LMS baseball claims conference crown
by Paul Adkins
It was a great season and a great end to the season for the Logan Middle School baseball team.
Last Friday, the Timberwolves closed out their 12-6 season with a 3-2 win at Point Pleasant in the Mid-Valley Conference championship game.
LMS Coach Alex Perry would turn to seventh-grader Matthew Brown to hold down the Point offense and match Point’s ace pitcher Adam Stearns.
Brown pitched three strong innings, holding Point Pleasant to only one run.
However, Stearns was matching Brown’s effort by shutting down the LMS offense for five innings.
In the bottom of the fourth Brown got into trouble by allowing a leadoff single and two consecutive walks.
Perry then brought in Will Akers an inning early, with the LMS season in jeopardy.
However, Akers stepped up and got the first batter he faced to fly out to shallow left field, where once again, Tyler Browning showed off his strong arm and forced the runner to stop halfway down the line, retreating back to third but Brown gunned him down before he could reach safely.
Akers then struck out the next batter ending the threat and saving the LMS season. Akers would then throw a perfect fifth inning holding the Point offense in check.
Logan finally scratched the scoreboard on Brown’s RBI that allowed Jay Mullins to score from third.
Caleb Lawson then came in and held the score 1-1 setting the stage for some seventh-inning dramatics.
The top of the seventh saw LMS load the bases with one out and Browning at the plate. Browning, the defensive hero, calmly singled to left driving in two runs and giving LMS a 3-1 lead.
With three outs to go, Perry rolled the dice and went with Mullins instead of his normal closer Kyle Porter.
In started badly, though, as Mullins got a pinch-hitter to hit a routine ground ball that was thrown away at first. Mullins then balked, which led to Perry turning it over to Porter. Porter then got Point Pleasant’s two best hitters to ground out in back-to-back at-bats.
With the score 3-2, Porter then allowed a single and then a Logan fielding error but the tying and winning run on second base.
However, Porter got the next hitter to fly out to Mullins in center field and the celebration was on.
Logan Middle coach Alex Perry said his team came together at the right time.
“When the season starts you always strive to win the title. This year, we did just that,” Perry said. “These boys came together and finally decided to start making some changes that our coaching staff had been trying to get them to make all season. Obviously, when they made those changes great things started to happen for us. We may have gone undefeated if they would have done these things in March. I am just glad that they did it when it counted.”
It’s the second Mid-Valley Conference title for the T-Wolves. LMS had lost its previous three times in the title game.
“I was really happy for Coach Calandros and Coach Adkins. They have put in a lot of time with these boys and this is the best reward that we could have asked for,” Perry said.
Next year, LMS returns starters Mullins, Brown and Tyler Frye. Seth Nichols, Terrance Chapman and Isiaih Beckett also return.
“With these six guys coming back, we only have to find three or four guys to give us a great chance to defend our title,” Coach Perry said. “If T Jay, Matthew and Seth work on their pitching this summer then we will have a great foundation. Isiaih, Tyler and Terrance all need to work on getting stronger as well to anchor our defense behind our pitchers.
This year’s LMS roster was made up of: Will Akers; Cody Maynard; Caleb Lawson; Zack Shawver; Kyle Porter; Tyler Browning; T Jay Mullins; Tyler Frye; Matthew Brown; Isiaih Beckett; Seth Nichols; and Terrance Chapman.
“The coaching staff would like to thank all of the players parents and their personal families for their support and help through this season,” Perry said.
The LMS baseball team began the Mid-Valley Conference as the No. 4 seed and hosted No. 5 Winfield on May 3 at Logan’s Roger Gertz Field.
The T-Wolves ended up winning 15-12 to advance.
LMS jumped out to a 10-4 lead after the fourth inning, before Winfield mounted a comeback.
LMS starting pitcher Will Akers picked up the win, allowing eight runs (three earned) over five innings. Akers fanned eight Winfield hitters, while only allowing two walks.
Offensively Logan was led by Akers and T Jay Mullins who combined for six RBI and four of the nine Timberwolves’ hits.
Caleb Lawson and Matt Brown also knocked in combined six runs on two hits.
Lawson took the mound in the sixth and breezed through the inning.
However, in the seventh the LMS defense committed a couple of errors and Winfield trimmed the lead to three. With the tying run on first base and only one out, LMS closer Kyle Porter got Winfield’s center fielder to fly out to Tyler Browning in left.
Browning alertly made a strong throw to first base and doubled off the Winfield base runner ending the game and advancing LMS into a semifinal matchup with No. 1-ranked Hurricane on the road.
On May 9, Logan Middle went to Buffalo High School to take on Hurricane in the conference semifinals.
The T-Wolves prevailed, 5-3, and moved on to the league title game.
LMS sent Caleb Lawson to the mound in hopes of reaching the finals. Lawson stepped up to the challenge and held the powerful Hurricane lineup to three runs (two earned) over four innings. Lawson recorded four strikeouts in the game, but more impressive was the fact that he didn’t issue any walks.
Will Akers then came on and threw the remaining three innings, picking up the save. Akers struck out six of the nine batters he faced and didn’t issue any walks.
Offensively, Tyler Browning and Cody Maynard led the LMS each driving in a pair of runs.
Logan was the only MVC team to beat Hurricane during the regular season as LMS won 4-2 in the first meeting before falling short 5-4 in extra innings in the second matchup.
Mullins and Zack Shawver also contributed to the offensive attack against Hurricane.
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