Logan baseball wins sectional championship


Wildcats to play Wayne in best-of-three regional

By Paul Adkins - [email protected]



The Class AA Region 4 Section 2 champion Logan High School baseball team poses for a team picture.


Logan baseball seniors Cody Maynard, Tyler Browning, Will Akers and Braxton Goff pose for a photo with the sectional championship plaque after Thursday night’s 8-0 win over Scott at home.


A pumped up Matt Brown crosses home plate in the second inning after an RBI single and then racing home on the same play after a pair of Scott errors.


Matt Brown delivers a pitch to the plate in Thursday night’s win. He pitched six innings of scoreless ball.


Carter Lyles pitches for the Skyhawks.


Logan’s TJ Mullins pitched the seventh inning for the Cats and closed the door on Scott.


LHS senior Tyler Browning crosses home plate for one of Logan’s eight runs.


Will Akers leads off first base.


Will Akers makes a wide turn at third base and is held there by Logan coach and third base coach Kevin Gertz.


LOGAN, W.Va. — Over the years the Logan High School baseball team has been known for bringing its A game when it matters most.

Thursday night the Wildcats had a huge game as Scott came to town for the Class AA Region 4 Section 2 championship game before a packed, standing-room only crowd at Logan’s Roger E. Gertz Field.

Logan certainly did bring it as the No. 5-ranked Wildcats blanked Scott 8-0 to win its first sectional title since 2013.

Logan played just about as good as you can play it as the Wildcats (20-8) advanced to next week’s best-of-three Region 4 championship series with No. 2-ranked Wayne (28-3) for the right to play in the upcoming Class AA state tournament, June 1-3 at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston.

The Wildcats were in the driver’s seat heading into Thursday night’s game.

Since Logan was undefeated in sectional play, Scott had to beat the Cats Thursday and then force a winner-take-all final on Friday in Madison. Scott (19-9) had moved on with Wednesday night’s 11-0 win in five innings over Lincoln County.

Logan, however, closed the door shut on Thursday and claimed the shutout win over the Skyhawks, winning its first Class AA sectional title since 2008 before moving back up to Triple-A status the next year.

The Wildcats won 12 straight sectional titles from 2000-11 but were upset at South Charleston in the 2012 sectional final. The Cats then won the 2013 sectional over Nitro and St. Albans when Logan was shipped out to a new section.

Thursday night was Logan’s first sectional title in four years.

The Wildcats were able to do it on the strength of Matt Brown’s arm, sound and timely hitting, smart base-running and solid defense.

There were no hiccups and Logan played just about as close to a perfect game as you can get.

Brown, Logan’s ace right-handed pitcher, tossed the win as he hurled six innings and allowed no runs on three hits with five strikeouts and no walks. Closer TJ Mullins then came on in the seventh to shut the door on the Skyhawks, ending Scott’s season. He fanned Zion Bourne to end the game.

Brown helped his own cause as he was 4-for-4 at the plate with four singles and two RBI. Mullins was 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and one RBI. Will Akers, Logan’s senior leadoff centerfielder, was 2-for-3 with a double, a single and one RBI.

The Wildcats were also smart and patient at the plate against Scott’s ace pitcher Carter Lyles, who took the loss for the Skyhawks. The pitch count by Lyles was elevated in the early innings as Logan scored two runs in the first and four in the second. Lyles went 3 2/3 innings and allowed eight runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts and three walks before being relieved by Peyton Brown in the fourth.

Logan first-year coach Kevin Gertz said it was a total team effort.

Scott, ranked No. 9 in the state and a much-improved ballclub from last year, made some noise in the tournament by beating No. 4-ranked Chapmanville 6-2 on the road last week and coming close last Saturday with a 7-6 loss at Logan in the winner’s bracket final.

But in the end, top-seeded Logan proved to be the best team in the six-squad sectional tournament.

“This may be as focused as we’ve been this season,” Gertz said. “Scott’s a super ballclub. Carter Lyles is tougher than nails. He no-hit us through five innings the last time that he pitched against us. I think he one-hit Chapmanville his very next outing. He was pumped up and was pitching the daylights out of it early but we focused and got a couple of hits and a couple of runs.”

Gertz said Matt Brown was simply outstanding on the mound. Brown’s pitch count was low and Logan’s defense played an error-free game behind him.

“Matt Brown threw as well as I’ve seen him throw all year,” Gertz said. “He only had 62 pitches through six innings. That’s getting it done. He had big time pop on the ball tonight. TJ came in there and he needed some work because he’ll have to throw some next week and he threw the daylights out of it too.”

