Wellman one-hits Parkersburg
SPRING VALLEY - On a warm Friday afternoon at Spring Valley, it didn't take long for Timberwolves' pitcher Elijah Wellman to get his arm ready to pitch.
Wellman, who saw late-season arm pain creep up a bit last season, looked in command from the onset against Parkersburg, striking out 13 and allowing just one hit in a 5-1 Spring Valley win over the Big Reds.
"I felt the groove a little earlier than I normally do," Wellman said. "I usually don't hit it until the third or fourth inning, but today I was feeling hot and came out and was in that groove."
Wellman started the game by striking out Parkersburg's first six batters - all three in the first inning looking and all three in the second inning swinging.
His job was made much easier by an offense that gave him five runs of cushion in those first two frames.
Wellman jumpstarted the offensive charge, lacing a triple to deep right-center field and scoring when the relay throw to third bounded into the Spring Valley dugout.
Four pitches later, Colby Webb took a 1-2 pitch out of the park in left field to build a 2-0 cushion.
After Wellman struck out the side in the second, the Timberwolves got an RBI double by Tyler Radcliffe that scored Caleb Frye, who led off the inning with a single.
After courtesy runner Greg Herbert scored following a throwing error, Alex Combs ripped a two-out double to score Zack Harvey to make it 5-0.
"If you get him a few runs then he's tough to beat," Spring Valley coach Jim Hensley said. "The only thing is that it makes our defense relax because Elijah is throwing strikes and he's got run support. Then you boot a ball you should field."
The play Hensley spoke of accounted for Parkersburg's lone run of the contest.
After Jeff Davis broke up Wellman's no-hit bid with a double off the fence in left to start the fifth, he scored on a grounder from Damon Ribeiro that snuck underneath the glove of Frye at second.
Three of Wellman's four walks came in the final inning as he walked the bases loaded with one out, but he got Parkersburg's Anthony Kist looking before getting Austin Alatorre swinging on three pitches to end it.
"That's his nature," Hensley said of Wellman. "He's used to walking the bases loaded then striking out the side. That's just the way he is."
Webb finished 2-for-2 in the contest for Spring Valley, who hosts Huntington High at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
PARKERSBURG 000 010 0 - 1 1 3
SPRING VALLEY 230 000 x - 5 7 1
Parker and Cafego. Wellman and Radcliffe. Hitting: (P) Davis 2B. (SV) Webb 2-2, HR, RBI; Wellman 3B; Radcliffe 2B, RBI; Combs 2B, RBI.