After winning at Charleston Catholic on Thursday night, the Man High School baseball team had hoped to finish off the Irish on Friday at Logan’s Roger Gertz Field in the Class A sectional finals.
No. 2-ranked Catholic, however, mercied the Hillbillies 10-0 to force Saturday’s winner-take-all final at Chapmanville’s Ted Ellis Field.
The game was stopped in the sixth inning via mercy rule.
The Irish were able to get some sweet revenge after No. 6-rated Man had beaten them on 7-6 in Charleston on Thursday night in sectional play.
Andy Hoyer tossed a three-hit shutout for the Irish in Friday’s game.
Charleston Catholic plated two runs in the top of the first inning off Man starter Andrew Merritt.
It was all the Irish would need.
Conner Golden led off with a single. Rocco Wilcox then drew a walk before Merritt struck out Ian Lough. Nelson McKown then had an RBI single to make it 1-0. Kiefer Hovorka then hit a sac fly to center field as Wilcox tagged up, giving the Irish a 2-0 lead.
Man tried to get something going in the bottom of the first as Nick Carter laced a double down the right field line with two outs. However, Hoyer then got Jordan Simpson to pop out to end the threat.
Then in the fourth, Charleston Catholic sent eight batters to the plate and scored three runs to take a 5-0 advantage. Hoyer helped his own cause with an RBI double to make it 3-0. Merritt later hit Drew Cable and walked Jack Crockett to load the bases. Dominic Rendinell then came up with a two-run blooper over second base to increase the Irish lead to 5-0. Man had to turn a double play to get out of the inning.
The Billies then went out in order in the bottom of the fourth stanza.
Man head coach Larry Vance made a pitching change in the fifth, bringing in Aaron Willard but the Irish scored two more runs to take a commanding 7-0 lead. Cable drew a bases loaded walk for the first run. Catholic then scored on a Thomas Blair error for the second run of the frame.
Jacob Riggins ripped a double for Man in the fifth with two outs but was left there as Blair flew out to end the inning.
Charleston Catholic then put the game on ice in the sixth inning. With the bases loaded, Cable hit a line drive to center field. Man’s Shane Browning attempted to make a diving catch but the ball went under his glove as three Irish runs scored to make it a 10-0 ballgame.
Browning led off the bottom of the sixth with Man’s final hit — a single. Catholic pitcher Hoyer, however, got three straight Man outs to end the game.
The Billies committed four errors in the game to none for CCHS.
Hoyer fanned five and walked none on the hill. McKown and Wilcox had two hits each.
* Charleston Catholic beat Man 6-5 in Saturday’s sectional championship game, which was played at Chapmanville’s Ted Ellis Field. The Billies closed out their season with an 18-13 record.
Man led 5-2 at one point in the game but the Irish were able to plate four unanswered runs.
* In other action on Saturday, the Logan High School baseball team moved on to next Thursday’s Class AAA sectional final at South Charleston with a 15-5 win over George Washington at home.
Logan trailed the Patriots 5-4 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. The Wildcats, though, plated 11 runs during the frame and ended up mercying GW. The Patriots finished the season 17-14 overall and 1-2 in sectional play.
The Wildcats took advantage of seven George Washington errors. Sophomore right-hander Troy Burgess got the win on the mound in relief for LHS. Patriots’ starter Joe Wong took the loss.
Logan’s Z. Minnick ripped a three-run homer in the first inning for the Cats to make it 3-0. He also doubled and drove in four runs. Adam Mareske and Josh Rein had two hits each. Mareske finished with three RBI. Benji Adkins added a double.
GW walked four batters in the 11-run sixth and booted the ball three times. Freshman Trevor Browning came off the bench for Logan and had a key bunt single to load up the bases with nobody out. The Wildcats then went on to score 11 runs to put the Patriots away.
Minnick started on the hill and was relieved by Cody Frye in the third and Burgess in the fifth. Logan pitchers combined to walk 10 batters. The Cats also had four errors.
Logan stands at 21-6 on the season and has a rematch with South Charleston in this week’s finals. The Black Eagles downed the Wildcats 4-2 on Thursday at Logan.
Look for a recap of Saturday’s action in Tuesday’s sports.
— Sports Editor Paul Adkins contributed to this report