Eagles Start The Season With Four Straight Victories
Magnolia 19, St Marys 12
The Blue Eagles kept warm, belting 22 hits and scoring 19 runs, in a three-hour plus 19-12 marathon victory over the home-standing St. Marys Blue Devils on a blistering cold April Fools Day.
The Eagles opened the first frame with three runs, but the Devils knotted it up in the bottom half on a three-run shot.
However, Magnolia plated eight runs in the second, one in the fourth, and two more in the fifth to grab a 14-7 advantage heading into the bottom of the sixth, where it appeared they were going to put the Devils away.
But, St. Marys took advantage of a tired Jake Starkey, who had already thrown more than 100 pitches, scattered four hits, and walked five up to this point.
Starkey walked the lead-off batter, then gave up a triple and a homerun. Then, he would walk his seventh batter before giving up a stand up double to end his night on the mound.
MHS freshman Derrick Blain came in and threw a wild pitch that scored a run. The Eagles then got an out on a pop out to Tanner Hanna at first base. However, Blain gave up an RBI single that prompted Magnolia Head Coach Dave Cisar to send Hanna to the hill in relief. Hanna would get the Blue Eagles out of the jam with a ground out to third.
In the seventh, the Eagles would tack on the five runs they gave up the previous inning. Hanna sat down the Devils in order, finishing off with an impressive off-speed pitch to retire St. Marys’ best hitter, who had already hit two homeruns.
MHS freshman Chase Miller and catcher Grant Cain were a combined 10-10 with six RBI’s, while Chandler Sapp and Kyle Elliott each belted three hits.
In addition, Ryan Walton and Yale Wetzel each belted two hits, while Hanna added a double and a sacrifice fly, and knocked in three runs. Drew Keller ended the 22-hit barrage with a two RBI single.
Starkey picked up the win, striking out seven and walking seven, while Blain and Hanna mopped up.
There were 31 runs on as many hits by the two teams, which combined for 16 bases on balls. The Eagles have home games tonight and Friday at 5 p.m. against Brooke and Monroe Central, respectively.
Magnolia 5, Wheeling Central 4
With one out in the bottom of the 12th, Magnolia junior third baseman Drew Keller singled with the bases loaded to score hurler Tanner Hanna and give the Big Blue a thrilling 5-4 victory over Wheeling Central Saturday, March 30, at the George Mullett Baseball field in New Martinsville.
In the top of the first frame, the Maroon Knights got two base runners via walks. But, Hanna would strike out the side to get out of a jam.
In the bottom of the first, MHS senior center fielder Ryan Walton singled and later scored on a Kyle Elliott single to get the party started for Magnolia with a 1-0 lead.
Neither team scored in the next two frames. But, in the top of the fourth, Hanna issued two straight walks that proved to be costly when a Maroon Knight single would bring them both home. Hanna struck out the next batter and Walton hauled in a fly ball to end the inning.
The Eagles went down in order in the bottom of the fourth, and the Knights would lead 2-1 after four complete innings.
In the fifth, Zach Wilhoite came to relieve Hanna. The Knights would load the bases, but couldn’t bring them around.
Walton started the home half of the fifth with a rope, but was later forced at second by a single with one out in the bottom of the fifth. Sapp hit a grounder, but was erased at second trying to steal to end the inning with the Knights up 2-1.
The Knights went down in order in the top of the sixth. Elliott walked to start the bottom of the sixth. Wilhoite singled and freshman Chase Miller would pinch run for him. Hanna singled to score both runs and take a 3-2 lead after six innings of play.
The Knights would add two runs in the top of the seventh to take the lead with one half inning to go.
Sapp singled and would later score on a Maroon Knight throwing error by the catcher to tie the game and send it into extra innings.
Both teams threatened over the next four innings, but nether could make it count. In the top of the 12th, the Knights went down in order, setting the stage for the Eagles’ walk-off victory.
Hanna opened the home half of the 12th with a walk and went all the way around to third on a sacrifice bunt by Grant Cain.
The Maroon Knight coaching staff intentionally walked the next two Magnolia batters to load the bases, hoping for a double play. But, Keller had different ideas. He drilled a solid single to left field to score Hanna and end the game.
In the game, the Eagles scattered 14 hits, with Sapp and Elliott leading the way with three singles each to pace Magnolia. Walton, Wilhoite, and Hanna each smacked a pair of singles, while Keller singled home the game’s winning run.
Wilhoite picked up the win in relief. He worked eight innings, striking out two and walking five. Hanna worked the first five frames, striking out five and walking as many.
Magnolia 10, Ritchie 4
In the first game of a double header with Ritchie County, the Eagles broke open a close game with four runs in the bottom of the sixth – including a two-run homer from Elliot – as Magnolia bested Ritchie 10-4 March 30 at New Martinsville.
Sapp started from the mound for the Eagles and struck out the side. He also would drill the game’s first hit with a rope down the right field line for a single. He would then steal two bases before being stranded at third to end the first.
The Rebels got to Sapp in the second, scoring a pair of runs and one more in the third to grab a 3-0 lead.
However, in the home half of the third, the Eagles’ Chase Miller smacked a two-run single to cut the deficit to 3-2, Rebels, after three innings.
Magnolia tacked on three more runs in the fourth and pushed across another run in the fifth to give the home team a 6-4 advantage.
In the bottom of the sixth, Magnolia scored four runs that included a two-run homer from Kyle Elliott that gave the home team a come-from-behind 10-4 victory.
For the Eagles, Sapp continued his hot start to the season with three singles and an RBI, while Elliott added a home run, double, and plated two runs.
In addition, Hanna smacked a double and triple, while knocking in an RBI. Miller drove home three runs on a pair of singles.
Sapp got the win from the mound, striking out six and walking two through five innings. Elliott picked up the save, striking out four and walking a pair in two innings of relief.
Magnolia 17, Brooke 4
In the Blue Eagles’ season opener March 28 at Brooke High School, the Blue Eagle bats took care of business, scoring 10 runs in the first three innings and coasted the rest of the way in a convincing 17-4 victory over the Bruins.
Elliott pitched five innings, striking out 12 and walking one, while giving up three hits to pick up the win from the circle. Hanna mopped up, surrendering two hits, striking out four, and walking two.
Sapp had the big bat for Magnolia. He was 4-4 with five RBIs. He belted a three-run homer in the third, a two-run triple in the second, while belting a pair of singles to lead a 17-hit Magnolia attack.
Ryan Walton was 2-2 and had a pair of walks. He scored all four times, while blasting a pair of doubles and a pair of singles, and plating three.
Elliott helped himself out at the plate as well. He had a single and a double, while Zach Wilhoite added an RBI single and a sacrifice fly.
Hanna knocked in a run, while second baseman Jake “The Snake” Starkey drilled a three-run double, smacked a single, and had a sacrifice fly.
If you want a chance to catch Magnolia play on its home turf, the Blue Eagles will play the Brooke Bruins at 5:30 p.m. tonight. On Friday at 5 p.m., the Eagles will face Monroe Central, before playing seven of their next eight games on the road.