Photo by Bill Lusk, WVOW Sports
Logan's Cole Blankenship is tagged out during the second inning of the Wildcats 12-7 victory over Charleston Catholic 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 Class AA No. 2 Wildcats defeated Charleston Catholic, 12-7, Monday afternoon at Roger E. Gertz Field.
Gertz wasn’t pleased with how his team approached things at the plate and in the field Monday, spotting the Irish an early 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning. The Wildcats plated four runs in the bottom of third and never trailed the rest of the way.
“I don’t like how we approached things today,” Gertz said. “We didn’t execute really well today, and two or three happened today.”
The two things that Gertz was displeased with were his team’s inability to lay down a bunt moving runners over and a pickoff attempt in the third inning that ultimately led to three third-inning runs for the Irish.
“We didn’t get a bunt down, although we end up scoring those runs against better pitching you don’t score those runs,” Gertz said. “We had a pickoff, 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 is going on.”
The victory improved the Wildcats to 27-9 on the year heading into Thursday afternoon’s Class AA semifinal matchup against fourth-ranked Shady Spring. Gertz said his team, who lost 16-6 to George Washington Saturday afternoon, said his team must be focused Thursday if they are to continue their season.
“In regionals we were focused, in sectionals we were focused,” Gertz said. “I am not stupid it is tough going from tournament to a game that does not mean anything. It is 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 attack at the plate going 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 tossed 1 2/3 innings of relief to pick up his team leading sixth victory of the year. Burnette allowed two runs on three hits with two strikeouts and one walk.
Jared Burnette allowed three runs on three hits in 2 2/3 innings. He struck out two and walked three. Williamson gave up one run on one hit and struck out two in 1 1/3 innings while Aiden Slack allowed one run on one hit with two strikeouts and one walk in one inning of relief.
Charleston Catholic plated three runs in the third inning on back-to-back two out run scoring hits. Michael Ferrell started the scoring with a two-run single to put the Irish up 2-0 and Gannon Morris followed with a run-scoring single giving Catholic a 3-0 lead.
Logan answered with four runs in the bottom of the third to take a 4-3 lead. Jake Ramey started the scoring with a run-scoring single to bring 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 in a rundown allowing Slack to steal home giving the Wildcats a 4-3 lead.
Logan broke the game open with a six-run fourth inning. 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 throwing error and Carson Kirk scored on a pass ball to make it 10-3 after four innings.
In the top of the fifth, Catholic got a pair of run-scoring hits, a run-scoring double by Ferrell brought the Irish within six, 10-4, and Morris’ single cut the deficit to 10-5 heading to the bottom of the fifth.
Logan scored its 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 withing six, 12-6, and Morris scored on a wild pitch in the seventh to cut the deficit to 12-7.
Morris suffered the loss in relief of starter Jonah DiCocco. Morris allowed four runs on three hits in two innings of relief while striking out one, walking two and hitting three batters. DiCocco pitched one hitless inning walking two and striking out one.
Ferrell gave up 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 one hit in one inning of work.
Ferrell led the Irish at the plate going 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 one hit for Charleston Catholic.
Charleston Catholic falls 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 for 2-for-3 with a run scored and Dawson Maynard finished 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 one hit for the Wildcats.
Logan and Shady Spring will meet for a second time this season. The Wildcats defeated the Tigers, 10-0 in five innings at Roger E. Gertz Field on April 30.
Maynard tossed a one-hitter striking out seven while the Wildcats roughed up Tigers ace Cameron Manns for six runs on five hits in four innings handing him his only loss of the year.
Gertz expects a different game this time around and expects to see Manns a second time.
“They are scary and I don’t know if we will be mentally ready to go and if we are not then we will play one game and it will be over,” Gertz said. “He didn’t have a breaking ball that day and I am sure that won’t happen again.”
“He will be on, probably throwing his best game of the season,” Gertz said. “If we are not up for the challenge it is going to be a long day.”