Wildcats start off season red hot
Coming off the close win over Tyler Consolidated, Paden City built up momentum on the young season with wins over St. Marys and Valley on Saturday, March 21 and Monday, March 23.
In their game against the Blue Devils, the Wildcats took an early lead with a couple of runs scored in the first inning. It turns out that would be all that they needed.
Wes Cosper and Ricky Wright came around to score after a single from Chaz Heasley brought them both in.
After St. Marys scored a run in the third, Wright was able to circle the bases once more in the fifth after reaching on a double. Neither team from there could score and the game ended 3-1.
Josh Bennett recorded the win with five innings pitched. He struck out four while giving up three hits and a run. Cosper came on in relief and recorded the save.
Both Wright and Heasley went 3-4 on the night. Anderson also added a hit for the Wildcats.
“We got real good pitching from Josh Bennett and Wes Cosper, but again we left runners on second and third with two outs and didn’t drive them in, but that’s kind of to be expected early in the season,” said Head Coach Brent Croasmun. “The hitting is always a little bit behind the pitching. I’ve been real pleased with the pitching we’ve got in the first three games. When we start hitting, we’re going to be a force to contend with. I think our kids are pressing too much.”
On March 23, the Wildcats faced their third road trip in a row as they traveled to Pine Grove to face the Valley Lumberjacks.
For the third time in a row, they were victorious.
The Wildcats pounced on the ‘Jacks in the first two innings scoring six runs. Valley responded with two runs in the bottom of the second, but Paden City added two more in the fourth and one in the sixth to win 9-2.
Heasley had a strong game hitting 2-4 with three RBIs and scored a run. It helped his own cause as he was on the mound for four innings, striking out nine while getting credit for the win.
Ryan Thoburn came on in relief pitching the final three innings and striking out six for the save. At the plate, he went 1-3 and scored three runs.
Jay Billiter had went 2-4 in his first appearance as a Wildcat. Bennett went 1-4 with two runs and an RBI while Chris Loy was right behind going 1-4 with a run.
Ricky Wright went 1-2 with a run and an RBI and Cosper scored twice.
“We’re real happy to be 3-0, and I can’t remember a time we’ve started off the season with three away games,” mentioned Croasmun. “Normally, we’re playing our games at home with the way our field is usually in playable shape, but with the spring we’ve had I think everybody’s field is ready to play on now.
“I was a little bit worried about playing this early because we’ve never scheduled games this early before. But to be 3-0 at this point in time and to beat two big schools like Tyler Consolidated and St. Marys, that’s big for Paden City.”
The season-opening win streak continued as the Wildcats welcomed Bishop Donahue on Tuesday. Paden City was able to take advantage of seven Bishops miscues to come from behind and win 8-5.
The two teams each lit up the scoreboard once in the first inning before the ‘Cats offense took charge in the next two innings scoring two and one runs.
Bishop Donahue then turned the momentum around with a four-run fourth inning. Luckily, the ‘Cats came back with two runs in the fifth and sixth innings while shutting out the Bishops the rest of the way.
The Paden City pitching staff had a strong game despite the fourth inning as nearly half of the Bishops outs were by strike out. Wes Cosper, who picked up the win with the last four innings pitched, tallied five strike outs as did starter Malakai Anderson.
Ryan Thoburn went 2-3 with a double and an RBI. Cosper went 1-4 with two RBIs and Chris Loy went 1-2 with an RBI. Anderson scored three of the ‘Cats runs while Josh Bennett rounded the base paths twice.
On Monday, Paden City would complete the home-and-home series as they traveled to Moundsville to play the Bishops again. This go around saw the Wetzel County school have a bit more success at the plate.
The Wildcats unleashed on Bishop Donahue scoring at least three runs in every inning in a 19-8 drubbing. It didn’t take long to turn up the heat either, as Paden City had 10 runs scored by the end of the second inning with four in the first and six in the second.
Bishop Donahue generated four runs in that time, but couldn’t keep up with the ‘Cats who scored three runs each of the last three innings. The Bishops added two in the third and fifth.
Keith Kline had one of his best games ever with two singles and batting in four runs. Ricky Wright added a single and a double with two RBIs.
Thoburn showed to be a tough out with two doubles while Chris Loy added a single and a double and Wes Cosper added two singles.
Josh Bennett picked up the win with seven strikeouts. Chaz Heasley and Malakai Anderson provided relief support.
Today the Wildcats hope to keep the momentum rolling with a game at Beallsville, their second in a three-game road trip. Last night they played at Bridgeport but results were not ready at press time.
After playing six of their first seven games on the road, Paden City will finally return home on Thursday with a game against Hundred. The first pitch is slated for 5 p.m.