PHOTO | Boothe Davis Captured by the Moment Photography
Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
LOGAN After capturing a second consecutive Class AA Region 4 Section 2 championship, the Logan Wildcats turn their attention to the Class AA Region 4 championship set to begin Monday at Roger E. Gertz Field.
The reigning Class AA champion Wildcats, ranked second in the West Virginia Metro News Class AA Power Rankings, have won twelve of thirteen games and appear to be playing its best baseball of the season heading into the first game of a best of three series against Class AA third ranked Sissonville.
“We are peaking at the right time, I believe,” Logan coach Kevin Gertz said. “We have played very well for weeks, and we hope we can keep that up.”
Logan, 24-7 on the year, won its first 10 games to start the season, then lost six of its next eight games before rebounding to win 10 consecutive games before Tuesday’s 16-3 setback at Class AAA number three Cabell Midland.
“We sit a very solid season,” Gertz said. “Tough thing is we had to deal with lots of adversity and injuries, but our boys fought through it and had a very good season.”
Logan’s opponent in game one of the Region 4 championship series, Sissonville enters the contest with a 21-8 record on the year.
Sissonville started the season 4-0, but lost to Pikeville (Ky.), 1-0, before rebounding to defeat Scott 4-2, to improve to 5-1 on the season.
The Indians dropped their next two games, both on the road at Logan (10-0) on March thirtieth and Herbert Hoover (5-2) on April first. Since then, the Indians have won 16 of 21 games.
“Sissonville is a very good team,” Gertz said. “It will be a great series.”
Isaiah Ramsey leads Sissonville in just about every offensive category while Collin Cottrell and Colten Carpenter give the Indians a dominant one-two punch on the mound.
Ramsey leads the team in average (.578), hits (52), doubles (12), triples (2), runs (42), stolen bases (20) and is tied for the lead in RBIs (23) and home runs (2).
Cottrell is 9-2 on the hill for the Indians with a 1.19 ERA. Cottrell has allowed 22 runs, only 12 earned, on 52 hits with 118 strikeouts and just 13 walks in 70 1/3 innings pitched this season. Carpenter is 7-3 with a 1.20 ERA. Carpenter has allowed 15 runs, nine earned, on 49 hits with 52 strikeouts and 11 walks in 52 1/3 innings.
“Offensively they execute tremendously,” Gertz said. “They have outstanding pitching with several good arms that can shut just about anybody down on a daily basis.”
Sissonville expects to hand the ball to either Carpenter or Cottrell for game one Monday night, Carpenter allowed three runs, one earned on eight hits in 2 2/3 innings while striking out two in the Indians 10-0 loss to Logan on March 30.
In that contest, Logan’s Dawson Maynard tossed a six-inning no-hitter striking out 10 Indians in the victory. Maynard was 3-for-4 at the plate with a double, one RBI and one run scored.
Maynard could be a candidate to get the game one start for the Wildcats. For the year, Maynard is 4-0 with two saves and a 1.00 ERA. The junior has allowed four runs on 25 hits in 28 innings and has struck out 41 and walked only four.
Logan could also turn to the Burnette brothers, Chad and Jared, or Konner Lowe for the game one start.
Jared Burnette leads the team in wins with five while Chad is 4-1 on the year and is tied for the team lead in strikeouts with 41, sharing the honor with Maynard. Lowe is 1-1 on the year.
Logan has four hitters batting .400 or better on the year with Maynard leading the way with a .485 average. Garrett Williamson is hitting .426, Jake Ramey .420 and Lowe .417 for the Wildcats.
Maynard leads the team with 47 hits, 11 doubles, five home runs and 39 RBIs. Ramey has driven in 34 runs this season. Korbin Bostic is batting .362, but 17 of Bostic’s 25 hits this season have went for extra bases. Bostic has a team-high nine triple and is second on the team with four home runs and has four doubles to go along with 30 RBIs and a team leading 34 walks.
Game two is set for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Sissonville, and if necessary, game three would be Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Logan.
Logan is just two wins away from a return trip to the state tournament and a bid for its second consecutive Class AA championship and eighth overall in school history.
The Wildcats won Class AAA championships in 1984, 1994, 2000 and 2001 and won Class AA championships in 2005, 2008 and 2021.
Logan is looking to be the fifth team to repeat as Class AA champions since the tournament expanded to two classes in 1976. The Wildcats would join Tygarts Valley (1978-79), Wayne (1994-95), Winfield (2000-01) and Bridgeport (2014-19).
“It’s always tough defending a title, you get everyone’s best shot every day,” Gertz said. “Most days we’ve met the other team’s intensity and played very well. Some days we haven’t and struggled, but that’s kids.”