With no fanfare, congratulations, nor cake and ice cream, veteran head coach of the Paden City Wildcat varsity baseball team, Brent Croasmun, quietly celebrated a milestone 300th win at home on March 20.
The 'Cats played host to the Hundred Hornets, and Croasmun knew going in that a win would set the milestone mark, but said nothing. "I didn't want to count my chickens before they hatched," he said. "I was hoping to get the win, but in baseball, you never know."
When all was said and done, the Wildcats took the game 16-1 and Croasmun pocketed 300.
Coach Brent Croasmun
Freshman Luke Cooper debuted on the mound in his first outing in a Paden City varsity uniform, pitching a very nice four innings, striking out 10 batters. Sophomore Zach Heasley came on in relief in the fifth, walking one batter and striking out three.
"I was very pleased with Cooper on the mound," the coach said. "He was really nervous, but as soon as he settled down, he did what he was supposed to."
Offensively, Levi Meadows singled, doubled, and tripled and knocked in five RBIs for the home team; Heasley doubled for an RBI; Craig Allen hit three singles in the game to collect two RBIs; Isaac Hall hit a single for an RBI; and Michael Wilcox brought home one run, as did Logan Carroll; and Cooper helped himself out with an RBI.
On March 22, the Valley Lumberjacks visited at Paden City for the 'Cats' second winter blast game of the week. In a surprise-filled, up-and-down contest, the home team finally took the win after seven, 10-9.
"This was a strange one," Croasmun said. "They had us 9-0 going into the second. We scored two in the sixth and eight in the seventh to get the win. It was a combination of surprise plays, errors, hits, everything."
With a small roster and untested arms, Croasmun took the opportunity to try out new pitchers in the game, utilizing four altogether. Isaac Hall started on the mound walking five and striking out one in an inning-and-a-third. Levi Meadows came on for two-and-two-thirds innings, walking four and striking out three. Cooper had a shot for a short time, walking two; and Heasley finally wound up with the win, walking one and striking out two.
"We had some good innings from several of our guys in this game," the coach said. "Deven Price played very well at short-stop, and Isaac Hall fielded well. This is a good group of kids who don't quit, they don't give up."
At the plate, Allen and Heasley each singled twice, with Heasley driving home four runs; Hall singled for an RBI; and Andrew Dennis hit one single and collected one RBI.
Weather permitting, the 'Cats will see action at Hundred on March 28.