Midland wins MSAC
HURRICANE — Battles in the Mountain State Athletic Conference baseball championship between Cabell Midland and Hurricane are certainly nothing out of the ordinary.
And it’s that type of scenario Cabell Midland’s Seth Kinker lives for.
Kinker drove in the game-winning runs with a two-out, two-run single in the top of the fifth inning, then closed out the final two innings to give the Knights a 4-2 win and the MSAC title Tuesday night.
“We have nothing to lose,” Kinker said. “No one gives us any respect this year at all. We were great two years ago and we’ve had a couple of down years, but we’re still a darn good ball team. We’re Midland. We’re going to play you hard.
“I told (Cabell Midland) coach (Tracy) Brumfield that if we got up today, I wanted the ball. He trusts me and I trust him. He makes the call, but he knows I want the ball in that spot.”
Kinker’s hit was part of a four-run fifth inning that helped Cabell Midland (16-10) overcome an early 2-0 deficit.
Freshman Cole Tilley came up with runners on second and third and one out. Facing a 1-2 count, Tilley rapped a single into center field to knot the game 2-2.
“I tried to give him bunt before that and he didn’t get it and it put two strikes on that,” Brumfield said. “For a freshman to come up in that situation against the biggest rival, down two and get a two-run hit like that, that’s clutch.”
With renewed energy, the Knights’ focus came alive. After Hurricane pitcher Connor Adams got a strikeout for the second out, back-to-back walks loaded the bases for Kinker, who sent a 2-1 pitch past the mound and into center field to score Tilley and Jacob Beahrs.
The Redskins immediately jumped out to a lead as leadoff hitter Trey Dawson singled and scored on three consecutive walks from Cabell Midland starter Derek Adkins.
Riley Metz later scored on an RBI fielder’s choice from Ace Estep to forge the early two-run lead.
After the two-run first and a leadoff single from J.T. Rogoszewski to lead off the second, the Redskins did not have another hit in the contest.
They did have several baserunners due to seven walks, but no damage after that as Cabell Midland’s defense did the job in behind Adkins.
“Derek threw a hell of a game,” Brumfield said. “If you give up two hits to Hurricane — the No. 1 team in the state — that’s a great job. Kinker came in and closed it and the defense didn’t commit any errors in behind us.”
For Hurricane, Trey Dawson came in after Kinker’s single and struck out six of seven batters he faced.
CABELL MIDLAND 000 040 0 — 4 4 0
HURRICANE 200 000 0 — 2 2 0
Adkins, Kinker (6) and Elkins. Adams, Dawson (5) and Brock.
Hitting: (CM) Kinker 2-3, 2 RBIs; Tilley 2 RBIs. (H) Adams RBI; Estep RBI.
HUNTINGTON HIGH 16, SPRING VALLEY 14: Another day, another game down to the final out for Huntington High.
In a game that featured 30 runs and 36 hits, Huntington High was able to get the pitch it needed in the seventh inning to get out of a jam and earn a 16-14 slugfest win over Spring Valley in the MSAC consolation game.
The Highlanders led 16-11 going to the seventh after plating three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. Those proved pivotal as Spring Valley made a rally in its final at-bat to have the tying run in scoring position.
Trailing by five, the Timberwolves got a two-run double by Greg Herbert to pull within 16-13 before an RBI single by Zack Harbey reduced the led to two. After a pair of singles loaded the bases, Huntington High reliever Chase Ashworth – the Highlanders’ fifth pitcher of the day – got a flyout by Kaleb Frye to end it.
It ended a crazy game in which a run was scored in each frame after the bottom of the second inning.
Spring Valley jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the third and led 6-2 before the Highlanders exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 10-6 lead.
Spring Valley’s Elijah Wellman set the stage for the exciting finish when he launched a grand slam to tie the game at 10 with two outs in the top of the fifth.
Huntington High’s Hunter Smith added a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the frame to give the Highlanders the lead for good.
Smith finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs while Joey Mundy finished 3-for-4 with two RBI for the Highlanders, who also got three hits for the second-straight night from Ronnie Musick.
Herbert finished 3-for-4 with a double and triple and three RBIs, but had to feel a bit unlucky in the game. Both his extra-base hits totaled about 700 feet and hit off the top of the wall, missing going out of the park by a total of about four feet.
Wellman also collected three hits, including the grand slam while Colby Webb was 4-for-5 with a double and an RBI in the loss.
SPRING VALLEY 023 141 3 — 14 20 3
HUNTINGTON HIGH 002 824 x — 16 16 3
Steele, Hamm (4), Kelly (4), Harvey (6) and Radcliffe, Frye (5). Aulick, Haikal (4), Settle (6), Ashworth (7) and Shaver.
Hitting: (SV) Frye 2-5; Wellman 3-5, HR, 4 RBIs; Webb 4-5, 2B, RBI; Evans 3-5, 2B, Herbert 3-4, 2B, 3B, 3 RBIs; Brewer 2-3; Harvey RBI. (HH) Musick 3-5; Miller 2B, 2 RBIs; Mundy 3-4, 2 RBIs; Smith 3-5, 2B, 3 RBIs; Turner 2-3, 2B, RBI; Gibson 2-3, 2B, 2 RBIs; Shaver RBI; Brunetti 2B, RBI.