Logan jumped on Lyles with a two-run first inning.

Akers led off with a walk, stole second and later came around on a passed ball. Brown singled, stole second and late scored on Braxton Goff’s RBI groundout to third base to make it 2-0 Cats.

In the second inning, Logan plated four runs with two outs.

Tyler Browning singled and later scored on an RBI single to right center by Akers to make it 3-0.

Mullins followed with an RBI single to left field as the Wildcats upped their margin to 4-0.

Then it was a crazy play that allowed Logan to score two more runs.

Brown singled to drive in Mullins and later was able to motor all the way around the bases after two consecutive Scott throwing errors on the same play. After a pumped up and helmet-less Brown crossed home plate it was 6-0 Logan when the dust cleared.

“I’m going to have to buy him a chin strap to keep his helmet on,” Gertz joked about Brown, who also lost his helmet later in the game while running the bases. “We played well and put the ball in play. I’m very proud of these guys. They’ve worked hard.”

Logan then scored two more times in the bottom of the fourth inning and flirted with the 10-run mercy rule.

Mullins singled and scored on Brown’s RBI single as the lead swelled to 7-0. Brown stole second and then came home on an RBI single to left field by DH Cody Maynard.

Scott had just four singles in the game — one each by Nathan Kuhn, Lyles, Easton Cook and Peyton Brown.

Second baseman Isaiah Beckett added a hit for Logan.

The Skyhawks were last year’s sectional champions, winning a best-of-three series with Chapmanville two games to none.

This year’s super sectional was expanded to six teams with the additions of former Class AAA schools Logan and Lincoln County, 2A Mingo Central and Man, which was elevated in classification from Single-A.

Logan had a 4-0 mark over Scott this spring, also taking 7-2 and 5-4 decisions during the regular season.

Logan now shifts focus to next week’s regional series with Wayne.

Game 1 is set for Tuesday at Logan with a 6 p.m. first pitch time. Game 2 then shifts to Wayne on Wednesday for another 6 p.m. game. Game 3, if necessary, would then be played on Thursday night at Logan at 6.

It should be a very competitive series and a toss-up.

The Wildcats, however, have had the Pioneers’ number this season. Two of Wayne’s three losses have come at the hands of Logan. The Cats beat Wayne 8-5 on March 23 on the road and later defeated the Pioneers 4-3 on April 20 at home.

Wayne, a state tournament team last year, advanced with Wednesday night’s 9-1 victory over Sissonville in its sectional championship game.

Logan was this year’s Cardinal Conference champions while Wayne was second. The Pioneers have been ranked higher than the Wildcats most of the season, however.

The Wildcats received the higher seed in the coach’s voting so that’s why Logan has homefield advantage.

“Our kids have played great all year and that’s why we got the overall number one seed,” Gertz said.

——-

2017 Logan High School

Baseball Schedule (20-8, 11-2):

March 21: *at Scott, W 7-2

March 23: *at Wayne, W 8-5

March 24: *at Winfield, W 10-9

March 29: at Lincoln County, W 4-0

March 30: *Mingo Central, W 17-0

April 4: *Herbert Hoover, L 2-6

April 5: *Sissonville, W 7-3

April 10: vs. Socastee, S.C. (Mingo Bay Tournament at Myrtle Beach, S.C.), L 6-11

April 11: vs. Williamsport, Pa. (Mingo Bay Tournament at Myrtle Beach, S.C.), L 5-15

April 12: vs. R.J. Reynolds, N.C. (Mingo Bay Tournament at Myrtle Beach, S.C.), L 2-9

April 13: vs. Austintown Fitch, Ohio (Mingo Bay Tournament at Myrtle Beach, S.C.), L 5-11

April 14: vs. Socastee, S.C. (Mingo Bay Tournament at Myrtle Beach, S.C.), L 4-11

April 18: *Winfield, W 11-1

April 19: Ripley, L 2-7

April 20: *Wayne, W 4-3

April 21: *at Herbert Hoover, W 11-4

April 25: Lincoln County, W 4-3

April 26: *Scott, W 5-4

April 27: Man, W 2-0

April 28: *at Nitro, W 10-5

May 1: *at Poca, W 16-8

May 2: Ambassador Christian Academy, W 13-0

May 3: *Chapmanville, L 5-6

May 4: Lawrence County, Ky. W 2-1

May 5: *Nitro, W 7-2

May 10: Man (Class AA sectionals at Logan), W 7-2

May 13: Scott (Class AA sectionals at Logan), W 7-6

May 18: Scott (Class AA sectional final at Logan), W 8-0

May 23: Wayne (Class AA regionals at Logan), 6 p.m.

