Magnolia Sweeps Cameron, Moves On in Tourney
Postponed for a week because of the weather, the WVSSAC Region I Section II sectionals finally took place May 16 at Cameron High School with Magnolia taking on Cameron in a double-elimination sectional.
The Blue Eagles took advantage of seven Cameron errors and turned three double plays en route to 8-2 victory in the first game of the sectional.
Magnolia’s Tyler Anderson limited the Dragons to a pair of hits in four innings of work, and no runs to get the win from the mound, while Tanner McAdams tossed the final two frames, limiting Cameron to one hit while striking out four.
Anderson was stellar at the plate as well. He singled and belted his first home-run of the season, while knocking in two runs and stealing a base to lead the Big Blue offense.
Joe Ledergerber singled, doubled and knocked in a run, while McAdams chipped in with a pair of hits. Teammates Derrick Blain and Caleb Nice each singled and knocked in a run, while Daulton Pritchard doubled and Nick Priem belted a single.
For the Dragons, Trey Routt and Colby Brown each knocked in a run. Ryan Clutter took the loss from the mound. He struck out four and walked three.
Magnolia belted three home runs and scored multiple runs in four different innings to walk by Paden City, 13-10, to advance to the finals later in the week in a winner-take all Region I, Section II championship.
In the nightcap against the No. 1 seed Paden City, the Blue Eagles’ first five batters reached base on four hits and an error, with four base-runners scoring to set the tone early.
However, the Eagles would use three pitchers in the first inning and Paden City would take advantage of seven walks and singles by Luke Cooper and Aaron Heasley to double up Magnolia, 8-4, in a marathon first inning.
After a shaky start, the Eagles’ Derrick Blain returned to the hill and limited the Wildcats to a pair of hits, striking out 11 to give his team a shot in the arm, keeping the ‘Cats in check until the seventh.
In the meantime, the Blue Eagles battered Wildcat pitching for four runs in the fourth to even the count at 8-8 with back-to-back home runs by Brandon Mason and Tanner McAdams. With two outs, Magnolia took the lead for good, when Joe Ledergerber walked, stole two bases and scored on an Anderson double, who then scored on a Blain double.
In the sixth, the Eagles scored three more insurance runs. Mason singled, stole second and went to third on a passed ball. Zach Haught then laid down his first-ever bunt on a suicide squeeze to score Mason. “That is the first time I ever laid down a bunt and I liked doing it,” said Haught.
With Haught at first and Garrett Price coming to bat, Price would take some advice from his coach Dave Cisar, and belted a home run to give the visitors a five-run lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Blain struck out the first batter and walked the next before striking out his 11th of the game. He then walked his ninth batter before Cooper drilled a two-strike fast-ball up the gate scoring two. With two out, the ‘Cats Kolton Elliott drove one to the fence, but Price was there to haul it in for the win.
All told, there were 19 walks issued in the game – 14 by the Eagles. Hayden Hizer took the loss from the hill in relief. He pitched two innings, struck out four and walked one, while giving up three runs. Cooper started and worked five innings, striking out seven, walking five and yielding 10 runs.
From the plate, Cooper singled and doubled, while bringing home four teammates. Aaron Heasley plated two runs with a single, while Hizer, Trey Slider, Ryan Cross and Matt Saxton all had RBIs.
For the Blue Eagles, Blain started but couldn’t find the strike zone and was relieved by Anderson and McAdams, who finished the first.
However, Coach Cisar put Blain back in to finish the game. He struck out 11 and walked nine, while Anderson struck out one and walked five.
From the plate, Mason, McAdams and Price each went yard, while adding a single and three RBI, and a double and two RBI, respectively. It was Mason’s and McAdams’ first round-trippers.
In addition, Anderson singled and doubled twice, while knocking in a run. Blain singled and doubled, plating one, while Nick Priem singled in a pair of teammates. Zach Haught added a RBI suicide squeeze.
