TENNERTON – There is nothing like a vacation to rejuvenate the mind and the body.
Buckhannon’s Logan Bailey missed the Hillbilly Hardball Classic last weekend while on vacation, but he returned with a vengeance for Post 7 Tuesday night when he and his team battled Elkins in an important early season Area V match-up at William E. Phillips Memorial Field.
Behind Bailey’s mound performance and his work with the bat, Post 7 earned a 3-1 win.
Baily pitched five strong innings allowing just one earned run on only three hits while striking out three to improve his record to 2-0.
And at the plate, he collected two of Buckhannon’s six hits including a solo home run in the bottom of the third that gave Post 7 their first lead.
“Logan had been on vacation last week so it was great having him back in the line-up,” remarked Buckhannon Post 7 general manager Kevin Boring. “It was my plan for him to get us through three innings. The fact he was able to go five was great. His command of all his pitches was good tonight. I thought he showed great velocity on his fast ball. He was efficient and stayed out of the three-ball counts. I thought his home run was key. It was a tight contest and that was a great way to break the ice and take the lead. I think it gave us confidence and allowed us to play more relaxed after taking the lead.”
With the game scoreless in the bottom of the third, Bailey took a 1-0 pitch over the left field fence to treat Post 7 to a 1-0 lead.
Alek Seech followed the home run with a double to center.
He went to third on a ground out by Nick Calef-Boring and scored on a wild pitch to give Post 7 a 2-0 lead.
Elkins trimmed the lead in half in the top of the fifth when Read Schumacher hit a two-out single and scored on a double by Brett Smith.
Buckhannon made it a 3-1 game in the bottom of the sixth inning when Seech started the frame with a single, advanced on a single by Calef-Boring and raced home on a single to left by Casey Hamner.
Hamner, who came on in relief of Bailey in the sixth inning, gave up a one-out single to Schumacher in the top of the seventh and worked the count to 3-0 on Smith, but Hamner forced Smith into a 5-4-3 double play killing a potential Elkins rally and ending the game.
Hamner pitched two scoreless innings to earn the save for Buckhannon.
“Casey was coming off a really strong performance against Charleston Post 20 in the Hardball Classic on Friday,” noted Boring. “I was hoping to get a strong sixth inning from him as a bridge to our closer Taylor Whitehair. Casey did a really good job of keeping the Elkins hitters off balance in the sixth so we brought him out for the seventh. He induced the ground ball that became the game ending double play. He did a real nice job which allowed us to save Taylor for later in the week.”
One of the keys for Post 7 in the victory was they played a flawless defensive game with no errors.
“I thought our defense was really good against a good hitting Elkins team,” sated Boring. “A lot of it goes back to our pitchers. We have talked a lot about getting into a flow and maintaining that pace, not being so deliberate on the mound and both Logan and Casey pitched with a good pace tonight. When you hold Elkins to five hits you are doing something. We had 10 ground ball outs including the game ending double play. I thought Elijah Arbogast, Seech and Calef-Boring all made super plays in the field. Nick's scoop at first to start the top of the seventh was really huge to start the inning on a ground ball hit by Dustyn Primavero. If that lead off runner gets on, then we've got a real pressure cooker situation on our hands. I though Logan and Casey both fielded the position of pitcher well - we had three comebackers to the mound and we got outs on all of them. Our outfield of Hunter Stone, Arbogast and Wes Rosencrance all made solid plays in the outfield. Wes had four big catches in right field. Honestly, it was one of our better defensive efforts in recent memory.”
The win ended a three-game slide for Post 7 and improved their record to 3-4 overall and 2-0 in Area V play.
“All Area V games are important and we are now 2-0 in Area V play,” remarked Calef-Boring. “Also as the first game after the Hardball against a top notch team it was good to see the boys play so well. The Hardball can take it out of you so to speak so we rebounded very nicely. It also shows the boys what they are capable of. It was a total team win. We used pinch hitters, pinch runners, substitutes in the field. Even the guys who weren't in at the time stayed engaged and supportive of their teammates.”
Elkins dropped to 5-7 overall and 0-1 in Area V play.
Post 7 was slated to play Morgantown Post 2 on Thursday.
They will return to action today when they host Braxton at 6 p.m. and they will remain at home Sunday and host Bridgeport at 3:30 p.m.
Elkins 000 010 0 – 1
Buckhannon 002 001 x – 3
E – Elkins 2, Buckhannon 0. DP – Buckhannon 1. LoB – Elkins 7, Buckhannon 4. 2B – Smith, Seech. HR – Bailey.
Elkins Post 29 – Read Schumacher cf, 4 1 2 0; Brett Smith 1b, 3 0 1 1; Matthew Gainer rf, 3 0 1 0; Will Knight c, 1 0 0 0; Gage Bibey p, 2 0 0 0; Cory Reed 3b, 3 0 1 0; Nathan Cooper ss, 3 0 0 0; David Freeman lf, 3 0 0 0; Chuckie New 2b, 2 0 0 0; Dusty Primovero ph, 1 0 0 0. Totals 24 1 5 1.
Buckhannon Post 7 – Logan Bailey p-cf, 3 1 2 1; Alek Seech 2b, 3 2 2 0; Nick Calef-Boring 1b, 3 0 1 0; Borgy Tenney pr, 0 0 0 0; Casey Hamner c-p, 3 0 1 1; Trey Leigh 3b-c, 2 0 0 0; Evan Coffman lf, 0 0 0 0; Tyler Whitehair ss, 2 0 0 0; Elijah Arbogast ss-lf-3b, 2 0 0 0; Zach White ph, 1 0 0 0; Wesley Rosencrance rf, 2 0 0 0; Hunter Stone cf-lf, 2 0 0 0. Totals 24 3 6 2.
Elkins Post 29 – Bibey (L, 0-2): 6 innings, 6 hits, 3 runs, 3 earned runs, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts, 1 wild pitch.
Buckhannon Post 7 – Bailey (W, 2-0): 5 innings, 3 hits, 1 run, 1 earned runs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts; Hamner (S, 1): 2 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 0 earned runs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout.