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A Team Effort . . .

Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

TRI-VALLEY’S ERIC Beach safely slides into third base as Eldred third baseman Rob Sparling tracks down the ball in Friday’s game. Beach stole second and then advanced to third on an errant throw.

. . . And a Family One, Too

By Rob Potter
ELDRED — May 8, 2001 – The hitting by one brother and the pitching by another helped Tri-Valley post a win last Friday in a OCIAA Division IV game versus Eldred.
Bear first baseman Alex Pearston went 3-for-4 at the plate and older brother Durk Pearston allowed only five hits on the mound as visiting T-V beat Eldred, 8-3.
As he kept the Yellow Jacket hitters guessing, Durk Pearston recorded at least one strikeout in each of the seven innings, finishing the game with nine Ks. And he only walked one batter in the game.
“He did a great job on the mound,” T-V coach Jim Kelly said. “And we did a good job defensively behind him.”
Meanwhile, Alex Pearston was one of the main cogs in the Bear offensive machine. With two outs and two runners on in the top of the first, he hit a fly ball to left that dropped in and brought home Nate McCarthy and James Paul for a quick 2-0 lead.
After getting a hit in the third, Alex Pearston drove home the final T-V (3–4, 1–2 OCIAA) run in the top of the sixth. After Paul reached on an error, Pearston doubled to left to score Paul and give the Bears an 8-1 lead.
McCarthy and Paul were also keys to the Bear offense. McCarthy went 2-for-4 on the day and Paul hit a towering two-run homer over the center field fence in the third inning.
Down by a 6-0 score in the bottom of the fourth, Eldred (2–6, 1–4 OCIAA) broke up Durk Pearston’s bid to pitch a shutout. With two outs, John Schneider singled to left. The next batter, Wayne McKenley, hit a pop fly that dropped in between Bear second baseman Eric Beach and center fielder Josh Lowitz.
McKenley was tagged out in a rundown between first and second base, but Schneider, who had advanced to third when the ball dropped in, raced home.
Eldred mounted another comeback attempt in the bottom of the sixth, putting two runners on with only one out. After Schneider popped out, McKenley ripped a double to the gap in left center to score John Tice and Steve Degerdon.
However, a nice relay from Lowitz to Paul to McCarthy cut McKenley down at third base as he tried to stretch the hit into a triple. That play ended the inning and although Tom Butler and Jamie Haas each singled in the bottom of the seventh, Eldred could not cut into the five-run T-V lead.
Eldred assistant coach Daryl Barnes praised the effort by the Yellow Jackets, especially McKenley.
“Wayne pitched a heck of a game,” said Barnes, who is also the Eldred modified baseball team coach and was filling in for veteran varsity coach Frank Kean as Kean had to be out of the area on personal business. “He played his heart out.”
Barnes noted that despite the loss, his squad improved its defensive play.
“The fielding is getting better,” he commented. “Hopefully we’ll continue to improve and get some wins.”
Kelly was happy to see his Bears hitting the ball so well.
“We needed a game like this to get our bats going,” he said. “We haven’t been hitting as well as we would like to recently. Hopefully, we’ll start to hit consistently.”

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