MASON, W.Va. — One swing of the bat made all the difference.
Senior Tanner Smith belted a go-ahead three-run homer in the bottom of the third while lifting the Wahama baseball team to its third straight victory on Thursday night during a 5-2 decision over visiting Parkersburg Catholic in a non-conference matchup at Claflin Stadium in Mason County.
The host White Falcons (19-4) stranded runners at the corners in the first and came up empty again in the second, but Cooper Peters started the third with a walk and advanced to third on a double by David Hendrick.
With one away in the frame, Smith drove a 2-1 offering deep over the centerfield fence — allowing the Red and White to secure a three-run advantage.
The Crusaders (8-14) made their way into the scoring column in the fourth as Patrick Copen scored on an error for a 3-1 contest, then Ty Sturm singled home Clay Dexter with two away in the fifth to close the gap down to a single run.
WHS, however, tacked on some insurance in the home half of the fifth as Tyler Bumgarner doubled in both Hendrick and Smith with one out — making it a 5-2 game through five complete.
Both teams went down in order in the sixth, and PCHS stranded runners at the corners in the top of the seventh to complete the three-run outcome.
The White Falcons outhit the guests by a 5-3 overall margin and also committed the only error in the game. Parkersburg Catholic stranded seven runners on base, while the hosts left only four on the bags.
Smith was the winning pitcher of record after allowing two runs (one earned), two hits and five walks over six innings while striking out 14. Steven Garvin took the loss after surrendering five earned runs, five hits and three walks over five frames.
Hendrick paced Wahama with two hits, with Smith, Bumgarner and Ethyn Barnitz also providing a safety apiece. Smith had a team-best three RBIs and also scored two runs. Bumgarner drove in two RBIs and Hendrick also crossed home plate twice.
Peyton Amrine led PCHS with two hits, with Sturm providing the other safety to go along with an RBI.
Wahama was at Miller Friday and returns to action Wednesday when it travels to Williamstown for a non-conference matchup at 5 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.