The Pocahontas County High School Warriors rebounded from an opening day loss with a big win over Meadow Bridge last Tuesday afternoon at Stillwell Park. Sophomore pitcher Braxton Ryder struck out 13 batters and gave up just three hits in the 11-1 victory.
The Warriors started off cold at the plate and Wildcat pitcher Marvin Bragg retired the first three batters he faced. In the second, PCHS first baseman Judd Walther hustled safely to first base after the Wildcat catcher muffed an infield play. Warrior centerfielder Logan Davis knocked in Walther with a two-out single and scored on a single by catcher Morgan Mason. Senior shortstop Wes Felton led off with a single in the third but got stranded on third base.
The Warriors blew the game wide open in the fourth with five more runs. Senior third baseman Brandon Hammons cleaned off the bases with a three-RBI double and Austin Sharp got an RBI with a bases-loaded walk. Ryder helped his cause with an RBI single. Wyatt Workman and Mason hit singles in the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, Felton, Workman, Mason and Sharp scored, extending the Warrior lead to 11-1, invoking the mercy rule and ending the contest. PCHS evened their record at 1-1 with the win.
Hamons had a double and three RBIs. Mason hit two singles, walked and scored a run. Workman singled, walked and scored two runs. Felton singled, walked and scored two runs. Sharp walked three times and scored two runs.
East Hardy takes ball and goes home
The Warriors had a doubleheader with East Hardy scheduled for Saturday afternoon. It was a beautiful sunny day, but after the buses arrived at Stillwell Park, Cougars Coach Chad Williams said the field was not in satisfactory condition to play. Even after assurances from PCHS coaches Rich Walther and Toney Minter that they could spread more sand and roll the field in a short amount of time, the East Hardy coach was adamant that his team would not play. The Cougars re-boarded their bus for the long trip back to Baker, whence they came.
The official ruling on how these games will be recorded is unknown. Currently, the WVSSAC website has no information on the games. Several observers were shocked by the East Hardy coach’s decision because the Stillwell ballfield was not really in bad condition.