By Dave Helmick
PARSONS – The Tucker County Baseball team hosted Union for a first round Sectional contest on Tuesday May 10th. The Mt. Lions held Union to just 1 run to pick up the 5-1 Sectional win.
Shayne Liller hopes every outing could go as well as Tuesday, as Liller struck out 15 batters to carry Tucker County to a 5-1 victory over Union in seven innings. Eric McCrum had a busy day at the plate, collecting two extra-base hits. McCrum doubled in the first and second innings and singled in the fourth inning. Union’s Nathan Evans ended up on the wrong side of the pitching decision as he was charged with the loss. Evans lasted just six innings, walked three, struck out six, and allowed five runs. The Mt. Lions went up for good in the second as they scored three runs on two doubles and a groundout by Aiden Bunnell. Tucker County built upon that lead with two runs in the fifth. The inning got off to a hot start when Bunnell singled to score Corrick Ambrose.
Tucker County collected 10 hits for the game, Eric McCrum had 3 of those hits, 2 doubles and 1 single, Michael Gherman, Bailey Bennett, Aidan Bunnell, Justin Fike, Corrick Ambrose, and Shayne Liller all had a single as well. Slayter Liller added a double for the Mt. Lions in the win.
The six Seniors were honored after the game, those are as follows: Eric McCrum, Zach Bishoff, Bailey Bennett, Nick Wolford, Seth Michael and Aidan Bunnell.
MILL CREEK – Tucker County traveled to Tygarts Valley on Wednesday May 11th to continue the double elimination Sectional play. The Mt. Lions were unable to get their offense going and fell in the contest 10-1.
Tucker County collected just five hits on the night and only scored 1 run off those 5 hits. Brett Smith recorded the win for Tygarts Valley . Smith allowed one run over five innings and struck out four, walked three and surrendered five hits.
Eric McCrum ended up on the wrong side of the pitching decision for the Mt. Lions as he was charged with the loss. McCrum allowed seven runs in four innings as he walked four and struck out none.
Tucker County was trailing 3-1 going into the bottom of the 5th when Tygarts Valley hit 5 straight singles to start the inning. The Bulldogs added 8 runs in that inning to end the game at 11-1. The Mt. Lions lone run of the ballgame came in the first inning on an RBI single by Michael Gherman, scoring Justin Fike.
PARSONS – The Mt. Lions continue Sectional play on Thursday May 12th in an elimination game at home against Union. Tucker County held Union to just 1 run and picked up the victory 10-1 to keep their season alive.
Tucker County’s Bailey Bennett spurred the Mt. Lions as he brought the heat on the mound. Bennett allowed just one hit and held the Tigers scoreless through his six innings of work and he struck out 10 batters. The Mt. Lions racked up 12 hits in the game including one extra base hit. Tucker County scored five runs in the sixth on an RBI single by Justin Fike, an RBI double by Corrick Ambrose, an RBI single by Shayne Liller, a walk by Michael Gherman and another walk with the bases loaded.
Justin Fike racked up two RBIs on two hits for the Mt. Lions. Micah Crites couldn’t get it done on the bump for Union , taking a loss. Crites allowed 10 runs in six innings, walked four and struck out five. The game’s last lead went to Tucker County thanks to a third inning rally that saw one run cross the plate on an RBI single by Ambrose. The Mt. Lions piled on three more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Aidan Bunnell’s single got things going for Tucker County as it scored Garrett Carrico. That was followed up by Eric McCrum’s single to bring home Bunnell.
MILL CREEK – Tucker County then traveled to Tygarts Valley again on Friday May 13th for another Sectional elimination game against the top seeded Bulldogs. The result was not in the Mt. Lions favor as their season ended due to 15-4 loss.
Justin Fike boosted his batting average thanks to a perfect 1-1 day at the plate to pace the Mt. Lions. Fike picked up a single in the fourth inning. Hunter Parks recorded the win for Tygarts Valley as he allowed four runs over five innings. Parks struck out five, walked seven and gave up two hits. Caleb Riggleman, Hunter Parks and Brett Smith helped lead Tygarts Valley at the plate as they combined for eight hits and nine RBIs. Slayter Liller was charged with the loss for Tucker County as he allowed eight runs in 1 2/3 innings, walked three and struck out two. Two runs in the top of the third helped the Mt. Lions close its deficit to 8-2. An RBI single by Corrick Ambrose and an error gave Tucker County life. Tucker County scored one run in the fourth inning to bring the Mt. Lions within five runs. Fike’s RBI single sparked the rally for Tucker County. The home standing Bulldogs responded with seven runs in the fourth to push the lead back to 15-3. Tucker County got one more run in the top of the fifth, by Kendall Gooden to make the score 15-4. However, it wasn’t enough as the Mountain Lions fell by the score of 15-4 to end their season. Coach Josh Evans had this to say about their 6-18 season, “The boys had a tough season, just not on the diamond, but off. With the passing of assistant coach Denzil Evans, the boys had to find strength to continue on because that’s what coach would want them to do. They had to face something that most players their age never deal with, and Coach Denzil would be proud of how they ended their season.”
Tucker County ended the year with a 6-18 record. Here are some stats from the season: Batting Avg’s: Justin Fike(.435), Shayne Liller(.338), Corrick Ambrose(.327), Aiden Bunnell(.268), Eric McCrum(.262), Slayter Liller(.250), Michael Gherman(.230), Bailey Bennett(.200), Nick Wolford(.176), Quinn Buckley(.167), Garrett Carrico(.125). Pitching Stats: Bailey Bennett (2 wins, 8.904 ERA, 31 Strikeouts), Eric McCrum(2 wins, 7.68 ERA, 21 Strikeouts), Shayne Liller(2 wins, 6.15 ERA, 43 Strikeouts), Slayter Liller(0 wins, 1.05 ERA, 8 Strikeouts), Justin Fike( 0 wins, 0.0 ERA, 2 Strikeouts), Michael Gherman(0 wins, 9.0 ERA, 4 Strikeouts) , Corrick Ambrose(0 wins, 14.2 ERA, 6 Strikeouts).