Braxton Co. defeats ND; RCBtops Philip Barbour
From Staff Reports

    FLATWOODS — Notre Dame pitchers walked 10 batters in a 15-10 loss to Braxton County in prep baseball action on Tuesday.
    Braxton grabbed a 5-0, first-inning lead before Notre Dame (5-4) battled back to take an 8-6 advantage into into the bottom of the sixth inning. But Braxton then pulled even and ran away with the win. Morgan O’Brien went 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs for Notre Dame, while Dustin Watson also had two RBIs.
 -ROBERT C. BYRD 14, Philip Barbour 12: Anthony Gianettino’s two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth lifted RCB.
 Gianettino 3-for-3 with four runs and three RBIs. James Funk also went 3-for-3 with four runs and three RBIs.
 Scott Ross added three hits, while Gabe Devano had two hits for RCB (7-1, 4-0 Big 10). Joe Moore picked up the win.
-DODDRIDGE CO. 15, Calhoun Co. 2: Class A No. 9 Doddridge scored early and often against Calhoun County in a game shortened to five innings. BenJo McKinney and Jake Juliano each had three hits and two RBIs for Doddridge (3-4). Juliano also picked up the win.
    Rick Gray, Chris Gum and Eian Kelley each had two hits for Doddridge. Gray had a double, and David Hoskinson had a triple.
 
Prep softball

    ROBERT C. BYRD 6, Preston 4: Shawna Elder came on in relief and Kristen Goff and Courtney Pool had two hits apiece for Byrd. Preston led 4-3 before Robert C. Byrd (7-3) scored twice in the fifth and again in the sixth to pull away.
 
College baseball

    DAVIS & ELKINS 2-8, West Liberty 0-5: Jake Linley and Ryan Ferretti tossed complete games as Davis & Elkins earned a WVC doubleheader sweep. Linley (4-1) allowed just four hits and Mike Carter had a solo home run in the opener.
    In the nightcap, Ferretti (2-2) struck out five and walked just one and Donnie Reeves, Billy Greenwell and Nick Lahman all had two hits and drove in a run for Davis & Elkins (16-12, 8-2).
    SHEPHERD 6-3, Salem-Teikyo 3-1: Shepherd swept error-plagued Salem-Teikyo.  In the first game, S-TU (19-21-1, 4-8) held a 2-1 lead before committing three errors in Shepherd’s four-run fourth inning.
    In the second game, S-TU’s lone error helped Shepherd break a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the sixth. S-TU’s Chris Durant homered in the first game, while Jeremy Sutton had a double and an RBI. Deke Akin went 2-for-4 with a double for S-TU..
    CONCORD 8-3, West Virginia Wesleyan 2-7: Shortstop Toby Legacy went 3-for-4 with three runs to pace Concord in the opener before catcher Ben Gerkin sparked a sixth inning rally to earn Wesleyan the split.



Bridgeport’s Belcastro, Erica Rome earn weekly awards
From Staff Reports

    Whether it’s basketball or baseball, Bridgeport’s Justin Belcastro is at the top of the list. Following a stellar basketball season in which he was named the captain of the Class AA all-state second team, Belcastro is at it again. The senior catcher, after playing left field last season, went 9-for-16 with nine runs scored, nine RBIs, three doubles and two stolen bases to lead the Indians to a 4-2 record.
    For his efforts, Belcastro was named the Clarksburg Exponent & Telegram/One Valley Bank male athlete of the week.
“Moving Justin to catcher has been the biggest key to our season so far,” Bridgeport coach Robert Shields said.
“He hasn’t allowed a stolen base and with the senior presence behind the  plate, he’s helped our pitchers out a lot. I know I’ve been sleeping a lot better,” Shields commented.
    Still, it’s been offensively where Belcastro has made his most noise. “Justin’s simply getting the job done,” Shields said. “He’s done a good job of making contact and driving home people when they’re in scoring position.” Another Bridgeport student earned female athlete of the week honors.
    During a week in which the Indians finished 3-0, Erica Rome took center stage. The sophomore shortstop batted a whopping .667 by going 8-for-12 with three RBIs to pace Bridgeport’s devastating attack.
    “That’s a big position for a sophomore to handle, but Erica has proved herself over and over,” Bridgeport coach Lois Pratt said.  “Erica’s a very strong, very smart player, and when she has a bat in her hands, you can count on her making something happen,” Pratt said.
Other male athletes nominated:
-South Harrison’s Craig Nutter went 6-for-15 with seven runs scored, two RBIs and a stolen base.
-Robert C. Byrd’s trio of Scott Ross, James Funk and Joe Moore were outstanding. Ross was 7-for-17 with seven runs and an  RBI, Funk finished 10-for-18 with four runs, five RBIs, two doubles and a triple and Moore was 6-for-18 with six runs and three RBIs as the Eagles started the season 4-0.
-Notre Dame’s trio of Jeremy Wright, Aaron Barberio and Morgan O’Brien put up equally gaudy statistics. Wright was 7-for-15 with five runs, eight RBIs, a double and two home runs, Barberio was 6-for-13 with four runs, four RBIs and two doubles and O’Brien finished 8-for-17 with seven runs, five RBIs a double, two triples and four stolen bases as the Irish finished the week 2-2.
-Bridgeport’s Joe Honce was 5-for-10 with five runs, seven RBIs, a double and two home runs, while teammate Adam Belcastro finished 6-for-9 with seven runs and three RBIs.
Other female athletes nominated:
-South Harrison’s Alanna Cohen pitched the Hawks to two wins, while teammate Desiree Evans finished 5-for-8 with two RBIs.
-Bridgeport’s Beth Guzzi picked up two mound wins, while Andrea Rome finished 7-for-11 with an RBI.
- Robert C. Byrd’s Katie Critchfield was 6-for-8 with a triple in the Eagles’ 3-0 week, while teammate Lynsey Martin was 2-for-3 with a double, home run and three RBIs in a win.
- Lincoln’s Jamie Wentz was a perfect 4-for-4 with a double in a victory over Liberty.



