NEW MARTINSVILLE - Wheeling Central coach Bo McConnaughy and Magnolia coach Dave Cisar have known each other for a long time.
They played together at West Liberty and also played legion ball. Wednesday, the two veteran coaches went against each other for the first time.
McConnaughy can give thanks to Tyler Riedel for helping him get the better of his longtime friend.
Photo by Bruce Crawford
The Big Blue gets together after each half inning to get themselves fired up before they bat or head out to play defense.
The senior standout pitched a complete-game, two-hit shutout as the Maroon Knights blanked the Blue Eagles, 10-0, at George Mullett Field.
"Tyler is a senior, four-year letterman, smart pitcher," McConnaughy said. "He pretty much had them eating out of his hand with the curveball and the changeup. He pitched a heckuva game and only threw 66 pitches. That was a good outing for him, especially since he hasn't pitched in about a week."
Riedel set the tone early, striking out the side in the bottom of the first.
Wheeling Central (9-0) plated four in the top of the second coming on an RBI double from Austin Crebs, an RBI single from Chris Costain, an error, and an RBI groundout by Isaac Rine.
That was more than enough for Riedel.
He allowed a leadoff single in the third inning by Drew Herrick, who was then erased on a double play. In the fourth, Nick Priem reached on an error and was thrown out at home trying to score on a Patrick Mirandy double.
Riedel faced one batter over the minimum.
At the plate, he was just as effective. His single to center in the third inning scored two runs to put Magnolia up 9-0 and chase Blue Eagles starter Jake Gamble.
His RBI double in the fifth gave the Maroon Knights the number of runs they needed to invoke the mercy rule if Magnolia didn't score in the home half of the inning. Riedel made sure of that by striking out the side for a total of nine on the evening.
"Being a senior, a captain, that is the kind of game we want out of him and I wouldn't expect anything less," McConnaughy said. "Anytime you can beat a Magnolia team you feel good. It is obvious (Cisar) is playing a lot of young kids and they struggled a little bit in the field, but you have to compete.
"(We are playing well) and if I could tell you why, I'd write a book and be a millionaire. We just gelled early, but I hope we don't peak too early. We still have a long way to go and a tough schedule ahead of us."
The loss dropped Magnolia to 2-2.
Cisar has lost more than 400 games in his 44-year career, but Wednesday's setback seemed a little harder than most.
"We didn't have our 'A' game and Central had their "A-plus' game," Cisar said. "They pitched well, they batted well, they made some nice plays in the field, their enthusiasm was excellent and we weren't ready for anybody of that nature.
"They made it happen in every facet of the game. My hat goes off to them. But we are young, inexperienced and all we are trying to do is get better. We didn't get better (Wednesday), we took a step back. If we are going to do this, we have to do it the right way. We