PARKERSBURG -There's a score to be settled. Actually at least two to be settled as Parkersburg Catholic and Williamstown resume sectional play on Thursday.
Last week's wet weather hampered their Class A, Region IV, Section 1 tournament, so Thursday marks the starting date of their best-of-three series at Williamstown High School.
In case rain prevails once again later in the week, it's imperative to win the first game.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg Catholic's Austin Luther dives back to first as Williamstown's Avery Goff eyes the throw over.
"If the rains come, you don't want to be the one who lost that first game because it reverts back to a single-elimination tournament," PCHS coach Tom Harvey said.
The two baseball programs split a pair of games during the regular season. In the midst of a nine-game winning streak to begin the campaign, the Crusaders (17-11) defeated Williamstown 13-4 on April 4 in Davisville. PCHS trailed 4-0, but Mitch Davis ignited the comeback with a two-run homer and also pitched a complete game.
Williamstown (21-10) turned the tables at its home park as starting pitcher Dakota Watson and reliever Eli Gray combined for 13 strikeouts in a 6-4 victory on April 29.
"Williamstown has pretty much owned our sectional the last seven or eight years I've been here,' Harvey said. "I'm sure they remember when we finally broke through and won sectionals last year."
The reward for winning section 1 is a date with second-ranked Gilmer County (26-4). The Titans' regional semifinal game is next Monday (May 20) on the road.
Wirt County gave Gilmer County a scare after winning 5-0 in the sectional opener, but the Titans responded with back-to-back victories by outscoring the Tigers 27-1.
Other than the Williamstown-PCHS series, teams who captured sectional titles are biding their time and waiting for next Monday and Tuesday to arrive when the regional semifinals begin.
After sweeping both games from Parkersburg High in the Class AAA, Region I sectional, the fourth-ranked Patriots (21-5) from Parkersburg South await the series winner between Brooke and Wheeling Park where Wheeling Park owns a one-game to none advantage.
In Class AA, Ritchie County (18-11) is scheduled to travel to Oak Glen (13-9) for their Region I semifinal on Monday. The Rebels will use their time off to play Friday at Dave Wilson in St. Marys for an exhibition game against the Blue Devils (26-5).
Before hooking up at Clay-Battelle for a Class A, Region I semifinal on Monday, May 20, the third-ranked Blue Devils have scheduled a second exhibition game - this one at Buckhannon-Upshur on Thursday.
St. Marys coach Ed Wilson liked the way his hitters responded after they scored 41 runs in a span of three games during sectionals.
"We hammered the ball," Wilson said.
The season also continues for Magnolia, but in a odd sort of way. After Paden City defeated Cameron 5-4 in eight innings on Wednesday, Thursday's game between the Wildcats and Blue Eagles was ruled a forfeit when Paden City could not field enough players due to prior commitments to the regional track meet that same day.
Therefore, the forfeit resulted in the second loss for the Wildcats and Magnolia advanced to play either Bishop Donahue or Wheeling Central on Monday. Bishop Donahue and Wheeling Central have split their first two meetings, and Thursday's game will decide the sectional champ.
Another area program looking forward to next Monday is Wahama (17-11). The White Falcons plays host to fourth-ranked Charleston Catholic (24-9) after sweeping a doubleheader from Calhoun County 8-5 and 13-1 on Saturday.
Former Roane County standout Hunter Bradley three-hit the Red Devils in the nightcap.
"Hunter Bradley quieted our bats down," Calhoun County coach Tim Moore said. "He's gained something on his fastball and he has a 12-6 curve ball that kept us off-balanced."