Timberwolves top Highlanders
HUNTINGTON -- Elijah Wellman settled down after a rocky first inning and Spring Valley manufactured three runs in the fifth inning to break a 2-2 tie and go on to a 6-3 victory over Huntington High on Tuesday at Cook-Holbrook Field.
The Highlanders (9-5) rapped out four hits and scored twice in the bottom of the first on a double by Stephen Holland and single by Ronnie Musick. After that, Wellman limited Huntington to three hits, worked out of one jam and got two runners out trying to steal home.
Spring Valley's Colby Webb delivered a two-out, two-run double in the third to tie the game at 2-2. The Timberwolves (5-4) went ahead to stay with three runs in the fifth inning. They came in on an error, sacrifice fly by Chandler Milum after Wellman got an intentional pass and double steal where catcher Kaleb Frye raced home when Wellman broke for second on a steal attempt, second baseman Jordan Turner took the throw from Kris Vancamp and threw wide to home trying to nail Frye.
"That's a big win for us," Timberwolves coach Jim Hensley said. "Huntington's a quality team."
Hensley knew Wellman would settle down. The senior right-hander finished with 12 strikeouts and threw 123 pitches. He went 2-for-2 to make him 5-for-5 in his last two games.
"He was too much in the middle of the plate," Hensley said of Wellman. "They hit the ball hard. He got stronger and that's his nature."
"I expected to dominate more, but they came out and put the bat on the ball early," Wellman said. "In the third or fourth inning, I got stronger. I wasn't up to par before. I got zoned in."
On Monday, George Washington attempted a double steal late, but the Timberwolves got the runner at home. This time that play worked for Spring Valley.
"You can be aggressive," Hensley said. "When you get reckless, it can cost you."
In the first and fourth innings, the hustle by Frye on two wild pitches allowed Wellman to nail Huntington runners at the plate. In the first, Frye flipped to Wellman who tagged Holland out at home. In the fourth, Wellman sailed another pitch past Frye, who hustled to get it and toss to Wellman who this time tagged out Vancamp.
"Clutch plays," Wellman said. "Give Kaleb credit. He really hustled back there and made the plays."
In the third inning, Huntington had runners and second and third with one out, but Wellman escaped. He fanned Hunter Smith and second baseman Greg Herbert snared a line drive by Ronnie Musick.
"You just have to bear down," Wellman said.
Spring Valley, which started 0-3, returns to action Wednesday at Lincoln County.
Huntington pays a visit to Cabell Midland on Wednesday. Game time is 7 p.m.
Highlanders coach Danny Harbert said his team didn't keep the momentum going after the first. The errors proved costly, too.
"We came out with good energy," Harbert said. "We were aggressive. We set on that 2-0 lead and went into a lull. There are things we have to improve on as players and coaches."
SPRING VALLEY 002 031 0 -- 6 6 1
HUNTINGTON HIGH 200 000 1 -- 3 7 3
Wellman and Frye; Holland, Ashworth (7) and Vancamp.
Hitting: (SV) Wellman 2-2, Webb 2B, 2 RBI; Frye RBI, Milum RBI: (H) Holland 2-3, 2B, RBI; Mundy 3-3, 2B; Musick RBI.