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Knights Whitewash Eagles

May 29, 2018
BY BRUCE CRAWFORD - Staff Writer ( , Wetzel Chronicle

The Wheeling Maroon Knights scored five runs in the seventh inning to put the explanation point on a 12-1 victory over the Magnolia Blue Eagles in game-two of a best of three Region I championship game May 23 at George Mullett Baseball Complex at MHS

The Blue Eagles sent sophomore sensation Jake Gamble to the hill against a very tough Wheeling Central squad. He dominated for two and one-third innings, striking out four of the eight batters he faced in order. However, Gamble issued a one-out walk to Angelo Gentile for the Knights first base-runner, and raced to third on a single by Bryan Courts, and scored on a fielders choice for the game's first run.

However, not to be out-done, Matthew Gaiser walked and was cut-down at third off a throwing error trying to get Patrick Mirandy at first. Mirandy stole second, and scored on a Billy Nice solid single up the gut to even the count at 1-1.

Article Photos

Photo by Bruce Crawford
Magnolia’s Matt Gaiser attempts to slide into the back but is called out during the Eagles W.Va. Class A, Region I championship showdown with Wheeling Central.

In the fourth inning, Central tacked on a pair of runs, when Pat Brown was HBP. Logan Wells smacked his first of two doubles scoring Brown, and scored on a Gentile single that gave Central enough runs to get the win.

Magnolia would threaten in the home-half, when Jared Kocher drew a two-out walk and hustled to third on an Eli Nice single, but the Knights would strike-out the next batter, leaving two runs in scoring position.

Central would score two more runs in the fifth and again in the sixth before plating five more in the seventh to gain the nod.

Gamble took the loss from the mound. He stuck out six but walked five and hit a pair, while Kocher came in relief, struck-out one, walked one and hit a batter.

The Blue Eagles finished the season 12-13 and won the Region I, Section II championship. The Eagles will part ways with catcher/pitcher Billy Nice, first baseman, Matthew Gaiser, second baseman Leo Herrick, utility-man Dalton Pritchar,d along with Brody Cartwright, and Zach Ware after graduation.

"I'm proud of the way my team competed; that's all we talked about, and I thought we played well for four and a half innings," said Magnolia Head Coach Dave Cisar.

Billy Nice drove in the Eagles' only run with a single, while both Patrick Mirandy and Eli Nice pounded out singles. Freshman Silas McKeever had the only other hit, a double.

Wheeling Central was paced by George Cupp from the mound, struck-out four and scattered four-hits, while Wells pounded out a pair of two-RBI doubles to lead Central from the dish.

Wheeling Central 10, Magnolia 1

Wheeling Central took advantage of 11 walks and two errors, while limiting the Blue Eagles to only four hits, to win game one of the best of three in the opener of the WVSSA Class-A Region I, by the score of 10-1 May 21 at the I-470 B.J. Complex in Wheeling.

"We didn't come out to play," said Magnolia skipper Dave Cisar. "We didn't have enthusiasm and we missed a couple key squeeze bunts in the first inning. This is the game of baseball.

"You have to bust your butt and play with enthusiasm and fire, but our fire blew out and our enthusiasm got lost."

The Blue Eagles scored their only run in the fourth when senior Leo Herrick doubled to deep right-center, while freshman Silas McKeever brought him home on a single.

Logan Wells did the majority of the damage at the plate for the Maroon Knights with a bases-clearing double in the fourth to break open a close game, while Doug Clark cooled the red-hot Blue Eagle bats. He struck out seven, and only walked one, while setting down Magnolia in order five of the seven innings.

Herrick doubled, while McKeever added the RBI single. Both Dalton Pritchard and Patrick Mirandy singled to lead the Magnolia bats.

"We have been playing very well in our last 10 games, but we have been playing with emotion, intensity and fire," said Coach Cisar.



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