Blue Eagles Drop Regional Semi-Final, 5-1
The Weir Red Riders upset defeated the Magnolia Blue Eagles 5-1 in the Region I Class AA semi-finals in Weirton May 26.
The Blue Eagles were heavy favorites coming into the game, holding down a 15-5 record, while the Riders were at 6-20. However, in high school sports anything and everything can and will.
The Red Riders had their ace on the mound to start the semifinal in Chris Bittinger, while the Big Blue sent their #2 hurler, Justin Fox, to the hill.
The tone was set for home team, as the Riders took advantage of a Blue Eagle error to score three runs on two hits in the bottom of the first frame to grab the lead.
After Fox struck out the first Rider batter in the fifth, Weirton pushed across two more runs on three hits.
Magnolia had its chances in every inning, putting runners in scoring position and stranding 12 on the night. But, they couldn’t get that two-out base hit they desperately needed.
Magnolia’s only run came in the seventh when Fox plated Andrew Robinson, who walked earlier and stole a base.
Bittinger used his curve ball to keep the Blue Eagles stymied amidst aggressive swings by Magnolia batters. Fox didn’t do bad, either, scattering eight hits and striking out three. Traeh Keller led the Eagles with a double and a single, while Fox added a pair of singles and plated the Eagles’ lone run. Jordan Moore and Robinson added singles.
The Blue Eagles had a great season. They finished the year as the OVAC Class AAA Champions, won their sectional and were ranked as one of the best teams in the state in Class AA.
They will lick their wounds and come back with a good portion of the team next season.
They lose all-state caliber players Andrew Robinson and Jordan Ash, along with right fielder Ben Clark, as their only graduation losses.