SOUTH WESTON - Daniel Powell fired a complete game three-hitter, leading Buckhannon-Upshur to a 9-3 Big 10 Conference road victory at Lewis County Monday night.
The right hander struck out 11 Minutemen while walking 10, thwarting several Lewis County opportunities with a strikeout or as a beneficiary of a key defensive play behind him.
"Getting a complete game out of Daniel tonight was huge for us with the schedule we have coming up," Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Adam Squires said. "He was getting his curveball over tonight, and that gave us a lot more confidence to call for it in 2-2 and 3-2 counts."
Buckhannon-Upshur vaulted to 3-0 lead in the top of the first, getting RBI's from Nathan Matthews and Jeremy Davidson, and capitalizing on a pair of Lewis County errors. B-U extended their lead to 7-0 in the third, once again benefiting from a Lewis miscue, and riding a key two-RBI double off the bat of shortstop Kane Bender. For the night, Lewis County committed five errors, leading to eight unearned runs.
"For some reason, we simply did not come out focused and ready to play," Lewis County head coach Scott Walker said. "That should not happen when it is a rivalry game, but we have to put it behind us come back tomorrow night ready."
Lewis County would cut the lead to 7-2 with single runs in the third and fifth innings, but a two-run seventh by the Bucs provided Powell more than the insurance he needed. A single run in the Lewis County seventh closed the scoring.
Garrett Riley led the B-U attack going three-for-four, with Even Wright going two-for-four in what was a 10-hit attack. Davidson and Corbin Pugh would each score two runs to complement the pair of RBI's from Bender.
Logan Moneypenny and Tyler Wood each produced RBI hits for the Minutemen, with Ethan Wilson providing eight strikeouts on the mound in four innings of relief. Freshmen Skyler Carlton started, giving up only one earned run in three innings of work, despite shouldering the loss and leaving with a 7-1 deficit.
"We were able to take advantage of their mistakes, and we were able to that with some timely hitting," Squires said. "We were a little more patient at the plate in those early innings, and that got our offense going."
In the end, it was Powell who would close the door capping his 137-pitch performance by striking out the side in the Lewis county ninth. In getting his key outs throughout the night, ten Minutemen were left stranded on the base paths.
"My curveball and my slider were working tonight, and the defense made some key plays behind me," Powell said.
Both teams return to conference play tonight. Buckhannon-Upshur plays host to Robert C. Byrd, while Lewis County hosts Liberty.
With the victory, B-U raises their record to 5-4 (4-3). The loss drops Lewis County to 5-5 (2-4).