Hodges helps Flyers roll past Western

Published 10:33 pm Wednesday, March 29, 2023

St. Joseph Flyers’ pitcher Jake Stephens delivers a pitch during a 9-strikeout performance in a 13-3 win over Western on Wednesday. (Tim Gearhart Sports Photo for The Ironton Tribune)


St. Joseph Flyers’ Wesley Neal (25) steals second base as the ball bounces and hits him in the side during a 13-3 win over Western on Wednesday. (Tim Gearhart Sports Photo for The Ironton Tribune)

By Jim Walker


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Wednesday was World Piano Day. Mark Hodges may not be able to play the piano, but he was playing a sweet tune for the St. Joseph Flyers.

Hodges went 4-for-4 with a triple and drove in 4 runs as the Flyers routed the Western Indians 13-3 in a 6-inning Southern Ohio Conference game.

“We hit the ball pretty well the last couple of days and Hodges really stepped it up today,” said Flyers’ coach Greg Bryant.

“We got good pitching from Stephens and Neal and we had a lot of production up and down the lineup.”

Jake Stephens started and went 4 innings for the win. He gave up 3 hits, one unearned run with 9 strikeouts and one walk. Neal finished the final 2 innings and gave one hit, 2 unearned runs with 3 strikeouts and no walks.

Besides Hodges, 7 other Flyers had one hit each.

The Flyers (2-1, 1-0) jumped in front 1-0 in the first inning.

Kai Coleman reached on an error, stole second and went to third on error and scored on a hit by Hodges.

Western tied the game with an unearned run in the top of the third.

Tyler Kerns was hit by a pitch, moved up on a passed ball and scored on a hit by Josh Brewster.

But the Flyers answered with 4 runs in the bottom of the inning.

Evan Balestra doubled with one out, Drew Brown singled to put runners on the corner and Balestra scored on an error. Hodges then singled home Brown.

Hodges moved up on a passed ball and scored on a hit by Jake Stephens.

Neal singled and scored on a triple by Hunter Staton.

St. Joseph scored 5 times in the fourth to open up a 10-1 lead.

Landon Rowe singled, Coleman walked and Balestra was hit by a pitch. Brown reached on an error and 2 runs scored. Hodges then tripled to drive home 2 more runs.

Western got a pair of unearned runs in the top of the fifth.

Kerns and Brewster reached on errors for a run and Wyatt Henderson grounded out to scored Brewster.

The Flyers got a run back in the bottom of the inning when Blake Medinger reached on an error and went to third on another error and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ian Whaley.

St. Joseph ended the game with 2 runs in the sixth.

Hodges singled, Neal walked and they moved up on a passed ball. Hodges came home on a wild pitch and Carson Willis singled home Neal.

Western   001 020 = 3 4 8

St. Joseph 104 512 = 13 11 4

Wyatt Henderson, Josh Brewster (5) and Tyler Kerns. Jake Stephens, Wesley Neal (6) and Mark Hodges. W-Jake Stephens (IP-4.0, H-3, R-1, ER-0, K-9, BB-1, HBP-1). Neal (IP-2.0, H-1, R-2, ER-0, K-3, BB-0). L-Henderson (IP-4.0, H-9, R-10, ER-7, K-5, BB-2, HBP-1). Brewster (IP-1.1, H-2, R-3, ER-2, K-0, BB-1). Hitting-Western: Josh Brewster 1-3 2-RBI, Colt Henderson RBI, Wesley Satterfield. 1-3, Logan Thompson 2-3; St. Joseph: Evan Balestra 1-3 2B, Drew Brown 1-3 2-RBI, Mark Hodges 4-4 3B 3-RBI, Jake Stephens 1-2 RBI, Wesley Neal 1-3, Hunter Staton 1-3 3B RBI, Carson Willis 1-1 RBI, Landon Rowe 1-2, Ian Whaley RBI.