Best teams always win

Turning the clock back a few days, I knew Thursday was going to be a very, very long day.

Going down to the annual all-state baseball meeting at the home of the West Virginia Power is always interesting and often times perplexing.

Of course, this year things were a tad bit different than they’ve been at any point in the past since two of our local baseball programs were in the state single-A semifinals.

It was probably a day or so before and a buddy of mine messaged me on Facebook asking me what I thought of the games and who would win.

I told him I honestly didn’t have a clue. Not only had I not seen either Notre Dame or Man, but I never covered Gilmer County or St. Marys this year.

With that being said, I told him hopefully they both would win, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they both lost, which unfortunately for Blue Devil and Titan fans turned out to be the case.

Gilmer County just didn’t play well enough in all facets of the game to give itself an honest chance to win. As for St. Marys, the Blue Devils did a lot of good things, but I just had the sense early on this might not be the night St. Marys was going to secure win No. 30 on the campaign.

This morning’s championship game between the Irish and the Hillbillies should be interesting, but it wouldn’t shock me at all if “underdog” Man found a way to win its first state baseball crown in school history.

Perhaps the third time will be the charm as Man has lost in its only other two title game appearances.

As tough as it was for both of our local squads not to be playing today for that elusive championship, I think the two best teams on the field Thursday emerged victorious.

The funny thing about athletics, unless we are talking about cross country, is that the goal is to always have one more point or one more run than your opponent.

That’s what gives you the win and keeps you alive in a single-elimination event.

I know the losses were extremely difficult for Titan skipper Joe Frashure and longtime St. Marys head man Ed Wilson, but both were quite gracious in defeat.

Personally, and we do have some great baseball coaches in the Mid-Ohio Valley, but I’ve always enjoyed talking the game with both Frashure and Wilson.

As much as I wanted to make another trip to Charleston today in hopes of seeing two local programs battle it out for the state crown, it just wasn’t in the cards.

The communities of St. Marys and Glenville have a lot to be proud of and the players on both teams have nothing to be ashamed about.

Now, I’ve got to track down the video of Blue Devil center fielder Michael Stout’s fully-extended diving catch in the gap where he robbed Man’s Cameron Simpson of extra bases in the third inning.

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com