The Logan Little League won the West Virginia Junior League State Championship Wednesday afternoon defeating St. Albans, 6-0, at Roger E. Gertz Field (Photo courtesy of Boothe Davis/Captured by the Moment Photography).
Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
LOGAN Winning one Little League state championship in a calendar year is great for any league, but when one league wins three, it’s a banner year.
The Logan Junior League gave the Logan Little League its third state championship, putting the finishing touches on the league’s most productive season following its 6-0 win over the St. Albans Junior League on Wednesday afternoon in the West Virginia Junior League State Championship at Roger E. Gertz Field.
The title, believed to be the first ever for a junior league program, followed state championships won by the Logan 10-12 softball All-Stars and the Logan 8-10 baseball All-Stars.
The softball All-Stars defeated Hite Saunders, 2-0, in Barboursville on July 11, and one day later, the baseball All-Stars defeated District 2 and county rival Chapmanville, 16-14, in Sutton.
“We played good today and this summer is about Logan baseball,” Logan manager Doug Williamson said. “It’s not about this team, it’s not about anybody. This is the future of Logan baseball, and they are going to be very good.”
Next for Logan is the Southeast Region Junior Baseball Tournament, where they will face Murfreesboro, Tenn. on Friday, July 28, at 3 PM in Bridgewater, VA.
“We will scout them a little bit, see what we can find out about them, and we will go down there and compete, there is no doubt about that,” Williamson said. “I have coached these kids since they have been six years old, and they have worked their tails off.”
Bentley Williamson, the manager’s son, and Crew Blankenship combined on a two-hit shutout while Grayson Sanders drove in two runs and had two of Logan’s six hits against St. Albans.
Williamson, took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before St. Albans Wyatt Thomas singled with two outs, allowed one hit, struck out six, walked five and hit one in 5 2/3 innings. Blankenship recorded the final four outs allowing one hit and striking out two.
“We will take it, it was a good performance today, Bentley was good on the mound and Crew came in and did his thing,” Williamson said. “I thought Bentley came out and had a good day. Sometimes I am hard on him, but he had a good day.”
Sanders had RBI singles in the second and sixth inning and had a team-high four assists in the field while Landon Hall recorded two assists for Logan.
“Grayson was good in the field, Landon was good in the field,” Williamson said. “They made a bunch of plays today.”
Scoreless through two and half innings, Logan plated two unearned runs in the bottom of the third to take a 2-0 lead.
With one out, Williamson appeared to fly out to centerfield, however, the fly ball was misplaced by the center fielder allowing Williamson to reach base safely on the error and loading the bases for David Browning.
Browning flew out to left field, which should have been the third out if not for the misplay in center, allowing Blankenship to score the game’s first run.
Sanders followed with Logan’s first hit, an RBI single, to score Hall giving Logan a 2-0 lead.
Logan put the game away in the bottom of the sixth, scoring four runs on four hits. Through five innings, Logan had just one hit.
“That’s what we are capable of, that’s how we play the game. We don’t hit a bunch of balls in the gaps, but we have kids that hit line drives,” Williamson said. “We didn’t do that until the sixth inning, and we got ourselves in a little bit of trouble mainly because they threw a junk baller against us, and we didn’t adjust to it well.”
Sanders started the scoring in the sixth with his second RBI single scoring Hall for a 3-0 lead. Browning, who had the first of four Logan hits in the sixth, scored on a passed ball to increase Logan’s lead to 4-0.
Owen Bryant laid down a squeeze bunt to score Sanders and Jackson Ball scored on Alex Good’s single to cap the four-run sixth.
Lleyton Marie singled with two outs in the seventh for St. Albans, but Blankenship got Johnathan Clark to ground out to Williamson for the final out.
Marie was the starting pitcher for St. Albans, walking three and striking out one in one inning. Wyatt Thomas suffered the loss after allowing six runs – four earned – on five hits, walking three, striking out two and hitting one batter in five innings.
Good had one hit and one RBI while Ball and Browning each had a hit for Logan. Bryant had one RBI and Hall scored two runs.
Logan, which had lost to Jefferson County in last year’s Junior League State Tournament and in the 2021 West Virginia Major Little League State Tournament, turns it attention to the Junior League Baseball Southeast Regional and its opponent Murfreesboro, Tenn.
“We have a great team, they have worked their tails off to get to this point,” Williamson said. “I am glad to see them the success. The past two years we have lost in the state championship game and today we were able to turn it around.”
Murfreesboro advanced with a win over Smith County in Friday’s Tennessee state championship.
Williamson feels Logan has what it takes to compete and bring a regional championship and berth in the Junior League World Series.
“We are good enough. It’s that simple, we are good enough to go win games there, compete and play in the final game,” Williamson said. “One thing we must do is throw strikes. We have a ton of pitchers so we will have some tough decisions.”
Joining Logan and Murfreesboro in the tournament will be Fort Lauderdale (FL), Athens (GA), Wilmington (NC), Irmo (SC) and Upper Loudoun (VA).