Kyle Elliott yanked a three-run walkoff homer over the left-centerfield fence to help Magnolia defeat Cameron 11-0 last week in the Region I, Section II semifinals and advance to regional finals against Paden City.
Neither team scored in the first stanza, but things heated up in the second, starting with a free pass for Tanner Hanna, who then stole second. Chase Miller followed with a double to plate Hanna. Chandler Sapp moved Miller to third on a fielder's choice and Miller touched home on a Grant Cain single. Cain scored a run on a Drew Keller single.
After stealing second, Keller would come home on a Ryan Walton single to right. Walton swiped second and scored the Blue Eagles' fourth run of the inning on a Sapp single.
Sapp kept the Dragons off the scoreboard in the third, striking out the first two batters then getting a harmless ground out. In the bottom half of the third, the Eagles scored three runs, beginning with Miller, who reached on a dragon error, stole second and came home on a stand-up double from Cain. A bit later, Cain got caught in a rundown for the first out of the frame.
After a called third strikeout, Keller reached on an error, stole second and was plated on a Walton base hit. Sapp then knocked in the last run of the inning with a single.
In the fourth, Sapp struck out the first Dragon batter looking but Elliott misjudged a pop up for an error. Sapp sat down the next batter looking before the Eagles erased Cameron's base runner trying to return to third and ended the inning.
In the bottom half of the fourth, the Eagles tallied one run. After Hanna walked and stole a base, Cain would knock him in with a single down the middle. After a ground out, the Eagles got two free passes, whereupon Elliott pounded a three-run homer to end the mercy-rule game after five innings.
Sapp doubled and singled twice, while knocking in a pair of runs and would get the win from the mound. He struck out seven, while limiting the Dragons to a pair of hits.
In addition, Cain also had a double and two singles, while plating one baserunner. Walton singled once, walked thrice and scored twice, while Hanna walked twice and scored both times. Elliott smacked a three-run home run.
Magnolia would have played Paden City in the sectional semifinals May 9. However, four Wildcat baseball players competed in a regional track meet on that date, leaving them without a sufficient number of players to field a team.
Even as two 'Cats qualified for the shuttles event in the state track meet, Paden City had to forfeit the sectional baseball semifinal to Magnolia.
Paden City 5,
Zach Heasley and Luke Cooper each smacked two-run home runs to power the Paden City Wildcats over the Cameron Dragons by the score of 5-4 in the WVSSAC Class-A Region I, Section II semifinal May 4 at Dragon Field in Cameron.
The Wildcats lead-off batter, Deven Price, walked, stole second and scored on a Heasley two-run homer to deep right center to put the 'Cats up 2-0.
However, the Dragons scored once in the bottom half when their lead batter reached on an error, stole second and went to third on a fielder's choice. He scored on a squeeze bunt.
In return, the Wildcats put two more runs on the scoreboard in the third. After Levi Meadows walked, he stole second base and jolted home on a Cooper two-run shot over the left field fence to give the visitors a 4-1 advantage.
The Dragons nibbled at the Wildcat lead, scoring twice in the fourth and tying the game in the sixth.
Cameron opened the seventh inning with a bunt, but Wildcat pitcher Isaac Hall scooped it up and threw out the speedy Dragon base runner. Hall sat down the next batter on strikes, but the next Dragon batter smacked a stand-up double. The following batter hit a slow roller to second, but the 'Cats' Levi Meadows fired the ball to Heasley at first to nip the runner on a close call.
After a scoreless seventh inning, the Wildcats got a run in the top of the eighth to forge ahead. After a Cooper single, wild pitch and a passed ball, he would steal third. Cameron's throw to third was overthrown and Cooper scampered home for the winning run.
"I was determent to keep Cameron from scoring in their final at bat," said Paden City hurler Isaac Hall. "I just wanted to help my team get a sectional victory."
From the mound, Hall went the distance for the win from the circle. He struck out six, walked six and scattered five hits. Cooper and Heasley each smacked two-run home runs, with Cooper adding a single and scoring the winning run.