East baseball tops Westside
By John Conley
An early power surge lifted Wyoming East past rival Westside, 6-3, in high school baseball last Wednesday night at New Richmond.
Derek Laxton hit his second three-run homer in as many days, and the Class AA No. 3 Warriors added three more runs in the second as they improved to 16-3.
“Today I thought we played with some emotion and excitement,” said East coach Ron Mayhew. “Both teams are good teams, and it’s always good to beat your rival.”
Laxton’s blast marked the third straight game in which East had a round-tripper—after going the first 16 games of the season with none.
“We’re being more selective at the plate,” Mayhew commented.
The Warriors added to the lead in the second.
Christian Hedinger singled hard to left with runners on the corners to drive in a run.
Austin Canada came home when the Renegades tried to throw out a runner going to second.
That made it 5-0.
Zach Whitten’s RBI single to center accounted for East’s sixth and final run.
Tyler Copley, hitting in the nine spot, smashed a solo shot to left with two out in the Westside third..
“He’s a good hitter,” stated Westside coach Jeremy Hedinger. “He’s been hitting in the five spot and struggling. Maybe moving him to ninth took a little pressure off him.”
It stayed 6-1 until the fifth.
Dakota Bailey reached on an error for WHS. Two outs later, Zack Bailey was hit by a pitch.
Copley singled to drive in his second run of the night, making it 6-2.
Things got interesting in the sixth when Thomas Forren doubled to lead off the Renegades sixth.
Donald Smith singled to drive him in and cut the margin to 6-3. But Westside got no closer.
“I was proud of my team for not rolling over when we got behind,” Hedinger remarked. “With a couple of hits, we could have made it a 6-5 game.
“We put some pressure on East (in the late innings) and forced them to make some plays,” he added.
Travis McKinney struck out 10 and yielded four hits in picking up the win.
After a rough start, Westside hurler J.R. Harper didn’t allow a hit over the last four innings.
“Travis pitched great, and the defense played great,” Mayhew said. Laxton was 1-3 with three RBI and a home run for East. Hedinger was 2-3. Canada and Whitten were each 1-2.
Copley was 2-3, drove in two runs and hit a homer for Westside. Forren was 1-3 with a double and scored a run.
Bluefield 6, East 3
Bluefield snapped Wyoming East’s 10-game win streak with a 6-3 victory at New Richmond last Tuesday.
Derek Laxton’s three-run home run in the sixth accounted for all of the Warriors runs. Derek Thornton (6-1) took his first loss.
Kyle Shepard was the winner for the Beavers. He held East to five hits.
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