The two teams will meet once or twice more in the winner take all sectional final Wednesday, May 18 at Paden City Park, with the Wildcats having to win, to force a game two.
Wildcats Put Out Dragons Flame, 7-5
The Wildcats Hayden Hizer blasted a two-run home-run in the bottom of the sixth inning to break open a tie game against Cameron in the Region I Section II May 17 in Cameron to stay alive in the sectionals with a 7-5 victory.
Hizer, also added a double, while Kolton Elliott homered, doubled and drove in four runs, while Andrew Dennis knocked in a run.
From the mound, Aaron Heasley got the win from the mound. He sat down three Dragon batters on strikes, while issuing three free passes, with Hizer getting the save.
Eagles Crush Wildcats, 11-5 In Sectional Finale
Magnolia pitcher Tanner McAdams limited Paden City to six hits and struck out nine batters to lift the Eagles past the Wildcats, 11-5, in the WVSSAC Class A Region I Section II championship May 18 at Paden City Park.
The Eagles scored once in the first inning, when Tyler Anderson opened the game with a walk and stole a base. Derrick Blain singled past a diving Hayden Hizer, chasing Anderson to third.
Paden City then balked, scoring Anderson and moved Blain to second. Blain then stole third and Brandon Mason grounded out on a close play at first. McAdams and Conner walked to load the bases, but the ‘Cats Andrew Dennis struck out Garrett Price to end the inning.
The Wildcats would then tack on two runs in the bottom half. Hizer and Aaron Heasley had back-to-back singles to start the ‘Cats rally. Luke Cooper, then grounded out to move the runners into scoring position. Kolton Elliott then walked to load the bases, and McAdams would then hit Michael Wilcox and Trey Slider, respectively, scoring Hizer and Heasley to give the top-seeded Wildcats a 2-1 lead after one.
Magnolia would score four times in the top of the second. Joe Ledergerber beat out an infield single and Anderson singled. After a double-steal, Mason’s slow-roller to third scored both Ledergerber and Anderson when the throw went into the outfield for a two-base error. McAdams would then crush a Dennis fast-ball for a stand-up double scoring Mason to ngive the Eagles a 5-2 lead.
Marcus Allen opened the home half with a single. Hizer then singled and Kolton Elliott smacked a three-run home run to right-center to tie things up at five.
Neither team scored in the third, but Magnolia would score three more times in the fourth, when both McAdams and Conner reached on a walk and a hit by pitch, respectively. Zach Haught then knocked in the game-winner, with a three-run shot over the left field fence to give the designated visitors a 8-5 lead. Magnolia added one more run in the fifth and two more in the sixth to put the game out of reach.
For the Eagles, Haught singled and belted a three-run homer, while Anderson singled, doubled, walked twice and scored three times, while stealing three bases. Blain and McAdams each singled three times and knocked in a run, while Mason singled and doubled and knocked in two.
In addition, Ledergerber and Conner each had a pair of singles, while Nick Priem drove in a run with a long sacrifice fly. McAdams went the distance, striking out nine and walking five.
For the Paden City Wildcats, Dennis took the loss from the hill. He struck out six and walked six, while Trey Slider struck out two and walked one in two innings of relief.
At the plate, the Wildcats had six hits, paced by two singles by Marcus Allen, who also walked and scored. Elliott walked, singled and blasted a three-run homer, while Hizer singled, walked twice and was hit by a pitch, and scored twice.
In addition, Michael Wilcox singled and was hit by a pitch, while Slider was hit by a pitch twice, and Heasley walked and scored. The Wildcats ended the season with a 17-13 record, and will lose seniors Luke Cooper and Andrew Dennis to graduation, but will return the bulk of their OVAC Class-A runner-up and Mason-Dixon championship lineup next season.
The Eagles will move on the the regionals where they will face Wheeling Central May 23 at 5:30 p.m. on the I-470 ball-field in Wheeling.