Gibson throws no-hitter at Jack Cook Wooden Bat Classic
HUNTINGTON -- Huntington High's Daniel Jones and Ben Gibson had memorable moments in the first round of the Jack Cook Wooden Bat Tournament on a chilly Friday night at Cook-Holbrook Field.
Jack Cook, the former baseball coach at (old) Huntington High and Marshall University, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Jones rapped two doubles and drove in two runs, his first varsity hits and RBIs, to help the Highlanders blank Cross Lanes Christian, 10-0, in the first game. On the mound, Gibson tossed a five-inning no-hitter, a high school first for the right-hander. He threw 72 pitches, fanned seven and allowed just one ball out of the infield.
Huntington's win sets up a title game matchup Saturday against Morgantown, which knocked off Huntington St. Joe, 14-1, in the second mercy-rule game. Mohigans left-hander Michael Goodwin allowed just one hit in five innings and picked three runners off at first.
Cross Lanes and St. Joe (6-7) will meet in the consolation game at noon. Huntington High (14-6) and Morgantown (11-4) will meet in game two.
"I knew," Gibson said of taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning. "I was a little nervous. I just tried to push through it." Gibson struck out the three Warriors he faced in the fifth to secure the school's first no-hitter since Trace Dempsey turned the trick against Woodrow Wilson in his junior year.
Jones struck out in his first at-bat. The next two times up, he lined a double down the left-field line and a drive into the gap in left center for the second two-bagger.
"I wasn't happy," Jones said of striking out. "I was going after that first fastball."
Jones got the call in left field as Andrew Zban sat out. "It was worth it," Jones said of waiting for and then seizing the moment when it came.
Highlanders coach Danny Harbert was happy to see Jones and Gibson come through when they got the call.
"It's great for the kids," Harbert said. "Daniel's a program guy 100 percent. He's for the team whether he plays or not. I'm proud of Ben. He did a good job of throwing strikes. He had several 3-2 counts and got the batters."
The title game provides quite the setup for Harbert. He played at Morgantown and later served as an assistant coach for the Mohigans.
Connor Leone got Morgantown rolling in the nightcap when he led off the first with a home run over the fence in right. He knocked in two runs as did Nick Colasante and Blaine Stewart. Alex Weidman led the Mohigans with a double and triple and three RBIs.
"He's had a real good year," Morgantown coach Mark McCarty said of Leone. "We've been swinging the bats like that all year. The main problem's been on the mound when we lose."
The Mohigans put the game away in the top of the fifth when they sent 13 batters to the plate and scored 10 times. The Irish commited four errors in that inning as well.
Jonathan Armstead had St. Joe's lone hit, a single in the second.
CROSS LANES CHRISTIAN 000 00 -- 0 0 1
HUNTINGTON HIGH 046 0x -- 10 9 0
McQuain and Dolin; Gibson and Shaver, Fulks (4).
Hitting: (H) Turner 2-3, RBI; Musick RBI, Mundy 2-2, RBI; Jones 2-3, 2 2B, 2 RBIs; Miller 2-2, 2 RBIs; Shaver RBI.
MORGANTOWN 220 0(10) -- 14 11 1
HUNTINGTON ST. JOE 010 00 -- 0 1 4
Goodwin and Leone; Adkins, Vanston (2) and Rabel.
Hitting: (M) Leone 2-4, HR, 2 RBIs; Colasante 2-4, 2B, 2 RBIs; Commodore 2-2, Weidman 3-4, 2B, 3B, 3 RBIs; Stewart 2-3, 2B, 2 RBIs.