By Mike DeFabo
Times West Virginian
PLEASANT VALLEY —
The first pitch of Friday’s East Fairmont- Lewis County baseball game was pushed back by more than an hour when the visiting Minutemen arrived late.
For the East Fairmont faithful, it was worth the wait.
The Bees scored four runs in the fifth inning, James Bolander pitched four consistent innings and East Fairmont won for the second time in two days, this time by the score of 8-3.
The victory improved the Bees’ record to 2-0. After starting last season with a mercy-rule loss to Lincoln, the hot start is a welcome change.
“Last year we didn’t start off too hot,” said Bolander. “This year we’ve started out great. Hopefully we can keep it up.”
The Bees picked up timely hitting in the victory, especially from the bottom half of the order. The 5-9 hitters scored seven of the Bees’ eight runs and picked up all but one of the team’s four hits.
“We expect that out of the bottom of our lineup,” said coach Joe Price. “We’ve watched these guys swing the bat for about a month now. We think one through nine they’re all capable of putting the ball in play and making good things happen.”
Bolander struggled a bit in the first inning with some control issues. He walked one and hit one in the opening frame to allow the Minutemen to take a 1-0 first-inning lead.
But after realizing that he was standing tall and not following through properly, the senior pitcher settled in. He tossed four innings, struck out four, walked two, hit one and allowed two earned runs on the way to picking up his first win of the season.
The Bees answered the Minutemen in the bottom half of the first when E.J. Trickett walked and scored on Tanner Lambert’s RBI single.
East Fairmont stretched its lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the second inning. Tyler Weese walked and David McQuain was hit by a pitch. Stanley Deavers then drilled an RBI double to score Weese. McQuain scored on an error by the shortstop and Deavers then scored on a wild pitch.
The Minutemen cut the score to 4-3 in the top of the fifth off Lambert, who entered in relief to throw two innings.
But the Bees responded with a four-run fifth to provide themselves with a cushion.
Lambert, Colton Toothman and Deavers walked in the inning. Weese and Bolander provided the RBIs.
“That’s what’s great about these guys is they do respond,” said Price. “We preach and preach to win every inning. When they come in and respond and battle back, they’re doing a nice job.”
The Minutemen picked up an unearned run in the seventh inning off of McQuain, but the Bees held on.
East Fairmont is back in action Monday.
Email Mike DeFabo at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.