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Blackwell dominates, Hurricane tops South

May 21, 2019

HURRICANE, W.Va. — Jonathan Blackwell pitched like six-time Major League Baseball All-Star Ewell Blackwell Monday night.

The younger Blackwell, a senior left-hander, exhibited exquisite command and control in a dominating performance as Hurricane defeated Parkersburg South, 10-0, in a Class AAA, Region IV high school baseball game at Lola Meeks Field. The Coastal Carolina University signee struck out 11, allowed three hits and walked no one as the Redskins took a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-three series. Game two is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at South.

Blackwell’s first eight pitches were strikes and he struck out the side on 10 pitches in the first inning, displaying what was to come the rest of the evening. In the second inning, Jared Clemente doubled with one out, but Blackwell struck out the next two hitters to end the threat. In the sixth inning, Nathan Currey and Colin Bryant each singled, but Blackwell coaxed a fly out, a pop out and whiffed Grant Hussey to keep his shutout intact.

“Jon threw a good game and we made some plays behind him,” Hurricane coach Brian Sutphin said. “Our offense stayed on task.”

The Redskins scored the only run they needed in the first inning when Austin Dearing singled in Tyler Cox. That was the beginning of a stellar night for Dearing, a Marshall University recruit, who went 4-for-4 with a three-run home run, two doubles and four runs batted in.

Hurricane (29-4) expanded its lead to 3-0 in the second when Brendan Lewis tripled in J.T. Cooper, then scored on a base hit by Matt Vance.

The Patriots (19-12) kept close early, thanks to inning-ending double plays in each of the first three innings. In the fifth Hurricane sent 10 batters to the plate and scored five runs. The big blow was Dearing’s three-run homer to right-center field. The blast was sandwiched around a RBI by Quarrier Phillips, who singled in Vance, and a run-producing single by Cooper, who drove in Joel Gardner.

The Redskins finished off South in the sixth when Dearing doubled, advanced to third on a fly out and scored on a throwing error, then Cooper singled in Walker James, the courtesy runner for catcher Enzo Lewis.

Sutphin said he was pleased to take the series lead, but cautioned his team about being overconfident. He pointed to last year’s sectional tournament when Hurricane lost the opener to Spring Valley and had to fight back to win two in a row on its way to a state championship.

“Nobody has won anything, yet,” Sutphin said. “We’re looking forward to going to Parkersburg South to play tomorrow. Anytime you win game one of the best two-out-of-three series, or any series, it’s monumental.”

Cooper and Vance each went 2-for-3.

PARKERSBURG SOUTH 000 000 - 0 3 1

HURRICANE 120 052 - 10 9 0

Cochran, Reeves (3), McMillian (5) and Yoho; Blackwell and Lewis.

Hitting: (PS) Clemente 2B; (H) Dearing 4-4, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI; Gardner 3B, Cooper 2-3, 2 RBI, Vance 2-3, E. Lewis 2B, B. Lewis 3B.

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