LOGAN, W.Va. — The wrong time for the offense to disappear.
The Point Pleasant baseball team had its magical season come to an abrupt halt in six innings Wednesday night during a 10-0 loss to host Man in the third and deciding game of the Class AA Region IV championship held in Logan County.
The visiting Big Blacks (21-10) were held to just three hits, which came singularly in the first, second and sixth frames. In fact, PPHS mustered only six baserunners total in the contest, with four of those managing to get into scoring position.
The Wildcats (24-6), on the other hand, built a 2-0 lead in the third and the score remained that way through four complete, but the hosts erupted for five runs in the fifth and tacked on another three scores in the sixth to complete the walk-off mercy-rule triumph.
It was only the second time this season that Point Pleasant failed to score in a game, with the other coming in a 1-0 loss to Sissonville in the Region IV, Section 1 tournament a week ago. Through their 31 total games, the Big Blacks averaged scoring 6.9 runs per outing.
Point’s biggest scoring threats came in the fifth and sixth frames after leaving a runner stranded at second in the first and third innings. Riley Oliver was stranded at third with two away in the fifth, then Hunter Bush was left at third with two away in the sixth.
Carson Kirk singled to start the LHS half of the third, then advanced to second on a walk to Konnor Bostic. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners up a base, then Jake Ramey singled home both Kirk and Bostic for what proved to a permanent lead of 2-0 after three complete.
Things started falling apart for Point Pleasant in the fifth as Kirk started things by reaching on an error, then moved to second base when Bostic was hit by a pitch. Dawson Maynard cleared the bases with a triple, plus scored on a throwing error on the same play — giving LHS a 5-run cushion at that time.
Ramey followed with a double, then Garrett Williamson singled Ramey home for a 6-0 advantage. Tyler Fenwick doubled to put runners at second and third, then a passed ball allowed Williamson to come plateward for a 7-0 lead through five complete.
Maynard provided a 1-out double to start the sixth, then scored one batter later on a single by Ramey for an 8-0 edge. Konnor Lowe singled in both Ramey and Fenwick to complete the 10-run outcome and advance Logan to the Class AA state tournament next week — a first for LHS since 2009.
“It was a good season. We just played against a deeper, little more talented team than ourselves. Logan has a complete and very disciplined team, and they execute well in different situations. You have to be complete to get to state and be a state champion, and they have a complete team,” Blain said. “We had a talented group of seniors and underclassmen who played well together and dug deep all year for us to have the season we did. We just weren’t quite as good as what we went up against this week.”
The Wildcats outhit PPHS by a sizable 12-3 overall margin, and Point committed the only two errors of the contest.
Jarron Glick allowed three hits and a walk over six innings while striking out six for the winning decision. Bush took the loss after surrendering four runs, four hits and three walks in four-plus innings while fanning five.
Bush, Kyelar Morrow and Hunter Lilly had a hit apiece in the setback.
Ramey paced LHS with three hits and three RBIs, while Maynard, Fenwick and Lowe each added a pair of safeties to the winning cause.
It was the final baseball game for seniors Tanner Mitchell, Kyelar Morrow, Riley Oliver, Joel Beattie, Wyatt Wilson, Hunter Bush, Isaac Craddock and Luke Pinkerton in the Red and Black.
It was the second straight postseason in which Point Pleasant reached the regionals and ended up one win short of appearing at the Class AA state tournament. The Big Blacks last appeared in the double-A state tournament in 2012.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.