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Weir gets back to winning

Red Riders snap two-game skid, blasts CCHS 13-1

ON THE MOUND — Weir High’s Grant Wilharm pitches against Catholic Central on Tuesday. -- Joe Catullo

STEUBENVILLE — Weir High has been in a funk the past few days following a seven-game winning streak.

It fell in the OVAC Class 4A championship to St. Clairsville on Saturday, then it was no-hit by Oak Glen on Monday. The Red Riders needed to find their groove again, and they did just that with a 13-1 victory over Catholic Central on Tuesday.

Solid pitching, 11 stolen bases and a pair of six-run innings helped their cause.

“Unfortunately I think they were still upset about losing on Saturday,” Weir head coach Dave Cowden said. “Not that (Oak Glen) didn’t pitch a good game, but we were still thinking about how we lost the (OVAC) championship game.

“It was nice for our kids to swing the bats (Tuesday). Central is just a very young team, and they’ll be dangerous in the years to come.”

Following a 1-0 lead after three innings, the Red Riders (8-4) took advantage of numerous mistakes by the Crusaders (4-15) in the top of the fourth. Five of the six runs were unearned, and Weir scored three times before recording a hit.

In fact, Thomas DeVecchis’ two-out RBI single in the first also was unearned.

“We didn’t execute in a couple of situations that we should have. Defensively, things we’ve been working on the last few weeks, we executed 90 percent of it but not the final 10 percent to get outs,” CCHS coach Aaron Henderson said. “Even when we had opportunities to score, we didn’t take advantage of them. We’re trying too hard instead of doing the little things to execute.”

Following a hit batter, sacrifice bunt and another HBP in the fourth, Anthony Cross brought a run home on a groundout. Grant Wilharm later scored on a dropped fly ball with Luke Gillette batting. Gillette, who reached second, stole third and scored on a wild pitch for a 4-0 lead.

Trenton Taflan and Jack Scopel would score on another error, and DeVecchis roped a run-scoring double for a 7-0 advantage. Central plunked four batters and committed two miscues in the frame (six overall).

The Crusaders’ lone run occurred in the bottom of the fourth on a Dominic Young RBI single that bounced off Wilharm, Weir’s starting pitcher. The inning could have been worse after Central loaded the bases with nobody out.

However, Vince Barcalow lined out to short, and Andrew Dorsey was picked off at third for the 6-5 double play.

Weir’s bats exploded in the seventh for another six-run frame. Gillette tallied an RBI single, while Scopel and DeVecchis each lined two-run base knocks. Another run crossed home on a throwing error.

“We made solid contact later in the game. It can take awhile to get the timing down I guess. It shouldn’t, but it did (Tuesday),” Cowden said.

Wilharm picked up the victory in four innings. He allowed one run on five hits, walked one and struck out a pair. Ryan Weber tossed the final three frames and allowed one hit, one walk and punched out another.

“We pitched some young kids. They showed they certainly will be good,” Cowden said. “Grant’s just a freshman, was out there throwing strikes and keeping them off balance. Ryan came in and finished it up for us.”

Alex Solema took the loss in 3 2/3 innings, allowing six runs (one earned) on three hits, two walks and striking out three. Young threw the next three innings, and Tate McKenna recorded the final out in the seventh.

SENIOR CELEBRATION

Central honored its lone senior, Nate Stark, prior to its home finale.

“Nate’s done about just everything we’ve asked of him,” Henderson said. “He’s just a good kid overall. He’s worked hard, hasn’t played for a number of years and comes out this year. We needed senior leadership and for someone to take the wheel and help right the ship. Shoot, he’s probably played eight positions.”

UP NEXT

Weir High: Tentatively travels to Union Local today.

CCHS: Tentatively heads to Brooke today and will wrap the regular season Thursday at Indian Creek.

Weir High 13, Catholic Central 1

Weir High 1-0-0 6-0-0 6 — 13 9 1

Central 0-0-0 1-0-0 0 — 1 6 6

WEIR HIGH (8-4): Wilharm (WP, 4IP, 1R, 5H, 1BB, 2K), Weber (3IP, 0R, 1H, 1BB, 1K) and Scopel, Gontas (7). Gillette S, RBI; Taflan D; Scopel S, 2RBIs; DiMatteis 2S, D, 4RBIs; Cross RBI.

CATHOLIC CENTRAL (4-15): Solema (LP, 3 2/3IP, 6R (1ER), 3H, 2BB, 3K), Young (3IP, 6R (4ER), 4H, 3BB, 0K), McKenna (1/3IP, 1R, 2H, 0BB, 0K) and Dorsey. Anderson S; Dorsey S; McKenna S; Barcalow 2S; Young S, RBI.

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