State Tournament Starts With a Bang



By Greg Williams
WV Director of Scouting

Day one of the 2013 West Virginia state tournament didn't have fireworks on the agenda, but there were plenty fired off during the course of two games, both of which were decided in the final inning.

fairmont senior 9, bridgeport 6 (10 innings)

DeVaulA game that was a low scoring affair through four innings (2-2) became a battle of offenses late. After the Polar Bears tied the game at four with an RBI groundout from 2B Matthew Robbins in the 7th, both teams went scoreless in the 8th. Fairmont Senior got a two-run double from Fletcher DeVaul in the top of the 9th to take a 6-4 lead and appeared to be on their way to victory, but Bridgeport had other ideas.

In the bottom of the 9th inning Bridgeport scratched out a run and had a runner at first base with two outs when DeVaul, the Polar Bears ace, was summoned to the mound to close things out. Greg Smith had other ideas depositing an 86 mph fastball into the right field corner to score Hunter Mann all the way from first base with the tying run.

Fairmont Senior scored three runs in the top of the 10th inning with singles by Johnny Kesling and Bailey Mohr along with doubles from Ryder Skarzinski and Jayce Riley fueling the rally. DeVaul set Bridgeport down in the bottom of the 10th, ending the game with a strikeout to set off a celebration from the Polar Bear faithful.

Fairmont Senior will play Herbert Hoover at 10:00am on Saturday for the Class AA state championship.

Herbert hoover 7, independence 3

The Independence Indians served notice that they were not intimidated by the No. 1 state ranking that Herbert Hoover had carried for much of the season, jumping on Huskies' ace Tristan Fields for two runs in the top of the 1st inning. Junior James Huffman laced a single off of Fields leg to plate the second run and forced Fields to leave the game.

Senior Todd Thomas moved from 3B to the mound in relief of the injured Fields and held the Indians to just one unearned run in 6.1 innings of work. Unfortunately for the Huskies, Independence junior RHP Kevin Sexton was masterful for most of the night, carrying a shutout into the 5th inning. The Huskies finally got to Sexton in the bottom of the 5th inning, scoring two runs on a double by Sean Craze, a single by RF Shaun Dotson, an Indian error and a sacrifice fly from catcher Matthew Farmer.

Hunter WhiteThomas set the Huskies down in order in the 6th inning setting up a dramatic finish to the game in the bottom of the 7th. Herbert Hoover sent five hitters to the plate in the inning with Craze leading off and reaching on an error. Dotson laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt down the first base line and was able to beat the throw to the bag for a base hit. Marshall recruit, CF Corey Bird followed looking to lay down a sacrifice bunt of his own. After bunting foul on a 2-0 pitch, Bird swung away on the 2-1 pitched and laced a double to left field to tie the game. Following an intentional walk to Farmer to load the bases, 2B Hunter White came to the plate with an opportunity to win the game. White decided to leave little doubt with a drawn in outfield and launched a game winning, walk-off home run to left field that vaulted the Huskies into Saturday's Class AA championship game opposite Fairmont Senior.

news & notes from day one

+ A slow arriving crowd reached near capacity for the start of game #2 at Appalachian Power Park.

+ Bridgeport junior SS Greg Smith went 3-for-5 with a triple, single and an inside the park HR. Smith finished a double shy of hitting for the cycle with five of his team's six RBI. Smith's nearly had two inside the park home runs on the day. His triple in his first at bat resulted in him being tagged out at home after narrowly missing the plate in an attempt to stretch his triple into a HR. His single in the 9th inning off of DeVaul would have been a double and possibly a triple had he not pulled up at first base do to cramping.

+ DeVaul sat 84-85 in relief, touching 86 mph twice. He will likely get the ball again to start the championship game after working just 1.1 innings for the win. DeVaul, who hit well over .500 for the season, went 3-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored, a double and two RBI. His lone out was a line drive right at the left fielder in the 1st inning.

+ Bridgeport LF Cullin Cutright went 2-for-5 with a double on the evening and showed a very solid approach at the plate.

+ Fairmont Senior RF Austin Norman finished the night 2-for-5 with two triples and two RBI.

+ Hoover CF Corey Bird went 2-for-4 with a double, a stolen base and an RBI.

+ Independence SS Wyatt Adkins showed athletic actions in the field and a strong arm across the diamond. He went 1-for-3 with a double, a stolen base and an RBI. He will be a middle infielder to watch in the Class of 2014.

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