MYRTLE BEACH, S. C. — The Buckhannon-Upshur High school Varsity Baseball Team returned home this weekend following their Ripken Experience Myrtle Beach break trip this past week. Starting on Monday, March 28 and concluding Thursday, March 31, the Buccaneers played four games in four days in state-of-the-art facilities. The Ripken Experience is a wonderful program founded by former MLB superstar Cal Ripken Jr. and was specifically constructed with the goal of making participating players feel like they have made it to the big league.
Buccaneers Head Coach Adam Squires led his team into the trip, boasting an impressive 3-0 record thus far in the young 2022 campaign. On Monday, March 28, Squires guided his confident team to a win over Port Clinton, Ohio by a final score of 11-9. After a slow offensive first inning from both teams, B-U held a slim 1-0 advantage before exploding for 8-runs in the top of the second inning. Port Clinton rallied to score 9 runs over the next 5 innings to keep things competitive and stay in the game but was never able to overcome the early hole they dug themselves as the Bucs held on for a 11-9 win. Players were aggressive in their approach to at-bats, evidenced by the Bucs collecting 12 total hits compared to 11 total team hits from Port Clinton’s team in this high-scoring affair. Clint Crites, Zach Calef-Boring and Cameron Tenney all racked up two hits apiece to lead the high-powered Buccaneers line-up. Tenney also showed his skills as a thief, stealing 3 bases to lead a Buccaneers team that was running wild in the base paths with 12 stolen bases. Junior pitcher Josh Nesbitt picked up the win from the mound, surrendering five runs on seven hits over the span of four innings, while striking out four and not walking a single batter, fellow junior pitcher Brayden Hamer threw three innings in relief out of the Buccaneer bullpen.
The next day, on Tuesday, March 29, the Bucs suffered their first loss of the season against a potent Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy in Ohio, by a final score of 11-0. The Bucs did not have much time to contemplate what went wrong against Cuyahoga Valley, as they were slated to take on an equally tough Dublin Scioto, Ohio team as part of their third day of tournament play. Against Dublin Scioto, the Bucs fell behind early and were not able to mount a successful comeback, dropping their second straight game by a score of 6-3. Issac Lane starred in a dual role for the Buccaneers, getting the start on the mound, while also putting together a strong outing offensively. As a pitcher, Lane surrendered six runs on four hits over the span of four and two-thirds innings, striking out six batters. At the plate, Lane went 3-for-4 to pace the Bucs line-up in the loss.
Following the 6-3 loss to Dublin Scioto, the Bucs turned their focus towards their last game of the trip, against Bellefontaine, Ohio. The offensive woes from the last two games again reared their ugly head for Coach Squires and the Buccaneers, who were shut out by Bellefontaine by a score of 3-0. Both teams had trouble finding success against each other’s bullpens, with this game essentially turning into a pitcher’s duel. Pitcher Landon Marple got the starting nod for the Bucs and was effective, striking out 9 batters over the span of six innings, while only giving up 3 runs on 2 hits. Calef-Boring pitched the final inning in relief of Marple. Crites led the Bucs from the plate, going 2-3 despite being kept from scoring a run.
With the loss, the Bucs wrapped up their Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach with a 1-3 record against some very stiff competition. Aside from being a fun overall experience, the Bucs’ spring break trip helped prepare the team for future challenges from in-state competition. As they return to West Virginia, Coach Squires and the Bucs will look to rebound and get back to their winning ways. Their efforts to do so start with games at East Fairmont on Monday, at home versus Robert C. Byrd on Tuesday, at Morgantown on Wednesday and at home versus Liberty on Friday.