Point Pleasant pounds Irish, 12-4

By Bryan Walters - bwalters@civitasmedia.com

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Some luck for the Big Blacks … finally.

The Point Pleasant baseball team snapped its three-game skid in a very big way Thursday night following a 12-4 victory over host Charleston Catholic in a non-conference matchup at Triana Field in Kanawha County.

The Big Blacks (14-12) surrendered a two-run homer to Nick Russo in the bottom of the third, but the guests quickly responded to their only deficit of the night by plating the next 10 runs of the contest.

Cody Sockwell started the fourth by reaching safely on an error, then Alec Smith entered as a courtesy runner for the PPHS starting pitcher.

Trey Tucker received a two-out walk to put runners on the corners, then Abe Stearns blasted a three-run home run over the left-center fence — which ultimately gave Point Pleasant a permanent lead at 3-2.

The Big Blacks sent 11 batters to the plate in the top half of the fifth, which included five consecutive hits to start the frame en route to an 6-2 edge.

A hit, a walk and a crucial error — all with two outs — allowed the guests to score four more times while claiming a commanding 10-4 advantage.

The Irish (14-11) rallied for two runs in the home half of the fifth as Michael Martin singled home Dominic Marisco and Trae Swisher scored on a wild pitch — trimming the CCHS deficit down to 10-4 after five complete.

Point Pleasant added two more runs in the top of the seventh as Miles Williams delivered a two-out single that plated both Stearns and Chris Lush.

PPHS outhit the hosts by a 13-6 overall margin and committed only two of the five errors in the contest. Charleston Catholic stranded eight on base and five in scoring position, while the Big Blacks left six on base and three in scoring position.

Sockwell was the winning pitcher of record after allowing four runs (two earned), five hits and four walks over 4.1 innings of work while striking out one.

Lush came on in relief during the fifth inning, allowing three walks and fanning one in 1.2 frames of work. Tyler Mitchell struck out one and surrendered one hit in an inning of relief as well for the guests.

Brandon Combs suffered the setback after allowing 10 runs (five earned), 10 hits and a walk over five innings while striking out five. Martin also threw two innings of relief, allowing two earned run, three hits and two walks while fanning one.

Lush, Sockwell, Garrett Litchfield and Justice Chapman paced Point Pleasant with two hits apiece, followed by Williams, Tucker, Stearns, Austin and King with a safety each.

Stearns had team-highs with three RBIs and three runs scored. Williams, Chapman and Austin each drove in two RBIs, while Lush and Smith each crossed home plate two times apiece.

Martin and Russo led CCHS with two hits each, with Dominic Martin and Luke McKown providing a safety apiece.

Point Pleasant wraps up regular season play Friday when it hosts Poca at 6 p.m.

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

By Bryan Walters