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Logan downs GW on 'worst no-hitter'

Chip Ellis
George Washington's Alex Levitan is tagged out by Logan's Zach Minnick while trying to steal second base in the Class AAA sectional opener at GW. The Wildcats won 6-2.

Logan's pitching and defense giveth and it taketh away. Unfortunately for George Washington, the Wildcats taketh away much more than they giveth.

Cody Frye worked five scoreless innings of relief and combined with Zach Minnick on an unconventional no-hitter Monday night, leading Logan to a 6-2 victory over GW in a Class AAA sectional opener at Floyd B. Wilcox Field.

The Wildcats broke a 2-all tie with a pair of unearned runs in the top of the sixth against GW ace Joe Wong (5-3).

Logan (20-5), the No. 8 team in the Gazette's AAA state ratings, turned four double plays against the host Patriots (16-13), caught a runner stealing at second and saw second baseman Trace Butcher pull a defensive gem with a diving stab that nearly brought another twin killing.

"Four double plays - that's unreal,'' said Logan coach Roger Gertz. "We usually don't get one, two a year. To get four in a game and we were close to having a fifth one. We did a lot of good things, and they gave us a lot. But I'll take a 6-2 win any day of the week.''

GW certainly had enough opportunities despite being no-hit. The Patriots saw a dozen batters reach base in some manner - six on walks, three were hit by pitches and three more on Wildcat errors.

Logan, however, turned double plays in the first (to get out of a bases-loaded jam), second, fifth and seventh.

"That had to be the worst no-hitter in the history of baseball,'' Gertz said. "We were lucky we didn't get down by more [than 2-1] in the first. That double play got us out of that [jam].''

GW took a 2-1 lead on an erratic Minnick in the first, using three walks, a hit batter and an error. Minnick (4-1) only lasted two innings before giving way to Frye (7-1), who fanned four and walked two.

"Minnick didn't have much tonight,'' Gertz said. "He threw the ball outstanding against Nitro [a two-hit shutout Thursday] and maybe he didn't have enough rest. I probably didn't use very good judgment there. I probably used him more than I should have against Nitro.

"Frye has been sick with strep throat and didn't come to school today. He spent all day at the community college checking out their nursing program. With him being sick, we decided to go to Minnick, then bring him in if [we had to]. We weren't going to show him to them and waste pitches, and of course it might hurt us on the back end of this now. But then again it may rain tomorrow and give us another day.''

Logan hosts South Charleston (7-23) tonight as each team gets a home game in the three-team Region 3 Section 3 event.

GW's Wong pitched decently at times, with 11 strikeouts and three walks in a 133-pitch outing, but allowed 10 hits and was betrayed by his defense at some key moments.

In the top of the sixth, with the score tied at 2, Logan put runners on the corners with none out as Alex Mareske doubled and Matthew Greene's sacrifice bunt was so good that it earned him a single.

Logan tried a squeeze bunt but it nearly backfired as the pitch was missed and Mareske was caught off third. Catcher Alex Levitan fired wildly on the ensuing rundown and Mareske scampered home for a 3-2 lead. Greene would also be caught off third a few moments later and got trapped in another rundown, but beat the throw home to make it 4-2.

GW got only one runner as far as third against Frye, but Clayton Anderson was stranded there when Connor Moffatt grounded to Butcher at second.

"You get no hits, you're not going to win,'' said Patriots coach Chad Campbell. "You don't deserve to win.

"It's one of those things. We hit the ball hard a couple times. We just hit it right at them. We drew some walks and got up 2-1, but when it's 2-2 and we give them two runs, that changed the whole game.''

Campbell credited Logan's defense with turning the game around.

"It's been a long time since I've heard of four double plays in one game,'' he said. "That will kill you. And the double plays were coming at the bottom of the order, so we couldn't turn over the order to our guys at the top with runners on base. They're not your typical Logan team with an ace on the mound and huge sticks in the lineup, but they are sound. They make every play. Give them credit.

"We've been here before, though. We've lost the first one three years in a row, then won two in a row and took it to a third game. It's going to be difficult. We've got to hope for some rain.''

Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickryan@wvgazette.com.

 


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