After a lack-luster offensive performance the night before at Hurricane, Roger Gertz needed his Logan High School baseball team to get the bats going in Friday’s home makeup game with Ripley.
The Wildcats did just that as Logan mercied the Vikings 12-2 at Logan’s Roger Gertz Field to improve to 3-1 on the season.
It was a good win for the Cats, which were scheduled to hit the road on Saturday en route to Myrtle Beach, S.C., where Logan is slated to play a series of games in next week’s annual Mingo Bay Classic tourney over spring break.
Logan hit the ball hard against Ripley, pounding out 10 hits and ending the game early in the fifth inning due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Third baseman Troy Burgess, who relieved starter Z. Minnick, had a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to close out the Vikings.
Ripley had tied the game 2-2 in the top of the fourth but Logan plated six runs in the bottom half of the inning and scored four more in the fifth to close it out.
Coach Gertz said he was happy to see Logan’s bats come around.
“It sure was good to see them come around because after two innings we looked awful,” Gertz said. “For some reason, we’re getting out on our front foot and we’re losing our power. But we started the hit the ball solid from the fourth inning on. In the first two or three innings we didn’t have much at all then we started to hit the ball.”
Burgess led Logan at the plate as he was 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI.
Leadoff man and right fielder Josh Rein went 2-for-3 with a double and one RBI. Minnick helped his own cause as he was 2-for-4 with three RBI.
Logan’s left-hand hitting first baseman Alex Lakatos ripped an RBI double. He later nearly hit a home run down the right field line but pulled it foul. Catcher Benji Adkins had an RBI single as did second baseman Chase Preston.
Minnick pitched the win as he went 4.1 innings, yielding two runs and seven hits with one strikeout, two walks and a hit batter. Ripley’s starter, left-hander Easton Berry, suffered the loss as he allowed seven runs and five hits with five strikeouts, five walks and a hit batter in a worksheet spanning 3.2 innings. He was relieved by righty Luke Layhew in the fourth.
“Their pitcher wasn’t overpowering but like I told their coach we won two state championships with kids just like that,” Gertz said. “That kid is going to be tough. He moved the ball around and we finally got a good look at it and started to hit the ball.”
Logan broke up the tie in the fourth inning.
Rein put Logan up 3-2 with a screaming RBI double which bounced to the left field wall.
Minnick then gave himself some space with a bases loaded, two-run single to left to make it 5-2.
Two batters later, Burgess crushed a two-run double off the left field wall to put the Wildcats ahead 7-2.
Preston followed with an RBI single to short centerfield as Logan’s lead swelled to 8-2.
Logan’s four-run fifth then sent Ripley to the bus.
Kyle Harvey got it started as he was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. He was gunned down at second in a basestealing attempt, however. Lakatos then walked and legged it out to second, third and home on three wild pitches and a throwing error as the Cats led 9-2.
Rein had an infield single and later scored on Minnick’s RBI single to left as Logan made it a 10-2 ballgame.
Adkins followed with an RBI single to left to up the margin to 11-2.
Then it was Burgess, who pulled an RBI single down the left field line to make it 12-2, ending the game.
Ripley had seven hits and were led by Isaac Koontz, who was 3-for-3. Jonny Stepp was 2-for-3 at the plate.
The Vikings had threatened in the top of the fifth.
Burgess came on in relief of Minnick and walked Nathan Tucker to load the bases. He was able to get out of the jam as DH Preston Baldwin hit a little looper at second base which was caught by second baseman Dalton, who then flipped to first for a double play, getting Tucker, who strayed too far off the bag.
Logan is next scheduled to see action on Monday afternoon against Buffalo Putnam in the first game of the Mingo Bay Classic in Myrtle Beach. Logan was originally set to play at Independence on Saturday on the way down to the Beach but that game was called off, Gertz said.
Logan is set to play at least five games in the South Carolina tourney this week.
On Tuesday, the Wildcats are scheduled to play Kenmore East (N.Y.) at 2:30 p.m. Then on Wednesday, Logan is matched up against T.L. Hannah (S.C) in another 2:30 p.m. contest. On Thursday, Logan is set to square off with Bishop Grimes (N.Y.) at 2:30 p.m. Logan will then play at least one more game next Friday against an opponent to be named later and could also play next Saturday as well.
“We lucked out and picked up a game on Monday against Buffalo Putnam even though the tournament doesn’t really start until Tuesday,” Gertz said.
Gertz said Logan’s players enjoy going to play at Myrtle Beach each spring. With usual warmer weather it’s a pleasant experience and the Wildcats get a lot of baseball in. This year’s baseball season has gotten off to a cold start weather-wise. Friday’s game was played in mild conditions but when the sun dipped below the mountain, temperatures plunged into the 40s in typical early spring weather on Midelburg Island.
“This is a good thing for them,” Gertz said of the South Carolina trip. “They work hard to earn the money to pay their way. It’s a good week.”
In normal tradition, Logan always seems to play at least one team from the state of New York while in the Palmetto State.
“We’ve got another one or two this year,” Gertz said of the New Yorkers.