Tuesday, June 28 2022

Photo by Bill Lusk, WVOW Sports

Logan’s Cole Blankenship is knocked out in the second inning of the Wildcats’ 12-7 win over Charleston Catholic on Monday afternoon at Roger E. Gertz Field.

bill lusk | WVOW Sports

LOGAN It wasn’t the performance Logan coach Kevin Gertz was looking for in his team’s final game before the state tournament, but it was good enough as the No. 2 Class AA Wildcats beat Charleston. Catholic, 12-7, Monday afternoon at Roger E. Field in Gertz.

Gertz wasn’t happy with how his team approached things at the plate and on the field Monday, spotting the Irish up 3-0 early in the third inning. The Wildcats scored four runs late in the third and never trailed the rest of the way.

“I don’t like the way we approached things today,” Gertz said. “We didn’t execute very well today, and two or three happened today.”

The two things that upset Gertz were his team’s inability to pass a bunt by moving runners and a third-inning out attempt that ultimately led to three third-inning runs for the Irish.

“We didn’t have any bunt, although we end up scoring those runs against a better pitcher, you don’t score those runs,” Gertz said. “We had a pick-off, and everyone knew it except our pitcher, and we had the guy, and they don’t score in the third inning if he knows what’s going on.”

The win lifted the Wildcats to 27-9 on the year heading into Thursday afternoon’s Class AA semifinal against fourth-placed Shady Spring. Gertz said his team, which lost 16-6 to George Washington on Saturday afternoon, said his team needed to focus on Thursday if they wanted to continue their season.

“In the regionals we were focused, in the sections we were focused,” Gertz said. “I’m not stupid, it’s hard to go from a tournament to a game that means nothing. It’s hard to stay focused in these games, but if you want to win a title, you have to stay focused.

Konner Lowe led Logan’s 10-hit offense at the plate with 2 for 3 with three RBIs while Ryan Roberts was 1 for 1 with a pair of RBIs and Garrett Williamson 1 for 3 with two RBIs.

On the mound Logan used four different pitchers, Chad Burnette pitched 1 2/3 relief innings to pick up his team leading the sixth win of the year. Burnette allowed two runs on three hits with two strikeouts and a walk.

Jared Burnette allowed three runs on three hits in 2 2/3 innings. He took out two and walked three. Williamson allowed a run on a hit and two strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings while Aiden Slack allowed a run on a hit with two strikeouts and a walk in one inning of relief.

Charleston Catholic scored three runs in the third inning on two straight hits. Michael Ferrell started the scoring with a two-run single to give the Irish a 2-0 lead and Gannon Morris followed with a scoring single to give Catholic a 3-0 lead.

Logan responded with four runs late in the third to take a 4-3 lead. Jake Ramey led the scoring with a single to put Logan within two runs, 3-1, and Lowe’s two-out single cut the deficit to 3-2.

Lowe scored on a throwing error to tie the game, 3-3, and Roberts got caught on a preview allowing Slack to steal home, giving the Wildcats a 4-3 lead.

Logan opened the game with a fourth inning of six runs. Williamson started the scoring with a two-run single to increase Logan’s lead to 6-3.

Roberts’ two-run single gave Logan an 8-3 lead. Jared Burnette scored on a pitching error and Carson Kirk scored on an assist to make it 10-3 after four innings.

In the top of the fifth, Catholic got a pair of hits, a Ferrell brace took the Irish to within six, 10-4, and Morris’ single cut the deficit to 10-5 heading down . the fifth.

Logan scored his final two runs in the fifth as Lowe singled to drive in a pair of runs giving Logan a 12-5 lead after five.

Gage Tawney homered in the sixth to bring Catholic back with six runs, 12-6, and Morris scored on crazy ground in the seventh to cut the deficit to 12-7.

Morris suffered the loss in relief to starter Jonah DiCocco. Morris allowed four runs on three hits in two innings of relief while striking out one, walking two and batting three batters. DiCocco threw a no-hitter inning walking two and striking out one.

Ferrell allowed six runs, five unearned, on three hits while striking out two, walking one and hitting one in one inning pitched. Luke Blaydes pitched an inning allowing two runs on three hits while walking one. Hayden Carriger allowed a hit in one working inning.

Ferrell led the Irish at the plate 2 for 4 with three RBIs while Morris was 3 for 4 with a pair of RBIs. Tawney was 1 for 3 with a solo home run while Blaydes and Carriger each had a hit for Charleston Catholic.

Charleston Catholic drops to 16-19 with the loss and will face Class A No. 1 Williamstown (26-6) Friday morning at 10 a.m. in the Class A state tournament at Appalachian Power Park.

Korbin Bostic was 2 for 3 with a run scored and Dawson Maynard was 1 for 2 with three runs scored for Logan. Ramey was 1 for 2 with an RBI while Jared Burnette and Conner Mullins each had a hit for the Wildcats.

Logan and Shady Spring will meet for the second time this season. The Wildcats defeated the Tigers, 10-0 in five innings at Roger E. Gertz Field on April 30.

Maynard threw one hit with seven batters as the Wildcats manhandled Tigers ace Cameron Manns for six runs on five hits over four innings, earning him his only loss of the year.

Gertz expects a different game this time and expects to see Manns a second time.

“They’re scary and I don’t know if we’ll be mentally ready to go and if we’re not we’ll play one game and it’ll be over,” Gertz said. “He didn’t have a broken ball that day and I’m sure it won’t happen again.”

“He’ll be on, probably throw his best game of the season,” Gertz said. “If we’re not ready for the challenge, it’s going to be a long day.”

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