Logan ready for Wayne in AA regional
Just too many losses this season.
Too many errors.
Not enough hitting at times and too much uneven play.
Maybe it was just not the Logan High School baseball team’s year.
The Wildcats, however, proved the naysayers wrong and have been playing their best baseball over the last few weeks when it has counted the most - the post-season.
It culminated with a 7-5 victory over county rival Chapmanville in the winner-take-all Class AA, Region IV, Section 2 championship game at Logan’s Roger Gertz Field.
Logan (18-14), the third seed in the sectional, advances to play No. 3-ranked and Cardinal Conference champion Wayne (22-4) in a best-of-three games Region IV series rematch from last year. The Pioneers won both meetings with Logan this season by 1-0 and 9-6 scores.
Game 1 is 6 p.m. Monday at Wayne’s George Brumfield Ballpark. Game 2 is 6 p.m. Tuesday at Logan. Game 3, if necessary, would be back at Wayne at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The Pioneers won last year’s competitive regional series with the Wildcats two games to none, taking a 5-1 victory at Logan, then rallying from a three-run seventh inning deficit in Game 2 at home to win 6-5 and punch their ticket to the state tournament in Charleston.
Logan is red hot, winner of eight out of its last nine games and 11 of its last 14.
“We’re 6-1 in the section and we beat everybody,” Logan coach Kevin Gertz said. “We had the hardest road in the tournament I believe.”
As you might expect from a Logan vs. Chapmanville game, the Tigers didn’t go down without a fight in the sectional finals
Down six runs in the top of the sixth, senior Adam Vance tripled off Logan relief pitcher Matt Brown and courtesy runner Ethan Ferrell scored on Kyle Browning’s RBI sacrifice fly to center, cutting the margin to 7-2.
The Tigers made it even more interesting in the top of the seventh, plating three more runs to pull to within 7-5.
Carson Toney was hit by a pitch, Conner Mullins doubled and both came home on senior center fielder Noah Dingess’ two-run single as CRHS trailed 7-4.
Then with two outs, Vance delivered a two-out, RBI single off new pitcher Dawson Beckett, trimming the deficit to just two. Beckett then fanned Browning, who represented the potential game-tying run at the plate, to end the game.
“Logan’s a really good team,” Chapmanville head coach Eric Ellis said. “They are playing right now at the right time the way everyone expected them to. They scored a lot of their runs with runners getting on with a walk or a hit by pitch. When you do that you don’t have a very good chance of beating a team because they are going to make you pay.”
Matt Brown was 3-for-3 with a double to lead Logan, which outhit CRHS 8-7. Isaiah Beckett was 2-for-2 with a double.
Michael Hall was 2-for-4 while Braydon McClung was 2-for-3. Hensley was 1-for-4 with two RBIs.
Peyton Branham was credited with the win on the mound.
He pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on five hits with three strikeouts, one hit batter and one walk.
Dawson Beckett pitched the final 2/3 of an inning to notch the save.