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BASEBALL: First-Inning Explosion Keys Jets

Union Local gets eight runs in opening frame

April 12, 2012
By KIM NORTH , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

MORRISTOWN - Putting the ball in play and making the opposition make plays defensively is always a key in baseball, no matter what level.

Wednesday at Jets Field in Morristown, Union Local did just that and Martins Ferry didn't.

The end result was a 12-1 victory by the Jets (4-9) against the Purple Riders (7-3).

Union Local plated eight first-inning runs before an out was recorded en route to the mercy-ruling in 4 innings.

The Jets collected four straight hits to start the bottom of the first. The fifth hitter walked and the next two reached on errors.

Back-to-back base knocks by the No. 8 and 9 hitters made it 8-0 before the Purple Riders (7-3) were able to get an out.

"They put the ball in play; we didn't catch it and it was 8-0," said Martins Ferry head coach Anthony Reasbeck, who watched his team's five-game winning streak come to an abrupt halt. "It was very evident that we didn't want to be here. When you're in the hunt for an OVAC (3-A) championship, and you don't want to be at a game, the pretty poor on my part and everyone's part."

On the flip side of things, Union Local coach Rich Mercer was all smiles after watching his team bash out a dozen hits.

"That's the biggest thing I was pleased with," Mercer said. "We knew (Jonathan) Carlier was a good pitcher who was going to throw strikes. We stepped up to the plate and were very aggressive. That was pleasing."

Big hits in the eight-run outburst were two-run singles off the bats of Austin McDonald and Justin Riley. Willie Brokaw added a run-scoring base hit.

While his teammates were building him a big lead, right-hander Cameron Smith was setting the visitors down in order in the first three innings. He walked a batter in the fourth with one out and another reached on an error to ruin his perfect game, but he settled for a no-hitter.

"Cameron was on top of his game," Mercer said. "He's our No. 1 guy and he looked like it."

Smith, a senior veteran, struck out six and walked one.

The lone Purple Riders run came in the fourth when Michael Oberdick worked a nine-pitch walk. A wild pitch moved him to second and a two-out throwing error allowed him to score.

Smith, who didn't let the inclement weather conditions that included rain drops and sleet at times, finished in style in the fifth as he struck out the side.

"This is something that we hope we can build off of," Mercer noted, "but, realistically, we tell the kids that the record doesn't mean anything now. We're not winning anything now. We just want to be 1-0 each day."

Meanwhile, Reasbeck knew his team would lose at some point in the season after winning five straight.

"When you drop a game like this, tomorrow turns into your World Series," Reasbeck said. "That's how we're going to take it. We were going to lose sometime. (Wednesday) was the day."

Brokaw led a 12-hit attack with a single and double that plated a run. Robert Simpson and Tyler McGary evenly divided four singles, with Simpson driving in a run. Ben Simpson had a bases-loaded double that cleared the bases in the fourth.

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