Delivering seven strikeouts and a grand slam to punctuate the final score, East Hardy was led by seniors Clay Skovron and Brett Tharp in the 15-2 five-inning victory on senior night over the Golden Tornado in Baker on Friday night.
“Overall it was great. We have been waiting for games like this all year and we finally got to see one,” East Hardy coach Eric Heflin stated.
“It is nice to have this momentum going into the sectional tournament next week. It was good coaching these seniors. I had them for a year or two in junior league, then got them started their sophomore year and head coach their junior year. It’s been nice watching them grow and get better as the years go by.”
East Hardy pitcher Clay Skovron tossed a complete game with seven strikeouts and allowed two hits by Class AA Keyser, while Cougars shortstop Brett Tharp crushed a grand slam to seal the mercy rule win.
“It’s an amazing feeling getting the win on the mound, but just seeing the young players come together in the end of the season and getting them ready for next year and for years to come just makes it all worth the while,” East Hardy senior Clay Skovron commented.
“I bleed green and gold. It’s been instilled in me watching my older brothers play on the field and being with them to now here I am on senior night.”
Skovron and Tharp were honored prior to the game along with right fielder Josh Snapp in a special senior ceremony.
“It feels amazing. It’s an amazing feeling to have senior night. This is my last year playing baseball and it feels amazing,” East Hardy senior Josh Snapp noted.
Skovron started the game hurling strikeouts to Keyser’s Evan Moreland and Ryan Shoemaker before beaning Darrick Broadwater and walking Bradly Rotruck, then leapt to catch the ball on a wicked hop off the bat of Jackson White with a throw to first baseman Adam Baker to retire the side stranding the runners.
East Hardy leadoff batter Logan Whetzel singled on the first pitch from Golden Tornado pitcher Evan Moreland sending a grounder into left field.
Alex Miller reached first base on an error by Keyser shortstop Jackson White and Skovron was issued a free pass loading the bases for the Cougars.
East Hardy’s Brett Tharp plated Whetzel on a fielder’s choice out at second base for a 1-nil edge before Baker flew out to center fielder Ryan Shoemaker.
Christian Dove sliced a two-run producing single down the left field line giving the Cougars a 3-0 lead.
Moreland collected a grounder hit by Noah Miller for the last out of the frame.
The Golden Tornado placed two runners on the base path to commence the second inning as Skovron hit batters Morgan Little and Mark Hixenbaugh before striking out Liam McKenzie.
Keyser’s Aaron Lyons fired a line drive to Baker, who attempted a double play at second base where Tharp couldn’t reach stretching into the dirt and a run scored to make it 3-1.