Knights Crown Eagles In Regional Semifinal
The Wheeling Central Maroon Knights scored five first-inning runs and a trio more in the second inning en route to a 10-0 five-inning victory in a West Virginia Class A Region I semifinal at the J.B. Chambers Youth Sports Complex, May 24.
The Magnolia Blue Eagles entered the regional semifinal winners of three straight and six of eight, including come-from behind 13-10 and a 11-5 sectional championship wins against Paden City, The Eagles had ace Derrick Blain on the hill. He had pitched well in a 3-2 loss to Central in their last meeting.
The Eagles hit Central ace hurler Tyler Riedel with two hard singles by Blain and Brandon Mason, but couldn’t get that two-out base-hit that eluded them.
However, the Maroon Knights sent 11 batters to the plate, starting with a four-pitch walk, and an error to open up the home-half. After an RBI double and two more base-hits, Blain was replaced by Tyler Anderson.
Anderson struck out the first batter, but then balked a run in and then gave up an RBI single before getting the next two batters out to give the hosts a 5-0 lead after one inning of play.
Wheeling Central retired the next nine Blue Eagles batters down in order, while the Knights took a 10-0 lead into the fifth frame.
Magnolia made some noise in the top of the fifth, when Dylan Conner opened up with a hot shot off the mound for a single. And after a fly-out, Zach Haught hit a tweener in no-mans land in front of the right-fielder. Conner, however, had to wait to see if it was going to be caught, and was forced out at second on the throw from the right-fielder for the second out of the inning.
Joe Ledergerber then walked, but Anderson was called out on a close-play at first to end the game.
After the game, Magnolia coach Dave Cisar had nothing but praise for the winners. “They get an A-plus and it’s hard to beat a team that gets an A-plus.”
Even though the Eagles lost to the Maroon Knights, they had a productive season. They finished 12-10 and won their sectional over the top seed. Magnolia will lose seniors Blain, Mason, Anderson
Ledergerber, Haught and Garret Price to graduation, but return starters Conner, Nick Priem and Tanner McAdams as well as a flock of underclassmen that saw a lot of playing time this season.