Bucs overcome slow start in win

TENNERTON – Buckhannon-Upshur shook off a shaky first inning and went on to pound Liberty 15-3 Tuesday in Big 10 Conference action.

After a two-out error allowed one Liberty run to score in the opening inning, Jaylen Bartley sent a towering fly ball over the left field fence to give the Mountaineers a 3-0 lead.

But that lead proved to be a short-lived one as the Buccaneers struck for four runs in their half of the inning. Donald Tenney delivered a two-run double, followed by Matt Fair’s two-run single.

Buckhannon-Upshur starter Jon McDaniels then settled into his role on the mound, shutting down Liberty the final four innings on just three hits.

“That’s kind of been his ‘M.O.’ of late,” B-UHS coach Adam Squires said. “A rocky start, and then he gets things rolling.”

The Bucs, 8-6 overall and 8-1 in the Big 10, broke the game open in the second inning with three more runs. Cory Reed drove home two with a single. Buckhannon exploded for six runs in the fourth inning before Liberty could record the first out, and it eventually plated eight runs before the inning was over.

“It seems like we have been putting the ball in play more of late,” Squires said, “and we’ve had some timely hitting.”

McDaniels went the distance, scattering six hits and walking only two. He struck out six. Reed drove in three runs and scored three more to lead the offensive attack, Fair had two hits and drove in three. Dalton Westfall had two hits, as did Bryson Fluke. Brandon Newcomb stroked a two-run single in a pinch-hitting appearance.

Cody Huffman suffered the loss for Liberty, 2-10 overall and 1-4 in the Big 10. He gave up 10 runs on nine hits and five walks in three-plus innings of work. Bartley led Liberty with two hits.

The Bucs will travel to Elkins today for an encounter with the arch-rival Tigers.