Big Blue Best at Boggs
By ED PARSONS
Tyler Consolidated and Magnolia went at it Saturday evening in the fifth annual Boggs Wooden Bat Classic at TCHS. The Silver Knights were looking for their fourth straight championship win, but the Magnolia Blue Eagles said no and downed the Knights, 5-2, to get their first-ever win in the event. The tournament, which is played in honor of the late Matt Boggs – one of the Silver Knights’ all-time greats, drew a nice crowd in some great weather.
Magnolia got great pitching from junior hurler Jake Gamble, who struck out 12 and walked four in six innings to get the win. Senior Pat Mirandy tripled in his first at bat and later scored on an RBI groundout by Silas McKeever, for a 1-0 lead that would stand for three innings. In the top of the fourth the Blue Eagles brought two more across the plate and added single runs in the fifth and sixth for a 5-0 lead.
The Silver Knights got on the board in the bottom of the sixth when Tyler West drew a walk and moved to third on an infield grounder; he later stole home on a passed ball, but Gamble set the Knights down to make it 5-1 going into the final inning. The Knights managed another run in the seventh but it wasn’t enough, and the game was history.
“When I think of Matt Boggs, I think of my son Ryan,” Coach Dave Cisar said. “They both lost their lives around the same time.”
“But also knowing the Boggs family, it’s an honor for me to come here and talk to Mr. Boggs (the father of Matt Boggs) and just enjoy two of the most wonderful days in his honor.
It’s nice to win the game, but the function of this game is for memory, and my heart goes out to the Boggs family.”
“I had good jump on my fastball, and the curve was going good too,” Gamble said. “I just tried to stay composed and get the batter at the plate. It’s taken a lot of practice. I work with (John Marshall coach) Mark Cisar a lot. Coach Vance Ash and Coach Cisar keep me humble out there and tell me to get my release point, get my leg down and drive through.”
“You have to tip your hat to Jake Gamble,” Knights coach Robby Jones said. “He really kept us off balance, and he worked ahead.” He did all the things you teach your starting pitcher to do.”Tip your cap to Magnolia too. We always respect Dave Cisar and his program.”
Tyler West threw well for the Knights in a complete game, striking out four and walking three.
“This was a tough loss,”Jones said. “We’re now 5-1 in the Matt Boggs Wooden Bat Classic. Matt was a catcher here at Tyler and was a two-sport athlete. Everyone knew him. He was a very successful and caring person with a nice family, and we want to continue to honor him, and he is very deserving of that.”
On Saturday in the consolation round of the tournament Paden City came away with a big 9-2 victory over Frontier, riding the backs of seniors Matt Saxon and Trey Slider. Saxon picked up the win for the 12-8 Wildcats, throwing six innings and canning 13 batters along the way. Slider stepped up big at the plate, going 4-5 and knocking in two runs while scoring twice.
Clayton Thomas got a big hit in the fourth inning when he tripled to the fence in right/center, scoring a run. He also added a single for two hits on his day’s work and took the mound in the seventh to get the save. Alec Chaplin added two RBI, and Ryan Cross plated a run. The Wildcats finished with seven hits and no errors, while Frontier was held to five hits and committed three errors.
“We played good baseball today, and Matt Saxon threw extremely well. He had his curve ball working, and his control was great. I felt we had a letdown yesterday, but we bounced back and the kids came through with a great effort today. You never like to lose a game, but when you come back strong the next time it tells a lot about the character of the kids. I’m proud of them,” said Paden City coach Brent Croasmun.
Despite heavy rain early in the day, the weather cleared up, and the Matt Boggs Wooden Bat Classic was a go. The first game on Friday night featured Magnolia and Frontier with the Blue Eagles coming out on top, 10-3, to advance to the championship game on Saturday.
The second game was the one everyone was looking forward to, the matchup between Paden City and Tyler Consolidated. It turned out to be a dandy with both teams holding leads before the Silver Knights took advantage of some Wildcat errors and mistakes to score four runs in the last part of the fourth – taking a 6-4 lead that would be all they needed to advance to play Magnolia.
The Knights drew first blood when Gage Huffman walked, moved to second on a Wildcat error, and scored when Dylan Seckman doubled. The Wildcats’ Trey Slider struck out two of the next three batters to end the inning.
The ‘Cats went down in order in the second; however, Slider struck out the side in the bottom of the inning. In the top of the third the Wildcats got a game-tying run when Saxon walked and later scored on a sacrifice fly. Paden City sent seven batters to the plate but left three stranded in the inning.
The tie was short lived as the Knights countered with a Huffman single and stolen base. He later scored on a sacrifice fly to break the tie, going into the fourth up 2-1. In the top of the fourth the Wildcats scored three times to go up, 4-2. Saxon singled; Slider walked, and Jordan Stackpole got an RBI single to score Saxon and Slider. Ryan Cross then got an RBI single to bring home Stackpole. With no outs and Cross on base, Tyler set down the next three batters to go into the bottom of the inning down two.
The Knights got a lead-off single from Seckman and went on to plate four runs in the inning to take a 6-4 lead. Chase Landis also singled in the inning for an RBI, while Creed Ammons and Garrett Ammons both walked and scored. They added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Noah Smith doubled and later scored on a passed ball.
Seckman picked up the win over the last 3.1 innings, striking out four and walking two. Smith threw the first 3.2 innings, striking out eight and walking three. Paden City’s Slider threw five innings and suffered the loss, despite fanning 12 batters and issuing only two walks.
“Noah Smith and Dylan Seckman pitched well for us. They threw the ball over the plate and gave us a chance. We were able to scratch out enough runs against a tough lefty in Trey Slider. Our hitting with runners in scoring position has been improving as the season goes on,” Coach Robby Jones said.