POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — The Big Blacks practically doubled their run production this season on Thursday night. Unfortunately, they also surrendered the most runs they’ve given up since the 2014 campaign.
The Point Pleasant baseball team reached double digits for the first time this spring, but visiting Charleston Catholic never trailed while rolling to an 18-10 victory on Thursday during a non-conference matchup in Mason County.
The Big Blacks (1-6) dropped their third consecutive overall decision, but the hosts increased their seasonal run production from 11 scores in six games to 21 runs in seven outings after a 10-hit performance against the Irish.
CCHS, however, pounded out 21 hits against four Point hurlers — with six of those safeties coming in the pivotal second frame that saw the guests plate five runs while turning a three-all contest into a permanent 8-3 advantage.
PPHS answered with two runs in the home half of the second to close to within 8-5, but the Red and Black were ultimately never closer the rest of the way.
The Irish (6-1) increased their lead to 12-8 through five complete, then scored six straight runs over the next two frames to take their largest lead of the night at 18-8 midway through the seventh.
Point Pleasant answered with two runs in its final at-bat, but the hosts eventually ran out of chances in the eight-run setback.
Both teams produced two home runs apiece and also committed five errors each in the contest. CCHS stranded 10 runners on base, while the Big Blacks left only four on the bags.
Brendan Lanham was the winning pitcher of record for the Irish after allowing eight runs (four earned), eight hits and one walk over five innings while striking out five. Levi Mitchell took the loss after surrendering eight earned runs, nine hits and one walk over 1.2 frames of work.
Tucker Mayes and Abe Stearns led PPHS with two hits apiece, with each player also producing a long-ball in the loss. Mayes hit a three-run shot to right-center in the first and Stearns added a three-run blast to left-center in the fifth.
Josh Wamsley, Alec Smith, Miles Williams, Austin Richardson, Hunter Blain and Carter Smith also had a safety apiece for the hosts.
Mayes led PPHS with four RBIs and Stearns knocked in three runs. Williams and Richardson also accounted for an RBI each.
Smith, Williams and Mayes each scored twice, while Wamsley, Mitchell, Stearns and Blain also touched home plate one time apiece.
Brandon Combs led CCHS with four hits, followed by Luke McKown, Michael Martin, John Hufford and Dominic Martin with three safeties apiece. Trae Swisher — who had a two-run homer in the second and a three-run bomb in the fifth — joined Thomas Blaydes with two hits each, while Parker Ross also added a safety.
Swisher led the guests with five RBIs and joined Blaydes with three runs scored. Michael Martin and Dominic Martin also drove in four RBIs and three RBIs, respectively.
The 18 Charleston Catholic runs were the most given up by a Point Pleasant team since a 20-9 setback to visiting Logan back on April 5, 2014.
The Big Blacks return to action Saturday when they travel to Nitro High School for a 3 p.m. contest against Greenbrier East.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.