Liberty rallies by Indians
by Eric Stoneking
CORRESPONDENT

    Last season, Liberty twice used seventh inning rallies to earn came-from-behind victories over Bridgeport.
A year later, nothing’s changed.
    Matt Coberly’s two-run homer in the seventh inning gave Liberty a dramatic 10-9 victory in a key Big 10 game on Tuesday.
“It felt good as soon as it left the bat,” said Coberly. “When I realized it was out, it was the best feeling I ever had. The last at bat, I hit a hard shot to left field, and I knew if I stuck with it something would fall for me.”
    Liberty coach Pete Iquinto was equally impressed with Coberly’s performance. “It was a heck of shot,” said Liberty coach Pete Iquinto. “We press Matt for leadership, and he has been responding real well.”
    Early on it didn’t look like Liberty would need any late-game heroics as it took a 7-3 lead after two innings. Josh Matheny’s three-run home run was the big hit in a six-run, five-hit second inning.
    Two innings and seven unanswered runs later however, Bridgeport had incredibly retaken a 9-8 lead. “We had a lead early and one or two plays let them back into the game,” said Iquinto. “We have to learn to make routine plays, but our kids did not quit and that makes a good team.”
    Bridgeport held onto its lead until the seventh, an inning Bridgeport coach Robert Shields insisted shouldn’t have changed the game’s outcome. “We shouldn’t have been in that situation,” said Shields. “We left a lot of men on base, but it’s early in the year and we just have to keep plugging away.” Justin Belcastro led Bridgeport (4-3) with two hits.
    Ryan Wagner had two hits for Liberty (7-4) and Josh Matheny added a home run. Matheny also earned the win for Liberty, pitching the final two innings to improve to 3-1. T.J. Linkous took the loss for Bridgeport.



Lindsey proves his own toughest critic
by Dan Shrensky
CORRESPONDENT

    MORGANTOWN — Donnie Lindsey’s assessment of his snaps should be music to the ears of his future patients.
Listening to Lindsey, a Bridgeport native in his fourth year as West Virginia’s long snapper, one gets the sense that his rigid standards and attention to detail will help him considerably in his quest to become an emergency medicine physician.
    “Coach might say, ‘You played good, you snap well,’” Lindsey said. “I might think I played horrible. If I don’t hit the elbow on extra points or hit the guy right in the stomach on punts then that’s not good enough to me.”
I    ndeed, Lindsey, a 6-foot-2, 280-pound walk-on, isn’t one to let praise go to his head. Although he has been a model of consistency, one of his most vivid memories of last year’s 8-4 season is a low snap that might have contributed to Jay Taylor’s first missed extra point. Along with snapping this spring, Lindsey is getting a long look at left tackle.
    Starter Matt Wilson and backup Lance Nimmo are both nursing ankle injuries, giving Lindsey a chance to get some quality repetitions among a horde of similarly inexperienced linemen.
    He was chastised several times by WVU’s line coaches Tuesday for letting defensive end Antwan Lake zip past him during a drill, but Lindsey is the first to admit he still has much to learn.
    After all, he originally came in as a center/guard, moved to right tackle last year, and was transplanted from left guard to left tackle this spring to provide added depth.
    “He was in behind Matt and Lance and now he has to step up,” said offensive line coach Dave McMichael.  “He hasn’t played there so he’s making a lot of mental errors at this point. If you’re going to have that problem, now’s the time to do it.”
    With six spring practices left, including the April, 24 Gold-Blue scrimmage, and an entire preseason, Lindsey plans to remedy the problem through perseverance, a quality he’s never lacked.
    “I have my good days, I have my bad days still,” Lindsey said. Tuesday “wasn’t a very good day for me. We still got confused on a couple things. I only have one class (today) so I’m going to come out and watch film with coach McMichael and try to get straightened out.  “I hope I have a better day (today).”



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