By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor
With only 10 players at his disposal, Beckley Post 32 coach Seth Allen needed starting pitcher Brandon Chandler to go as long as he could.
How does seven innings sound?
Chandler was as efficient as he was clutch, holding Parkersburg Post 15 to six hits and without an earned run in Beckley’s 4-1 win in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday at Woodrow Wilson High School.
A 14-year-old who just finished his freshman year at Woodrow, Chandler’s performance could not have been closer to what the team needed. Only catcher Brendan Schack, who caught the second game, was on the bench for this one.
“We’re short on pitching today (with) a lot of kids busy with other stuff,” Allen said. “But (Chandler) pitched one heck of a ballgame. Especially for a 14-year-old freshman.”
Chandler’s numbers were not overwhelming — he struck out two and walked two — but he was able to pitch around whatever trouble he faced. Parkersburg got a runner on base in every inning except the third but stranded seven of them.
Post 15’s biggest threat came in the second, when it scored an unearned run after Beckley had taken a 2-0 lead in the first.
Tre Jackson singled to lead off the inning but was forced at second on a ground ball by Paul Fichtelman. However, the throw to first got away and Fichtelman went to second.
Fichtelman advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored when Jake Wilcox walked and ball four got away.
After Post 32 catcher Jeremy McGinnis threw out Wilcox trying to steal second, Logan Dudley walked but was stranded when Austin Cottrell grounded out to first.
“I just threw my game,” Chandler said.
Chandler said getting a season of high school under his belt is helping his confidence this summer.
“Yeah, because my first year is over,” he said.
Post 32 also turned in some nice defense behind Chandler. Devon Crews led off the fifth with a double for Parkersburg, but Beckley center fielder Jordan Meadows made two consecutive plays, quickly getting in position to catch a line drive for the second out and making a running catch to end the inning.
Cottrell was on first with two out in the seventh for Parkersburg, but Beckley second baseman Jay Webb fielded a ground ball on his knees and alertly tagged Cottrell for the game’s final out.
Beckley went ahead 2-0 in the first when Meadows scored from second on a two-out error and Brad Huffman scored on Joey Lacek’s double.
A sacrifice fly by Huffman drove in Meadows to make the score 3-1 in the third.
Huffman picked up his second RBI in the fifth when his single scored Dakota Bowyer for a 4-1 lead.
Meadows had three hits for Post 32, which had 11 overall. Webb was 2-for-3.
Clayton Cottrille took the loss for Post 15, although he didn’t pitch badly. Both Beckley runs in the first were unearned, and Cottrille got out of a bases-loaded, nobody-out jam in the fifth with only one run scoring.
Beckley lost the second game 8-2. Five Beckley errors led to seven unearned runs for Parkersburg.
Webb doubled and scored a run for Post 32 (6-10-1), while Schack drove in a run.
Beckley will host the West Virginia Power in a seven-inning doubleheader at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Liberty High School.
— E-mail: gfauber