May 24: at Wayne (Class AA regionals at Wayne), 6 p.m.

May 25: Wayne (Class AA regionals

——-

Class AA Region 4 Section 2

Baseball Tournament

Monday, May 8 games:

Man 6, Lincoln County 4

Scott 12, Mingo Central 0

Tuesday, May 9 games:

Man (10-12) at Logan (17-8), ppd.

Scott (17-7) at Chapmanville (20-7), ppd.

Wednesday, May 10 games:

Logan 7, Man 2

Scott 6, Chapmanville 2

Thursday, May 11 games:

Lincoln County (12-11) at Chapmanville (20-8), ppd.

Mingo Central at Man (10-13), ppd.

Scott (18-7) at Logan (18-8), ppd.

Friday, May 12 games:

Lincoln County (12-11) at Chapmanville (20-8), ppd.

Mingo Central at Man (10-13), ppd.

Scott (18-7) at Logan (18-8), ppd.

Saturday, May 13 games:

Lincoln County 8, Chapmanville 2, Chapmanville eliminated

Logan 7, Scott 6

Monday, May 15 game:

Man 15, Mingo Central 4, Mingo Central eliminated

Tuesday, May 16 game:

Lincoln County 12, Man 8, Man eliminated

Wednesday, May 17 game:

Scott 11, Lincoln County 0 (five innings), Lincoln County eliminated

Thursday, May 18 game:

Logan 8, Scott 0 (Sectional championship game), Logan wins sectional title, Scott eliminated

The Class AA Region 4 Section 2 champion Logan High School baseball team poses for a team picture.
http://loganbanner.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_SUN-BEST-Logan-baseball-team-pic-CMYK201751982052114.jpgThe Class AA Region 4 Section 2 champion Logan High School baseball team poses for a team picture.

Logan baseball seniors Cody Maynard, Tyler Browning, Will Akers and Braxton Goff pose for a photo with the sectional championship plaque after Thursday night’s 8-0 win over Scott at home.
http://loganbanner.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_SUN-BEST-Logan-seniors-with-plaque-CMYK201751982058416.jpgLogan baseball seniors Cody Maynard, Tyler Browning, Will Akers and Braxton Goff pose for a photo with the sectional championship plaque after Thursday night’s 8-0 win over Scott at home.

A pumped up Matt Brown crosses home plate in the second inning after an RBI single and then racing home on the same play after a pair of Scott errors.
http://loganbanner.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_SUN-BEST-Matt-Brown-is-pumped-up-CMYK20175198215900.jpgA pumped up Matt Brown crosses home plate in the second inning after an RBI single and then racing home on the same play after a pair of Scott errors.

Matt Brown delivers a pitch to the plate in Thursday night’s win. He pitched six innings of scoreless ball.
http://loganbanner.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_SUN-BEST-Matt-Brown-pitches-CMYK201751982110671.jpgMatt Brown delivers a pitch to the plate in Thursday night’s win. He pitched six innings of scoreless ball.

Carter Lyles pitches for the Skyhawks.
http://loganbanner.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_SUN-Scott-pitcher-Carter-Lyles-CMYK201751982115628.jpgCarter Lyles pitches for the Skyhawks.

Logan’s TJ Mullins pitched the seventh inning for the Cats and closed the door on Scott.
http://loganbanner.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_SUN-TJ-Mullins-pitches-CMYK201751982119168.jpgLogan’s TJ Mullins pitched the seventh inning for the Cats and closed the door on Scott.

LHS senior Tyler Browning crosses home plate for one of Logan’s eight runs.
http://loganbanner.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_SUN-Tyler-Browning-scores-CMYK201751982123118.jpgLHS senior Tyler Browning crosses home plate for one of Logan’s eight runs.

Will Akers leads off first base.
http://loganbanner.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_SUN-Will-Akers-leads-off-first-CMYK201751982126609.jpgWill Akers leads off first base.

Will Akers makes a wide turn at third base and is held there by Logan coach and third base coach Kevin Gertz.
http://loganbanner.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_SUN-Will-Akers-rounds-third-and-halts-CMYK201751982130307.jpgWill Akers makes a wide turn at third base and is held there by Logan coach and third base coach Kevin Gertz.
Wildcats to play Wayne in best-of-three regional

By Paul Adkins

[email protected]

Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner.

Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner.

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