-1) scored six times in the bottom of the first and then withstood a five-run seventh by the Bobcats (9-10) at State Lake Park.

Andrew Kinney singled three times to knock in a pair of runs while Klay Cottis and Alec McBane each had a pair of base hits, with McBane also driving in two.

Weirton, which plays at Moundsville in Game 1 of the Ohio Valley Baseball League playoffs tonight, was led by Adam Cowden’s single, double and two RBI. Larry Bielewski had a home run and two runs batted in. Joe Nave had two RBIs and Jacob Rosnick a triple.

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