Midland, Hurricane to meet in MSAC final
HURRICANE -- There's never a dull matchup when Huntington High and Cabell Midland meet, and Monday's semifinal in the Mountain State Athletic Conference baseball tournament was no exception.
Cabell Midland's Taylor Kuhn scored the game-winning run on a pair of errors by the Highlanders and Seth Kinker got Huntington High slugger Joey Mundy to ground back to the pitcher with the tying run aboard to end the Knights' 4-3 win.
"It's never dang easy," Cabell Midland coach Tracy Brumfield said.
Hurricane defeated Spring Valley, 5-2, in the nightcap.
Cabell Midland moves into the championship Tuesday when the Knights take on Hurricane in a game that will begin about 40 minutes after completion of the 5 p.m. consolation game between Huntington High and Spring Valley.
Kuhn's game-winning run came on a stolen base attempt that ended up with a pair of miscues sending him home. The throw from Huntington High catcher Mark Shaver got past a pair of Highlanders at second base and went into center field. Kuhn broke for third and the throw from center fielder Ronnie Musick went out of play, allowing Kuhn to score.
"You sit there and you wonder, 'Do you send him,'" Brumfield said. "Sometimes, it's better to be lucky than good, I guess."
Huntington High coach Danny Harbert said the play showed just how tight the matchup between the teams is. The teams had split two games in the regular season.
"One little mistake in a game that close can cost you the game," Harbert said. "I thought Mark threw a good ball to second and no one was there. That was a tough play because we get the out there and we go to bat with a different mindset with it being tied instead of being down one."
Still, the game was in the balance as Musick collected his third hit of the day to put the tying run on base for Huntington High in the bottom of the seventh with clean-up hitter Mundy coming to the plate. Kinker got the best of Mundy on a harmless grounder back to the mound to end the game.
Huntington High had just three hits, all by Musick.
Cabell Midland did a solid job of hitting the baseball, especially to the opposite field. Of the Knights' nine hits, seven were to right field.
"If they are going to throw it out there, leave it out there and take what they give you," Brumfield said. "That's what we did."
The run came after Huntington High had knotted the game on an unearned run of its own with two outs in the bottom of the sixth.
Stephen Holland reached on an error advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and then scored when a grounder by Jordan Turner slipped past shortstop Cole Tilley.
Cabell Midland never trailed in the contest and took the lead in third inning after squandering a pair of early opportunities.
Kuhn was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored for the Knights while Bryton Jobe was 2-for-3 with a two-run home run and a double.
HURRICANE 5, SPRING VALLEY 2: Tate Brock finished 2-for-3 with a home run and a double to lead Hurricane.
Brock led off the second inning with a homer before a pair of errors produced two-out runs in the Redskins' three-run inning.
Hurricane got eight of its nine hits with two outs in an inning.
"An inning is never over until the third out," Hurricane coach Brian Sutphin said. "There's crazy things that happen in high school baseball. There are no routine plays or innings. That's why it's fun."
Austin Hensley pitched a complete game for the Redskins, allowing just four hits.
Spring Valley's Kaleb Frye was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI while Billy Evans was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
CABELL MIDLAND 002 010 1 -- 4 9 2
HUNTINGTON HIGH 000 201 0 -- 3 3 4
Hayes, Kinker (5) and Elkins. Smith and Shaver.
Hitting: (CM) Jobe 2-3, 2B, HR, 2 RBIs; Kuhn 2-3; Canterbury 2B, RBI. (Hun) Musick 3-4; Turner RBI.
SPRING VALLEY 000 101 0 -- 2 4 3
HURRICANE 030 200 x -- 5 9 4
Radcliffe, Meade (5) and Frye. Hensley and Brock.
Hitting: (SV) Frye 2-3, 2B, RBI; Evans 2-3, RBI. (Hur) Brock Brock 2-3, 2B, HR, RBI; Dawson RBI; Dunham RBI; Pate 2-3, 2B, RBI.