Spring Valley edges Midland
ONA -- Spring Valley's baseball team settled in after making some early mistakes Wednesday evening to get a 4-3 road win at Cabell Midland.
Timberwolves ace pitcher Elijah Wellman walked the first batter he faced, then, after striking out Midland's Brady Elkins, made a bad throw to first base in an effort to keep Jacob Beahrs close to the bag.
A passed-ball that got by catcher Kaleb Frye allowed Beahrs to score. A sacrifice fly from Eli Canterbury brought in another run, and Spring Valley found itself down 2-0.
"Kaleb Frye, that's the first time he'd caught 'Lij,"' Spring Valley coach Jim Hensley said. "We tried to tell him 'Lij is different because the ball is going to move, in, out, up, down. Those first few runs (Frye) kind of got down on himself because he felt like he was responsible for those runs, but after he got the hang of (Wellman's) pitches, he kind of got settled in and did really well himself."
Spring Valley cut the lead to one in the top of the third, when a Colby Webb double brought Zach Harvey in for a run.
Then in the top of the fourth, the error bug bit the Knights, as shortstop Derrick Adkins tried to hold Billy Evans to second base on a ground ball from Greg Herbert. Adkins' throw sailed into the outfield, and Adkins came in to score.
Later in the inning, Midland's center fielder misjudged a fly ball, coming in too far, and had to try and jump to make the catch, with the ball popping out of his mitt, allowing Herbert to score and put the Timberwolves up 3-2.
Midland drew even in the bottom of the fourth inning on a throwing error by Frye, but the catcher would finally have his redemption in the top of the sixth with an RBI single to put Spring Valley ahead for good at 4-3.
"That was a big hit for him because he was a bit down on himself and he had been struggling at the plate, so it was big," Hensley said.
Midland had one runner on base in the bottom of the sixth, but couldn't get anything going off of it.
The Timberwolves loaded the bases in the top of the seventh, but Midland starting pitcher Seth Kinker worked his way out of the jam without allowing further damage.
Then Wellman, who finished with seven strikeouts, simply mowed down the bottom third of the Knights' batting order for the win.
"Our defense has been the strength of the team, and I told the kids today our defense really let us down," Midland coach Tracy Brumfield said. "We had three errors ... (Spring Valley) put the ball into play more than we did with runners in scoring position and that was the difference in the game. We both had errors. Right now, we're just hitting the ball right at them, and that's just baseball. Hopefully that will turn around."
Cabell Midland has dropped four straight to fall to 4-5 on the season, while Spring Valley moves to 3-3.
SPRING VALLEY 001 201 0 -- 4 9 3
CABELL MIDLAND 200 100 0 -- 3 3 3
Wellman and Frye. Kinker and Elkins
Hitting: (SV) Webb 3-4, 2B, RBI, Wellman 2-3, Frye RBI; Canterbury RBI.