Last week saw the end come to the baseball seasons of both local high schools. Both the Silver Knights and Wildcats saw their share of ups and downs throughout the season, yet gave it their all to the last game.
The Tyler Consolidated Silver Knight baseball finished up the 2013 season last week as they hosted the Sectional Tournament at Knight field.
The Silver Knights ended the 2013 season with seven wins
Head coach Rob Jones and team started off the tournament on a good note, defeating Valley in the first game, 11-6. Freshman Jordan Baker worked the mound for the Silver, pitching a complete game with six strike outs and two walks.
In second game, the Knights bowed to St. Marys 14-1 for their first loss of the double elimination tournament. Senior Koty Martin took the loss on the mound with four strike outs and three walks.
Against the Blue Devils in their final game of the tournament, Consolidated fell again to the Pleasants County team, 6-2. Baker went the distance in the pitcher's position, striking out five batters.
Hits for the entire tournament include Baker getting five hits and collecting three RBI's; Martin doubled, tripled and hit two singles for four RBI's; Austin Thompson, Stackpole, Isaac Michael and Dillon Glover each singled; Nathan Heintzman singled twice and had one RBI; and Evan Davis singled and doubled to collect two RBIs.
Though the youthful team struggled at times, first year head coach Jones said he was very proud of his team for continuing to work hard throughout the season. "They kept a positive attitude and made huge strides as a team this year," he said.
"We'll be returning eight starters next season out of the 10 regular starters."
Jones said it was a good thing for his young team to get a taste of post season success with the win over Valley in the first game. "I think it's something we could take some momentum from and build on," he said. "We have several players who are going to play summer ball and continue to work on improving their skills."
The Silver Knights had seven wins this season and look to build on that mark next season as they return to the diamond with more experience on the mound and in the field.
The 2013 season came to an unsettling end for the Paden City Wildcat baseball team last week during the Sectional Tournament, held at Cameron.
On May 6 the 'Cats fell to Cameron 6-2 to put them behind the eight-ball in the double elimination tournament.
Freshman Luke Cooper took the loss on the mound with six strike outs and two walks.
Offensively, Levi Meadows singled; Zach Heasley, singled and doubled for an RBI; Cooper, singled; Wilcox got an RBI on a fielders choice; Isaac Hall and Deven Price each singled.
The Tournament was delayed on May 7 due to rain and continued on Wednesday with Magnolia and Cameron going head to head in the first game. The Eagles prevailed, dropping the Dragons down to face-off with Paden City once again, in the second game.
However, this outing would be nothing like the last time the two played. The Wildcats took the field with determination in order to take the win, 5-4 after eight exciting innings.
Paden City held the lead, 4-1 after three complete innings, but Cameron came back to score three, and then in the sixth, tied it all up at 4-4.
In the eighth Luke Cooper led off the batting order with a single. He made it to second on a wild pitch, took third on a passed ball and took advantage of the catcher's overthrow to the outfield to take home and score the winning run of the game.
Isaac Hall pitched all eight innings for the Green and White, throwing six strike outs and seven walks.
At the plate, Meadows singled; Heasley homered and collected two RBI's; Cooper, one single, one home run for an RBI.
"The kids played very well in this game," said head coach of the 'Cats, Brent Croasmun. "They came alive and played hard. They really wanted this one. Isaac did an excellent job on the mound. He was throwing hard and strong. I was proud of all of them."
The win over the Dragons set the 'Cats up for a shot at the Sectional Title on Thursday against Magnolia. However, due to conflicts with a few members of the team also participating on Paden City's track team, and the track Regionals held on Thursday, the game would have to be either cancelled or postponed until Friday.
WVSSAC baseball rules state that Sectional games are to be played on consecutive days, therefore it was determined that the title game would be forfeited by Paden City if they did not play on Thursday. Since Paden City would not have enough players to play on Thursday (track meet), the game was forfeited, giving Magnolia the automatic win.
But . . . it rained on Thursday and the game would have to be postponed anyway, meaning the next consecutive day to play would be Friday, when Paden City would have their full roster. Unfortunately, the decision to forfeit was already made and the WVSSAC rules prevailed, the game was forfeited.
The Wildcats wound up the 2013 season with an 8-14 record, but one that Croasmun says is nothing to be ashamed of. "You have to remember, we played all year with only 10 kids, six freshmen, three sophomores and one junior, and they gave the best they had. You can't fault a kid or a team for that. They competed hard in every game we played."
"We made some mental mistakes, some youthful errors that we shouldn't have made on a varsity baseball team, but we've gained more than that in experience. Last year we were 10-runned more than a time or two, this year these kids competed hard, and only one team out scored us by 10, and we played some pretty good ball clubs."
"Hopefully all of these guys will be back next year and with a few incoming freshmen, we have high hopes for the team."