Paden City Whacks Dragons, 19-10
In the WVSSAC Class-A Region I, Section I second round match-up with Paden City and the Cameron Dragons on May 12 there were 29 runs, 20 hits, 21 walks and several hit batsmen, with the home-standing Wildcats walking away with a 19-10 victory and moving on to the finals.
The ‘Cats drew first blood in the bottom of the first inning when Hayden Hizer doubled and scooted to third on a Levi Meadows single. Zach Heasley knocked in Hizer, while Meadows hustled to third. Heasley drew the throw from the Dragon catcher and Meadows went home for a successful double-steal. For the third run of the inning, Michael Wilcox singled home a run and Heasley scored when Kennedy Cain’s rip was mis-handled by Cameron defender.
With two outs, the Dragons would score seven runs on four hits and three walks to take the lead at 7-3.
The Dragon’s lead didn’t last very long, as the Boys in Green scored seven runs of their own in the bottom half, led by Issac Hall, who opened with a single. Hizer and the ‘Cats’ Craig Allen each drew walks to fill the bases. Meadows grounded out scoring Hall, then Luke Cooper drove in a pair with a single. Heasley then walked and Wilcox ripped a thunderous shot over the left field fence for his first-ever home run. Cain belted a double down the right field line and scored on Hall with a single up the gut.
Hizer struck out two Cameron batters in the third and finished with four strike outs and four free passes in his three innings of work to get the win.
Meadows opened the bottom half with a shot that went off the glove of the Cameron shortstop’s glove for an error. Meadows walked to third, and, after Cooper got a free pass, Heasley walked to load the bases. Cain ripped a double, scoring two, and Hall followed with a two-RBI double.
In addition, Craig Allen doubled off the left field fence for a double, knocking in Hall. After a Hizer walk, Meadows added a run-scoring single, Meadows swiped second in his fourth stolen base of the night. Cooper and Heasley each reached base on a Cameron miscue, scoring the final three Paden City runs and a 19-7 advantage after three innings of play.
Cooper came in relief of Hizer and hit the first batter he faced. After three straight walks that scored a run, there occurred one of the most bizarre double plays fans will ever see. With the bases juiced, the Cameron batter ripped a shot to Cooper on the mound for a force out. However, the catcher’s throw to first base went into the outfield, whereupon right fielder Andrew Dennis threw it home. The ball went to the backstop, where Wilcox tracked it down and tossed it to Cooper, who was covering the plate, to get the tag for the double play with only one run scoring on the play.
The next batter smacked an RBI single up the middle to give the visitors three runs in the inning that would finish all the scoring in the game.
The Dragons threatened in the sixth, but Meadows came in relief of Dennis, who had relieved Cooper, to put out the fire on one pitch – a double play come-backer to get out of a major pickle.
In the seventh, Meadows worked his magic once more, getting two more out on come backers and a harmless ground out to Hall at shortstop.