Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
LOGAN The Logan Little League is just one win away from a third state championship this season.
After opening the West Virginia Junior State Tournament with a 3-2 over the Sophia Little League on Saturday afternoon, the Logan Little League Junior League All-Stars broke open a close game with a five-run fifth inning to defeat the St. Albans Little League, 10-2, in a game that was much closer than the final score indicates, on Monday evening at Roger E. Gertz Field.
With the win, Logan claimed the winner’s bracket championship and moved into Wednesday’s state championship game at 3 PM against St. Albans.
Sophia, a 10-7 winner over Martinsburg in an elimination game in Monday’s nightcap was eliminated from the tournament by St. Albans, 9-2, in rain shortened game stopped in the top of the sixth Tuesday night.
Owen Bryant tossed six innings of two-hit baseball, allowing two unearned runs, walking four and striking out two.
Bentley Williamson went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, Luvante Keeney was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Crew Blankenship 1-for-2 with three runs scored for Logan at the plate.
Logan would take the lead in the top of the fourth, scoring a run when Blankenship, singled to start the inning, was caught in a run down between third base and home after a Williamson failed squeeze bunt attempt.
In a play that can best be described as a backyard game of rundown, St. Albans catcher Kayden Riggan who chased Blankenship back to third base before flipping the ball to third basemen Johnny Donegan who chased Blankenship back to the plate.
Donegan tossed the ball to pitcher Josiah Cochran who ran Blankenship back to third before tossing the ball to shortstop Wyatt Thomas.
Blankenship then broke for the plate, but Cochran was late covering, and Blankenship slid in safely ahead of Thomas’ throw to give Logan a 3-2 lead.
Logan then broke the game open with a five-run fifth inning, scoring all five runs with two outs and taking full advantage of a catcher’s interference call.
Luvante Keeney started the fifth inning scoring with a single to score Bryant for a 4-2 lead. Blankenship then followed with what appeared to be a fly out to left, however, on his swing he made contact with the catcher’s mit and was awarded first base on catcher’s interference, which allowed Alex Good to score to make it 5-2.
Landon Hall drew a bases loaded walk to score Gabe Goldie and Williamson followed with a two-run single to give Logan an 8-2 lead after five innings.
In the seventh, Keeney added his second RBI single to score Good and Keeney scored on a passed ball to give Logan a 10-2 lead.
David Browning struck out one batter and sent St. Albans down in order in the seventh to send Logan to Wednesday’s state championship game.
Logan plated two runs in the first inning to jump out to a 2-0 lead. Williamson singled to score Blankenship and Hall scored on an error in the inning.
St. Albans tied it in the bottom of the first, scoring two runs on a throwing error as Mason Bledsoe and Kayden Riggan crossed the plate to tie the game.
Bledsoe, Josiah Cochran and Wyatt Thomas each had one hit.
Cochran took the loss after allowing eight runs – four earned – on six hits, four walks and three strikeouts in five innings. Bledsoe allowed two runs on three hits and struck out two in 1 1/3 innings and Damon Master walked two in 1/3 inning.