Yellow Jackets sting Wahama in 8 innings, 4-3

By Bryan Walters -

WILLIAMSTOWN, W.Va. — Like a bad fishing story, this was the big one that got away.

The Wahama baseball team let a one-run lead slip away with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, then a leadoff walk in the eighth ultimately led to disaster Saturday following a 4-3 setback to host Williamstown in a non-conference matchup in Wood County.

The visiting White Falcons (13-5) dropped their third straight decision while also allowing the Yellow Jackets to avenge last year’s 11-0 loss in the Region 4 championship game — an outcome that ultimately allowed Wahama to advance to Appalachian Power Park en route to the program’s third Class A title.

Williamstown took a 1-0 lead in the third as Zac Willhide led things off with a single and later scored on a sacrifice fly to left field by Mason Adkins. The White Falcons answered with a run in the fourth as Ricky Kearns scored on an RBI single by Mason Hicks, tying things up at one apiece.

Tyler Bumgarner started the top of the fifth by being hit by a pitch, then advanced to second on a Nyles Riggs single. Kearns followed with a single that plated Bumgarner, giving the guests their first lead of the night at 2-1.

Riggs advanced to third on the Kearns’ single, putting runners on the corners with one away. The White Falcons executed a double steal that allowed Riggs to score as Kearns was thrown out at second — giving Wahama its largest lead of the night at 3-1.

The Jackets, however, came up with an answer in the bottom half of the fifth as Landon Travis started things by reaching safely on an error, then Adkins singled Travis in for a 3-2 deficit.

Adkins led off the bottom of the seventh with a double and eventually scored the tying run on a two-out single by Braden Mulluenix.

Bryce Haer led off the eighth with a walk and advanced to second base before ultimately coming plateward on a single by Josh Stephens, giving the Yellow Jackets a walkoff 4-3 victory.

Williamstown outhit the guests by a 10-4 overall margin and committed only one of the three errors in the contest. The Jackets stranded 11 runners on base, while Wahama left five on the bags.

Reece Westfall was the winning pitcher of record after allowing three earned runs, four hits and two walks over eight innings while striking out 11. Tyler Grimm suffered the tough-luck loss after surrendering four runs (three earned), 10 hits and three walks over 7.1 frames while fanning five.

Kearns, Hicks, Riggs and Philip Hoffman each had a hit for the White Falcons. Adkins paced the hosts with three hits and Mulluenix added two safeties.

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

By Bryan Walters