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Coal Grove battles past Chesapeake

COAL GROVE — Young teams are unpredictable, but there is one thing that Coal Grove coach John Jones can count on: his Hornets don’t quit.

Despite four errors and a rusty Wayne Sparks on the mound, the Hornets battled past the Chesapeake Panthers 5-3 Wednesday in an Ohio Valley Conference game.

“Neither pitcher had a lot on the ball today, but Wayne battled through it,” said Hornets’ coach John Jones.

“We didn’t have a lot of hits, but we took advantage of what they gave us. We’re not big, strong hitters, but we can run. We just need to cut down on the errors.”

After a shaky first inning, Sparks held the Panthers scoreless the rest of the game. He struck out five and did not walk a batter. All three runs were unearned.

“We gave them three early and then battled back which I was happy with. We made some good plays defensively as the game went on. We’re young and nervous, but once we get that out of them, we’re okay,” said Jones.

Chesapeake scored all its runs in the first inning.

With one out, Wes Lezu singled and Travis Zimmerman doubled. The Hornets then committed three straight errors on infield ground balls.

Coal Grove came back to score two in the bottom of the inning.

Aaron Conley walked, Sparks singled and Rye Goodwin walked to load the bases. Jake Murphy then smacked a one-out single to drive in two runs.

The Hornets took the lead with two runs in the second inning.

Drew Jenkins walked, moved up on a passed ball, and scored on a hit by Goodwin. After Goodwin stole second and third, he scored when Oakie Haynes hit into a fielder’s choice.

In the third inning, Murphy singled, stole second and came home on Scott Harbolt’s base hit.

Murphy went 2-3 to pace the offense.

Zimmerman struck out nine, walked four and gave up five hits in taking the loss. Lezu and Zimmermn were 2-4 at the plate.

Coal Grove (1-2, 1-0) plays at River Valley Thursday.

Chesapeake 300 000 0 = 3 5 1

Coal Grove 221 000 x = 5 5 4

Travis Zimmerman and Colton Lindsey. Wayne Sparks and Jake Murphy. W-Sparks (5-K, 0-BB, 0-ER). L-Zimmerman (9-K, 4-BB, 4-ER). 2B-Chesapeake: Travis Zimmerman. Hitting-Chesapeake: Wes Lezu 2-4, Travis Zimmerman 2-4, Colton Lindsey 1-3. Coal Grove: Wayne Sparks 1-3, Jake Murphy 2-3, Scott Harbolt 1-2, Rye Goodwin 1-3.