HHS beats Morgantown, 8-5
HUNTINGTON -- Morgantown had scored four runs in the fifth inning and had the tying run at second. Huntington High baseball coach Danny Harbert elected to pull starter Kris Vancamp and summon Isaiah Settle from the bullpen. The message: get this batter out.
Settle did, inducing Alex Weidman to ground out to second to end the rally and keep the Highlanders on top, 5-4. They started the inning with a 5-0 lead.
Huntington High then pushed across three runs in the bottom of the fifth to secure an 8-5 victory in the championship game in the Jack Cook Wooden Bat Classic on a windy Saturday afternoon at Cook-Holbrook Field.
"Keep the ball down and throw strikes," Settle said. "I got the job done. It felt good."
Huntington St. Joe topped Cross Lanes Christian, 12-2, in the consolation game.
The Huntington Highlanders (15-6) struck for four runs in the fourth to open the 5-0 lead. Ronnie Musick, following a bunt by Ben Haikal to move runners to second and third, singled up the middle to drive home Matt Miller and Mark Shaver. Hunter Smith brought home a run with a bloop single to left and Ben Fulks got the fourth in with a well-executed bunt.
For the game, seven of Huntington's 14 hits were of the infield variety (bunt, swinging bunt or well placed grounders).
"We bunted and fielded well," Harbert said. "We manufactured runs."
The Mohigans (11-5) finally came to life in the fifth. Tyler Shorter smacked a double, Ryan Antonini walked and Connor Leone followed with a single to load the bases. Two batters later, Shane Commodore unloaded a fly to deep left that hit high off the wall to bring home three runs. After Albie Eddy's RBI single, Harbert made the pitching change.
"Kris got a little tired," Harbert said. "Isaiah did a great job. He comes in, throws strikes and lets the defense work." Settle retired seven of the nine batters he faced.
Commodore led the Mohigans with four RBI.
Smith and Musick each knocked in two for the Highlanders. Musick enjoyed a 4-hit day.
The win was extra sweet for Harbert. He played high school ball at Morgantown and later served as an assistant coach for the Mohigans.
"It's kind of cool," Harbert said. "To coach and play for them and have them down here is special. They've got a solid team."
Huntington's next game is Monday at Lawrence County.
St. Joe pushed across seven runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to mercy Cross Lanes Christian for the second time this season. Ben Vanston knocked in three runs for the Irish (7-7) and Brian Conaty added two RBI. Winning pitcher Torin Walters fanned seven Warriors.
St. Joe returns to action Monday at home against Tug Valley. Game time is 5 p.m.
MORGANTOWN 000 040 1 -- 5 71
HUNTINGTON HIGH 100 430 x -- 8 14 3
Gallagher, Donnelly (5), Hames (6) and Leone; Vancamp, Settle (5) and Shaver.
Hitting: (M) Leone 2-4, 2B; Commodore 2B, 4 RBI; Eddy 2-4, RBI; (H) Musick 4-5, 2 RBI; Mundy RBI, Holland 2-4, RBI; Smith 2 RBI, Zban RBI, Fulks RBI, Miller 2-4, Shaver 2-3.
CROSS LANES CHRISTIAN 000 20 -- 2 6 5
HUNTINGTON ST. JOE 140 07 -- 12 11 1
George, Dolin (5) and Pauley; Walters and Rabel.
Hitting: (CLC) McQuain 2-3, 2B; Jeffery 2 RBI, Dolin 2B; (SJ) Jenkins 2-2, Vanston 2-3, 3 RBI; Conaty 2-3, 2 RBI.