Eagles Take Care Of Business, Beat Knights, 7-2
The Magnolia Blue Eagles continued their dominance against Tyler Consolidated in the baseball Sectional Championship May 20 in Kidwell, knocking off the Silver Knights 7-2 and advancing to Regional play this week.
Blue Eagle senior second baseman Mason Rine was inches away from hitting for the cycle, when the Silver Knights’ centerfielder made an outstanding grab in the seventh inning. Rine ended with a triple, double, single and an RBI to lead the Eagles at the plate. Kyle Elliott, Chuckie McElaney and Justin Fox combined on a five-hitter as the Eagles rallied from a 2-0 deficit to complete the two-game sectional sweep that had been on hold for over a week because of weather.
After allowing two runs in the first frame, the Eagle pitching did its part and held the Knights the rest of the way. Magnolia went down in order in the first inning, before cutting the Knights’ lead in half in the second. Rine started off the inning with a single that was erased on a double play by Tyler Consolidated. With two outs, Davey Howell walked and scored later on a Knight error.
In the third, the Eagles tallied two more runs to grab the lead, thanks to hits by Elliott, Rine, and a bunt single by Derek Fruner. The Knights starting pitcher, Blaze Rice, was in top form as he sat down the Eagles in order for the second time in four frames.
Fruner had his second straight bunt single to open the fifth and scored on a McElaney single. In the sixth, Magnolia scored three times, compliments of hits by Rine, Jordan Moore, Howell and Drew Simmons.
The Knights’ catcher, Garrett Amos, caught a nice game for the Knights. He threw out an Eagle base runner trying to steal second and made a outstanding catch behind the plate.
The win went to Elliott. He struck out five and walked one, while McElaney tossed two innings and struck out two. Fox got the save and struck out one.The Magnolia Blue Eagles’ Justin Fox smacked a three-run homer and struck out 12 in the West Virginia Class AA Region One semi-final, en route to a 4-2 win over the Weirton Red Riders May 24 at George Mullett Field.
The Riders opened the game with a shot down the left field line that appeared to be a double. But, the Eagles’ Davey Howell scooped up the ball and rifled a bullet to Mason Rine at second that nailed the batter with a nice tag. Fox did the rest, striking out the next two batters with heaters, to end the first without any damage being done.
The Eagles’ Seth Pay reached first on a slow roller that he beat out. Pay moved to second on a wild pitch and Kyle Elliott worked a walked before Fox took an outside pitch and hammered it over the right field fence for a Magnolia 3-0 lead after one inning of play.
Fox struck out the first Red Rider batter in the second frame and took care of the next batter on a come-backer. Mason Rine committed an error, but it was erased on a fielder’s choice. Fox struck out the next batter to end the inning.
Magnolia added an insurance run in the third when Pay opened up with a walk. He stole second and scored on a Elliott single. Elliott got greedy and tried to stretch the single into a double, but the Rider right fielder had other ideas and picked him off at second.
Fox singled and stole second on a blotched pickoff attempt and moved to third on fielder’s choice. Jordan Moore drilled one down the right field line that the Rider first baseman grabbed to end the inning.
Neither team made any noise until the sixth, when Weir opened up with two straight singles. However, Fox struck out the next two batters and the third batter hit a harmless fly out to end the threat.
But, in the top of the seventh, the Riders would make a run when their lead off batter singled. Fox, exhausted, struck out the next batter and induced a fly out to centerfield for two outs.
The Riders added a pair of singles to load the bases and brought home two runs on a double that cut the deficit in half. The Riders’ cleanup batter drilled a shot to right field that Jayson Keller caught to end the game.
Magnolia will play at Point Pleasant High School tonight at 6 p.m. in the regional final against the Black Knights, who beat Roane County 13-10 in the Region I semi.
The winner moves on to the state tournament, June 3-5, at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston.