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Logan's Korbin Bostic is congratulated by teammates after hitting a two-run home run in the fifth inning of the Wildcats 10-1 victory over Shady Spring in the Class AA state tournament.
Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
CHARLESTON For the 10th time in school history, the Logan High School baseball team advanced to the state championship defeating Shady Spring 10-1 Thursday afternoon in the Class AA state tournament at Appalachian Power Park.
The reigning Class AA champion Wildcats scored all the runs they would need in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings to advance to the championship game for a second consecutive year.
A win Saturday morning would give the Wildcats an eighth state championship in school history and would be the schools fourth AA state championship since 2005.
With a win Saturday, the Wildcats would become the second team in school history to go back-to-back joining the 2000 and 2001 team that won back-to-back Class AAA state championships.
Leading 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Wildcats got a two-run double from Konner Lowe to take a 4-1 lead. It was the first of two run-scoring doubles for Lowe, who had a three-run double as part of a six-run fifth inning. Lowe finished 3-for-4 with five RBIs in the victory.
“Konner can hit. He can flat out swing it and he is a doubles machine,” Logan coach Kevin Gertz said. “I’d like to hit him fourth, but as long as Konner’s on the team, he’s the one guy I can outrun.”
Ryan Roberts, who had two hits and one RBI, scored the first of six runs in the fifth on a Shady Spring error. Korbin Bostic then followed with a two-run home run over the right field fence to give Logan a 7-1. For Bostic, it was his fifth home run of the season and the first home run of the state tournament.
“If he (Bostic) takes his shirt off, you’d see why he hit that home run,” Gertz said. “He is one of the top hitters in this state. He hurt his shoulder and for about two weeks, really slumped.”
“He struck out 14 or 15 times and 12 of them were in that two-week span,” Gertz said. “He swings it well and if he’s on time with it, he can hit it a long way.”
After a pair of walks to Dawson Maynard and Jake Ramey and a hit batter to Garrett Williamson, Lowe cleared the bags with a double down the right field line allowing Maynard, courtesy runner McCormick Ilderton and Williamson to score.
Maynard tossed five strong innings allowing one run on three hits while walking three and striking out seven hitters for his fifth win of the season.
“He was throwing the ball over the plate, and he tends to be a strike machine,” Gertz said. “He wasn’t hit hard and is rarely hit hard.”
Maynard gave up a one-out triple to Tyler Mackey, who scored on Alex Johnston’s groundout giving Shady Spring a 1-0 lead in the first.
Maynard allowed just two hits over the next four innings and worked out of a fifth inning jam. With one out and runners on first and second, Maynard struck out Johnston and got Aden Seabolt to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the Shady Spring threat.
“The guy hit the one-out triple in the first and I hollered at him and said, ‘I don’t care about that. We are going to score.’ Nobody else scored after that guy,” Gertz said. “He attacks the zone, has a great slider and is a heck of a player.”
Chad Burnette relieved Maynard in the sixth and allowed two hits and struck out one in two innings.
Logan tied the contest in the second inning, but not without a little bit of confusion surrounding a potential strikeout of Carson Kirk.
With two outs and Jared Burnette on second, Kirk checked his swing on a ball in the dirt and raced to first base. Catcher Tyler Reed fired to Adam Richmond covering at first base for the apparent third out.
On the play, Burnette advanced to third base as home plate umpire TJ Morgan asked for an appeal from first base umpire Dave Bender, who ruled Roberts had checked his swing. Roberts walked on the next pitch and the inning continued.
“We all thought Carson swung and missed, so he went to first,” Gertz said. “The home plate umpire pointed to the first base umpire to see if he did go. He said no and I didn’t know what was going on.”
Two batters later, Maynard’s infield single with the bases loaded scored Burnette tying the game, 1-1, after two innings.
Roberts put Logan ahead for good in the third inning with a run-scoring double to the left-center field gap scoring Lowe for a 2-1 lead.
“We didn’t execute early, we missed two signs early. Jared Burnette stole, and it might be his first steal all year, and I didn’t give him the steal sign,” Gertz said. “Then I gave Garrett (Williamson) a delay steal, which he would have made, and he did a straight steal, which everybody knew he was going, and he didn’t get a good jump.”
“We didn’t get down bunts in the first two or three innings,” Gertz said. “Once we took the 2-1 lead, we relaxed a little bit and played like we play. We normally execute that kind of stuff and put pressure on people.”
Shady Spring starter Cameron Manns allowed four runs on six hits in four innings. Manns struck out seven, walked seven and hit one batter. For Manns, it was his second loss of the season, both of which coming to Logan.
“He had 22 pitches after one and I told everyone that we were going to take and get that pitch count because he wasn’t going seven innings,” Gertz said. “We figured that if they had to change, we would get into their bullpen and they did.”
Johnston allowed six runs on three hits in a third of an inning walking two and hitting one. David Young struck out two and walked one in 1 2/3 innings of hitless relief.
Mackey had three hits including a triple for Shady Spring, who also got a hit apiece from Evan Belcher and Jacob Meadows. Johnston had the lone RBI for the Tigers, who end the season with a record of 26-10.
Roberts had two hits and Williamson one hit for Logan, who improved to 28-9 with the victory and will face Fairmont Senior Saturday morning at 10 a.m. for the Class AA championship.
The Polar Bears, who have never won a state championship in baseball, defeated Robert C. Byrd, 7-4, in the nightcap to advance to the state championship for the ninth time in school history.