Logan Little League won the West Virginia Little League 8-10 State Championship Wednesday night with a 16-14 win over county rival Chapmanville at Holly-Gray Park (Photo courtesy of Jessica Turner).
Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
SUTTON Logan centerfielder Chandler Grimmett dropped back to track down a line drive off the bat of Chapmanville’s Ryan Farley. Coaches, parents, players and fans watched as Grimmett put his glove in the air to snag the line drive as he fell to the ground just shy of the centerfield fence.
Grimmett’s coaches, players and parents rushed to centerfield in celebration as Grimmett held on for the final out in Wednesday night’s West Virginia Little League 8-10 State Tournament at Holly-Gray Park.
The catch, and the game itself, will be talked about for years to come not only in Logan County but the entire state of West Virginia.
Chapmanville, down two runs with bases loaded when Grimmett made the spectacular game ending snag, were on the verge of rallying from an early 10-run deficit that would them a state championship.
Instead, Logan left Holly-Gray Park with a 16-14 win over their Logan County rivals after building a 10-0 lead after two innings but without Grimmett’s catch the win would not have been possible. Grimmett saved the night, saved the season and gave Logan a state championship that advances them to next week’s Southeast Region Tournament of State Champions in Wilson, NC.
Logan will represent West Virginia and take on the state champion from Florida at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, July 22, at Southern Bank Stadium.
With the win, Logan avenged a 2-1 loss to Chapmanville in the West Virginia Little League District 2 championship on June 26 at Tracy Vickers Field.
Both Chapmanville and Logan had to fight their way out of the loser’s bracket to advance to Wednesday’s state championship bracket.
Chapmanville, the Mountaineer runner-up, defeated Nitro, 8-5, Tuesday night while Logan, the Herd runner-up, defeated Huntington, 6-2, to advance.
In Wednesday’s semifinals, Chapmanville held off Jefferson County for a 10-8 win and Logan walked off Barboursville 3-2 to set up an All-Logan County state championship.
Those expecting a pitchers’ duel between the same two leagues would be disappointed as both pitching staffs, left to use all eligible pitchers some of which who had not thrown during tournament play, struggled with command issues as both teams combined to walk 16 batters, hit seven batters and issue 12 wild pitches.
Logan plated 10 runs in the first two innings to jump out to a 10-0 lead before Chapmanville plated five runs in the bottom of the second to close the gap to 10-5.
Logan led 11-5 after three innings, but Chapmanville scored four in the fourth and closed to within two runs, 11-9, after four innings. Logan plated a run in the fifth and four runs in the sixth. Little did Logan know, those four runs turned out to be huge.
Chapmanville, trailing 16-9 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, wouldn’t go down without a late rally.
Kent Pritchard scored on a wild pitch with one out to cut the deficit to 16-10. Following a Grady Lamber line out for the second out, Chapmanville scored four runs on a pair of walks, a hit batter and one wild pitch.
Ethan Akers walk with the bases loaded allowed Cole Deskins to score to trim the deficit to 16-11. Chase Blankenship scored when LJ Copley was hit by the pitch, Ryder Mendez came around to score on Jaggar White’s walk to make it 16-13.
Logan thought they had the third out as it appeared that Akers was tagged out as he tried to score on a pass ball, however, Akers slide jarred the ball free from the tag keeping Chapmanville alive as they trailed by two runs, 16-14, for the second time in the game.
Kayne Stapleton walked to load the bases for Farley, who lined a 3-2 pitch into centerfield that was tracked down and caught by Grimmett for the final out.
Tanner Adams recorded the final out for Logan and registered the save. Adams, one of three Logan pitchers used in the sixth inning, walked two in 1/3 inning.
Grimmett was the winning pitcher for Logan after allowing seven runs and three hits in three innings while walking six and striking out three.
Paxton Sargent gave up five runs, one hit, walked two six and struck out two in 2 1/3 innings and Noah Harvey allowed two runs and two walks in 1/3 inning.
Logan limited Chapmanville to four hits, but walked 16 batters, hit two batters and committed three errors.
Logan jumped out to a 4-0 lead after one inning. Stephen Duty started the scoring with a double to plate Liam Ferrell with the first run of the contest. Grayson Keith singled to score Duty for a 2-0 Logan lead and Harvey followed with a single to score Jagger Marcum to make it 3-0. Grimmett closed the scoring with a sacrifice fly to left field to plate Keith.
In the second, Logan erupted for six runs to jump out to a 10-0 lead. Duty started the scoring when he reached on an error allowing Adams to score the first run of the inning. Ferrell scored on a wild pitch and John Wesley Albright singled to left allowing Duty to score for a 7-0 Logan lead.
Albright scored on Jase Turner’s fielder’s choice, Keith scored on Grimmett’s walk and Turner stole home to cap the second inning scoring for Logan.
Chapmanville scored five runs on one hit, one hit batter, one passed ball, one wild pitch and five Logan walks to trim the deficit in half, 10-5, heading to the third inning.
Farley was hit by the pitch allowing Akers to score Chapmanville’s first run. Luke Berry walked as Copley crossed the plate to cut the deficit to 10-2. Stapleton scored on a passed ball, Blankenship singled to score Berry and Farley scored on a wild pitch to conclude the second inning scoring.
Ferrell’s double in the third inning brought home Adams to give Logan an 11-5 lead.
Chapmanville closed to the gap to two runs with a four-run fourth inning. Farley started the four-run rally with a single to center that scored White and Stapleton scored on Deskins RBI ground out to make it 11-7.
Farley scored on a wild pitch and Pritchard scored when Blankenship reached on a fielding error to bring Chapmanville to within two, 11-9, after four innings.
In the fifth, Logan loaded the bases with two outs but was only able to scratch across a single run as Grimmett scored on a two-out error to extend the lead to 12-9.
In the bottom of the fifth, Akers and Copley walked to start the inning for Chapmanville, but failed to score as the next three batters in the lineup were retired with Logan clinging to a three-run lead.
Logan scored four runs with two outs in the top of the sixth as Sargent and Adams walked with the bases loaded to give Logan a 14-9 lead and Ferrell concluded the scoring with a two-run single that gave Logan a 16-9 lead.
Ferrell had the hot bat for Logan, finishing with three hits, three RBIs and two runs scored. Harvey also had three hits and one RBI while Adams, Albright and Keith each had two hits and one RBI.
Duty had one hit and one RBI, Marcum had one hit and Grimmett and Turner, who had the game winning sacrifice fly in the win over Barboursville earlier in the evening, each had one RBI.
Copley was the losing pitcher for Chapmanville after allowing 11 runs on 11 hits in 2 2/3 innings. He struck out one and walked one. Berry allowed five runs on three hits, walked four and struck out two in three innings and Pritchard struck out the only batter he faced in the sixth inning.
Farley had one hit and drove in two runs while Akers had one hit, one RBI and scored twice while Blankenship and White each had one hit and one RBI for Chapmanville.
Berry, Copley, and Deskins each had one RBI while Pritchard and Stapleton each scored two runs.
Logan joins state champions from Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and the runner-up from North Carolina in the eight-team tournament.
Logan will play three pool play games that will determine the remaining teams that will take part in a single elimination tournament to determine the tournament of champions.
Following its opening pool play game, Logan will face the Virginia state champion on Sunday, July 23, at 3:30 p.m. and close pool play on Monday, July 24, at 3:30 p.m. against South Carolina’s state champion.
Quarterfinals and Semifinals will be played on Tuesday, July 25, with the championship game taking place Wednesday, July 26, at 11 a.m.