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Wheeler, Compliment key Coal Grove win over South Point, 7-1

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

COAL GROVE — It was a night of firsts.
Freshman pitcher Malachi Wheeler got his first career win and catcher Ben Compliment hit his first career home run to lead the Coal Grove Hornets to a 7-1 Ohio Valley Conference win over the South Point Pointers on Wednesday.
“It was special. I was very pleased with how they played. I told them I believed in them and they believed in themselves. That’s the most complete game we’ve played,” said Hornets’ coach Blair Demetroulos.
“Wheeler threw really well and Compliment hit the ball really well. They really stepped up.”
Wheeler threw a four-hitter, struck out three and walked four. Compliment went 3-3 with a home run, double and three runs batted in.
The Hornets took a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Tait Matney singled and scored on Compliment’s double. Kyle Sites followed with an RBI single.
Coal Grove made it 6-0 in the second inning.
Evan Gannon singled and Wheeler reached on an error. Christian Workman then grounded out as Gannon scored and Wheeler went to third.
Compliment singled to drive in Wheeler, Sites singled and Nate Harmon had a two-run double.
South Point (7-9) got its only run in the third when Brendon Dillon singled, Drew Smith doubled and Ben Walls hit a sacrifice fly.
“Coal Grove pitched well, fielded well and hit well. We did none of those things well tonight,” said Pointers’ coach Larry Goodwin.
The Hornets added an insurance run in the fifth when Compliment hit a home run leading off the inning.
Brody Blackwell was 2-2 for the Pointers.
South Point 001 000 0 = 1 4 2
Coal Grove 240 010 x = 7 10 0
Drew Smith and Drake McClure. Malachi Wheeler and Ben Compliment. W-Wheeler (ER-1, K-3, BB-4). L-Smith (ER-3, K-4, BB-2, HBP-1). Hitting-SP: Drew Smith 1-3 2B, Brody Blackwell 2-2, Brendon Dillon 1-3; CG: Tait Matney 1-4, Ben Compliment 3-3 HR 2B 3-rbi, Kyle Sites 2-4 rbi, Nate Harmon 2-4 2B 2-rbi, Evan Gannon 1-3, Christian Workman 1-3 rbi.