By Kerry Patrick
Special to The Times
ST. MARYS, W.Va. - St. Marys was in mid-season form in its season opener.
Friday afternoon at Dave Wilson Field, St. Marys received a solid start from left-handed sophomore pitcher Michael Stout and an even more impressive outing in relief from junior Tyler Davis as the host Blue Devils defeated previously-unbeaten Williamstown 8-3.
Stout struck out 11 in 4 2/3 innings of work, while Davis retired the final seven batters he faced while picking up the save.
"It's a good thing I had my reliever come in here and help me out a little bit," Stout said. "Plus, we got some runs on the board."
St. Marys 8, Williamstown 3
Williamstown (2-1) 001 010 0 - 3 3 1
St. Marys (1-0) 332 000 x - 8 9 2
WP: Michael Stout 4.2IP 3H 3R 1ER 4BB 11SO
Save: Tyler Davis 2.1IP 0H 0R 0ER 0BB 3SO
LP: Jake Tracewell 0.2IP 2H 3R 3ER 4BB 0SO
Eli Gray 5.1IP 7H 5R 5ER 2BB 5SO
Leading hitters: Williamstown - Eli Gray 1-2, run, RBI, SB; Josh DeBolt 1-4, RBI. St. Marys - Aaron Tice 2-4, 2 runs, SB; Jarrod Lough 3-3, HR, 2 runs, 4 RBIs; Matt Houser 2-4, 2B, 2 runs, RBI, 2 SBs; Johnny Riggs 2-3, 3 RBIs
Next game: Calhoun County at Williamstown (DH), noon, today; St. Marys at Roane County, noon, today
St. Marys didn't waste any time putting its offense into motion, scoring three runs in the first and second innings and then an additional two in the third inning.
Supplying the firepower for the Blue Devils (1-0) was junior Jarrod Lough, who went 3-for-3 at the plate with a home run and four runs batted in. His blast over the left-field fence with one on and one out in the bottom of the second inning occurred one pitch after he swung and missed on a fastball above the letters.
"It felt great coming off the bat," Lough said. "The first pitch I swung at during that at-bat just got me mad, and the next thing I know, the next pitch is going over the fence.
"He threw me either a fastball or a change-up, high and inside, and I jumped on it."
Also enjoying multiple-hit games for the Blue Devils were Aaron Tice (2-for-2 with two runs scored), Matt House (2-for-4, double and two runs scored) and Johnny Riggs (2-for-3, 3 RBIs).
St. Marys quieted a Williamstown attack, which had averaged 12 1/2 runs in its first two games of the season. The Yellowjackets, who slipped to 2-1, play host to Calhoun County in a doubleheader today beginning at noon.
Williamstown starting pitcher Jake Tracewell took the loss after surrendering three runs and four walks in just two-thirds of an inning of work.
"St. Marys just pitched well," Williamstown head coach Terry Smith said. "You have to tip your cap to them. Of course, they scored runs, so they did everything well."
St. Marys opened the scoring when Houser singled home Robbie Harper with one out in the first inning. Two batters later and with runners standing on second and third with two outs, Riggs went opposite field and found an opening just beyond first base for a two-run single.
In the second inning, Houser doubled following Lough's two-run homer and scored on Riggs' two-out single.
Williamstown broke the shutout bid in the top of the third inning when Eli Gray's single past a diving shortstop brought home Tracewell from third base.
Lough's two-run single in the bottom half of the frame extended the St. Marys advantage to 8-1 before Williamstown came up with two unearned runs in the fifth. Davis entered the game with bases loaded and two outs in the fifth. The first batter he faced reached on an infield error, but Davis retired the next seven batters, including three on strikeouts. "My arm is feeling great this year," Davis said. "I took a summer off from Legion baseball to get my arm ready, throw the heat and get it done."