Rain delays county baseball sectionals

Paul AdkinsSports Editor

May 10, 2013

The rain has been the winner so far in the high school baseball sectional tournaments.

But with a break in the weather on Thursday and with decent enough conditions expected for Friday and Saturday, area baseball teams are expected make a return to the diamonds.

The three-team Class AAA Region 4 Section 2 tourney got under way on Wednesday night as St. Albans won 4-1 at Nitro in Game 1. The game was rained out on Monday and Tuesday.

Logan, 18-8 and ranked No. 10 in the state in Class AAA, was scheduled to open play in the sectional tourney on Thursday at St. Albans (20-10). The Wildcats ended up blanking the Red Dragons 10-0 in six innings behind senior pitcher Johnny Morrison who tossed a four-hit shutout with six strikeouts and only two free passes.

Sophomore Z. Minnick hit a home run and was 2-for-2 at the plate with three RBI for the Wildcats. Josh Rein was 2-for-3 with two runs knocked in. Chase Preston had a hit and two RBI for the Cats.

Benji Adkins, Troy Burgess, Trace Butcher, Alex Lakatos, Trent Dalton and Kyle Harvey all had one hit each for Logan.

Logan is scheduled to host Nitro (19-11) on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Logan’s Roger Gertz Field. Already with one loss in the double elimination tourney, Nitro could have its season come to a close. Logan has already beaten Nitro twice this season and are also 2-0 against the Red Dragons.

LHS could face St. Albans again on Saturday at home with a victory over Nitro.

LHS is looking to regain the sectional championships. The Wildcats’ string of 13 straight sectional crowns was ended last season by South Charleston. Logan was placed in a new section this year with St. Albans and Nitro.

St. Albans hasn’t won a sectional title in seven years.

The Red Dragons were led by pitcher Dustin Turley who went the distance and allowed just five hits in the win over Nitro. He also pounded out three hits at the plate and drove in two runs. Turley struck out four batters and walked only one.

Nitro has won its two-team sectional with St. Albans the last six years and went on to be state runners-up last season. Nitro is now 1-8 in games where it scores three runs or fewer.

Logan coach Roger Gertz said the turf field at WVU Tech has been reserved for the rest of the week in case field conditions are not good enough at the three sectional venues. There is still a 50 percent chance of rain on Friday and Saturday.

“Hopefully the weather will break so we can play here on Friday night,” Gertz said.

The tourney would then resume on Saturday with the two remaining teams. The sectionals would then pick up next Thursday, May 16, if necessary. No games are allowed to be played next Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday because of the WESTEST.

“I’m sure there will be some games after the WESTEST,” Gertz said. “If it has to be pushed off to next Thursday, Friday and Saturday, you have to get the tournament finished by next Saturday. If not, it would revert back to single elimination. The bad thing about it is that the Triple-A regional would be played on that Monday, May the 20th. This section winner would play the winner of the Winfield-Point Pleasant section at their place. So if you get to the point where you had to play next Thursday through Saturday you will have exhausted a whole lot of your pitching. Everyone is in the same boat but you are fortunate if you only have a two-team sectional. You are in an advantage there because you have two or three games max. In a three-team sectional it could go to four or five games.”

In the Class AA sectional, Chapmanville was scheduled to play at Scott on Thursday in the continuation of Monday’s rain-suspended game in which the Tigers were leading the Skyhawks 2-0 in the third inning. Chapmanville ended up losing 5-4 to the Skyhawks and are facing elimination.

Game 2 is set for Friday at 5 p.m. at Chapmanville with a possible decisive Game 3 scheduled for Saturday at Scott.

In the Class A sectional tourney, Man was slated to host Tug Valley on Thursday night. Game 2 is scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m. at Man. A possible Game 3 would be Saturday at Man.

Man and Tug Valley were rained out on Monday and Tuesday. With rain in the forecast on Wednesday, Game 1 was then moved to last night.