POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — As simple as it seems, you can’t lose if your opponent doesn’t score.
The Point Pleasant baseball team snapped its three-game losing skid on Monday night in Mason County, as the Big Blacks held Winfield scoreless en route to a three-run PPHS victory.
After a scoreless first inning, the Big Blacks (2-6) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, when junior Tucker Mayes led off the frame with a home run.
PPHS added an insurance run in the bottom of the third inning, as Josh Wamsley reached on an error, and then scored on a Miles Williams sacrifice.
The Big Blacks scored the game’s final run in the bottom of the sixth inning, when Mayes scored on a sac-bunt by Carter Smith.
“We just haven’t been approaching our practice plans as we should,” fourth-year PPHS head coach Andrew Blain said. “We haven’t had the right mentality. This past weekend, we had a much better approach, we kind of revamped some things within our program and it paid off today. We’ve had two great practices and then we came out here today.
“Obviously, the story was Abe Stearns,” added Coach Blain. “I don’t want to take anything away from him, because he came out here and set the tone. When you have a guy filling up the strike zone like he is, throwing a lot of strikes and getting ahead of hitters, good things are going to happen.”
Stearns — a senior committed to play for Potomac State next season — tossed a complete game shut out and earned the pitching win, allowing just three hits, all of which came in the fifth inning. Stearns walked three batters and struck out seven.
Samuel Ingram suffered the setback on the mound for Winfield (3-3), after allowing three runs on eight hits and one walk. Ingram struck out just one batter in a complete game effort.
Despite getting three hits withing the same frame, the Generals were unable to score, thanks in large part to the defensive effort of PPHS junior centerfielder Alec Smith.
“Alec Smith covers a lot of ground,” Coach Blain said. “He took good routes to balls tonight, kept runners off of third base, kept some guys off of second base and out of scoring position, and that’s a difference maker. That way you limit their free bases, that made a big difference tonight and that was one of the reasons why we were unable to put a goose-egg up on the board.”
At the plate, PPHS was led by Williams, who was 2-for-2 with a run batted in, and Mayes, who was 2-for-3 with a home run, two runs scored and one RBI. Wamsley doubled once and scored once in three at-bats, Stearns, Alec Smith and Hunter Blain each added a single, while Carter Smith chipped in with an RBI.
“We’re going to have to manufacture runs to win some games,” said Coach Blain. “As of right now, we haven’t out-hit people and we haven’t hit it all over the park. In order for us to do some good things and win some games, we’re going to have to manufacture. We were able to do that tonight, we’re going to have to do a better job, it wasn’t where it needs to be, but a win is a win and it is a step in the right direction.”
Ingram, Jay Frampton and Garrett Payne each singled once for the guests, who had three straight wins headed into Monday.
Both teams left six runners on base in the contest, with Winfield committing the game’s lone error.
These teams are scheduled clash again on April 28, in Putnam County.
Point Pleasant is scheduled for road contests for the rest of the week, starting with a trip to Buffalo on Tuesday and a visit to Charleston Catholic on Wednesday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.