Three State Champions Crowned



By Greg Williams
WV Director of Scouting

Championship Saturday was highlighted by two comeback wins and a nearly a third. Following is a recap of all three championship games and a look at two of the top prospects at the tournament.

Charleston Catholic 9, Magnolia 8

HovorkaAt any level of baseball walks are not good; they invariably lead to big innings. The Class A championship saw a total of 16 free passes, 10 issued by Magnolia pitchers, and eight of those resulted in the batter eventually scoring.

Magnolia rallied from a 9-2 deficit with three runs in the 6th and three more in the 7th, but closer Conner Golden was able to get Chandler Sapp on a line drive to short to end the game with runners at 1st and 2nd to cap a Class AA championship for Catholic.

Irish RHP Keifer Hovorka worked the first six innings for the win. The University of Charleston recruit gave up five runs on 10 hits and struck out four.

Washington and Jefferson recruit Nelson McKown led the Irish offense with a 3-for-4 day with three RBI.

Herbert Hoover 7, Fairmont Senior 5

Corey BirdAs the saying goes, it's never over until it's over. Fairmont Senior was one strike from retiring Hoover center fielder Corey Bird for the final out of the 6th inning, leading 5-1. Instead, Bird drove a single to right field to plate two igniting a six run rally with two outs to storm back for the win.

Bird finished the day 2-for-3 at the plate with a walk, two runs scored and two RBI. He also was the winning pitcher, coming on in relief of Tristan Fields who worked the first four innings. Bird, a Marshall recruit as a centerfielder, quieted the Polar Bears offense and gave his Huskies a chance to rally. In three innings of work, Bird struck out four, allowed two hits and walked one.

Cody Bowen (2-for-4, 2 RBI) and Todd Thomas (2-for-4, 2B, R) also had big games for Hoover. Bailey Mohr (2-for-3, RBI, R) was the lone Polar Bear with multiple hits.

Hedgesville 4, Cabell Midland 2

Derrick SniderHedgesville junior LHP Derrick Snider gave up three hits to the first four batters he faced, leading to both Cabell Midland runs. He allowed five hits and no runs the rest of the way to lead Hedgesville to the Class AAA championship.

Hedgesville sent eight men to the plate in the bottom of the 4th inning and scored four runs to erase the early 2-0 deficit. The Eagles had five total hits in the game, three of which came in the 4th inning.

Cabell Midland SS Seth Kinker went 4-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI in the loss.

news & notes from day two

+ Hoover OF Corey Bird was the most impressive prospect over the course of the three days of the state tournament. Bird went 4-for-7 with a walk, three runs scored and three RBI in two games. Bird showcased his plus speed with two stolen bases turned in a 4.40 time on a turn. He also stepped to the mound to pitch the final three innings of the championship game for the win. Bird showcased his arm strength sitting 83-85 and touching as high as 87 mph in the 7th inning.

+ A close second for top prospect honors was Cabell Midland 2014 RHP/SS Seth Kinker. He went 0-for-4 at the plate on Friday, but followed that up with a 4-for-4 day in the championship with a double, a run scored and an RBI. In the semifinal game he pitched a complete game, two-hitter with eight strikeouts. He sat 83-85 all evening and registered a strikeout on an 86 mph fastball to end the game. Kinker showed athletic actions at shortstop and the potential to be a two-way player at the next level.

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