Road-weary Hawks return home with hard-fought victory over Patriots

MORGANTOWN — Fresh off its annual trip to Myrtle Beach, the University High School baseball team returned to Morgantown with a couple of losses and some bumps and bruises.

The Hawks lost two games of the three games they played at the beach before returning to West Virginia on Monday and picking up a 10-2 win at Linsly. The trip also saw several UHS players pushing through injuries.

On Tuesday, UHS used a bit of a patchwork lineup to pick up a hard-fought 5-4 win over visiting Parkersburg South.

“I think our team showed really good toughness and just resilience in playing a full seven (innings) and I am just really proud of the contributions we got from everyone tonight,” UHS head coach Brad Comport said. “Circumstances throughout the course of a 30-plus game season are going to call for some things based on certain situations. We are working hard to put together the most favorable matchups while still being aware of health and player longevity.”

The Patriots (5-6) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Eli Davis led off the inning with a walk, advanced to second on a single by Carter McClain and later scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Dylan Holliday.

Parkersburg South added two more runs in the fourth inning as it took advantage of a UHS throwing error to score one run and then Davis came through with an RBI single.

University finally broke through with four runs in the fourth inning as senior outfielder Wenkai Campbell led off with a single, Daniel Grabo and pinch hitter Duke Seggie each drew walks before Comport turned to his bench.

Senior Brodee Latocha has been nursing an injury but Comport called on him with one out and the bases loaded. He responded with a two-run single down the right-field line.

“Brodee is a really good hitter, but he’s not used to that role,” Comport said. “It was really good to see him prepared for that big moment and he cashed in and that was really good to see.”

Seggie then scored on a groundout by Brance McCune and Latocha scored for a 4-3 lead when Mason McDonald hit a single to left field.

The Patriots tied the game in the fourth inning when TJ Thomas scored on a single off the bat of Conner McMullen. That lead was short-lived though as Campbell led off the sixth inning with a triple down the right field line and then scored on a sacrifice fly from Max Cash.

Campbell is also battling through a leg injury. He was a designated hitter during a trip to Hurricane recently and said his full range of motion isn’t all the way there yet.

“I am just grateful that I was able to get some time off my feet,” Campbell said. “I feel like that really expedited my healing process.”

Campbell also picked up the final three outs on the mound for his first save of the season. He inherited two baserunners before inducing a popout to the catcher and striking out the final two batters of the game.

“I’m just coming in and throwing strikes,” Campbell said. “That’s what coach wants me to do. I feel like as long as I am able to do that, I feel confident our defense can back me up.”

Daniel Grabo (1-1) picked up the win in relief as the Hawks used five pitchers. James Bryner had a solid start as he surrendered just three hits and struck out four in 3.2 innings of work.

The Hawks return to action today when they host Morgantown High School at 5 p.m. The game will be played at Dale Miller Field as UHS continues to wait for the artificial turf at its home park, Shilling Field.

“It’s obviously a rivalry game,” Comport said. “You know (MHS) is going to get up for it and our kids approach it from a little bit of a different mindset. We are just going to go out and compete and hopefully play a full seven again.”


University 5, Parkersburg South 4
PSHS    001  210  0 – 4 6 0
UHS      000  410  X – 5 9 1
PSHS – McClain 2 0 1 0, T. Davis 4 0 0 0, Holliday 3 0 1 1, Thomas 4 1 0 0, Mackey 3 0 2 0, DeMoss 1 0 0 0, Mullen 2 1 0 0, Walker 1 0 0 0, McMullen 4 1 1 1, E. Davis 3 1 1 1. Totals: 27 4 6 3.
UHS – McDonald 4 0 2 1, Chaney 3 0 1 0, Anderson 3 0 1 0, Campbell 3 2 2 0, Cash 2 0 0 1, Grabo 2 1 1 0, White 1 0 0 0, Seggie 1 1 0 0, McDonough 1 0 0 0, Latocha 2 0 1 2, McCune 3 0 2 1. Totals: 25 5 9 5.
3B – Campbell
WP – Grabo 1ip 3h 1r 1er 2bb 1k
LP – Utt 2.1ip 4h 1r 1er 0bb 0k
S – Campbell 1ip 0 h 0r 0er 2k