Sam McKown scored the winning run on a failed suicide squeeze bunt in the top of the sixth inning Saturday as Charleston Catholic captured its Class A sectional baseball series against Man with a 6-5 victory at Chapmanville.
The Region 4 Section 2 win sends Catholic (27-7), the No. 2 team in the Gazette's state ratings, into a May 24 bout with Wahama in the regional semifinals.
The Irish needed to rally after the No. 8 Hillbillies (19-13) had taken a 5-2 lead with a five-run uprising in the bottom of the fifth. Braden Griffin's three-run double was the key hit in the inning.
"We just got together,'' said Catholic coach Bill Mehle, "and said we've got to turn around and have patient at-bats. Everybody remained patient and looked for something good to hit.''
Nelson McKown led off the Irish sixth with a double and scored on Kiefer Hovorka's single, and Hovorka tallied on Andy Hoyer's double to make it 5-4. Drew Cable's RBI single brought Catholic within a run and Thad Jameson's single put runners at first and third.
With Sam McKown running for Cable, Mehle called for a suicide squeeze bunt on an 0-1 count to Dominic Rendinell. The pitch from Griffin was high and Rendinell ended up ducking out of the way and the ball eluded the catcher and went to the backstop as Sam McKown scored.
"Sometimes you need a little bit of luck,'' Mehle said.
Connor Golden (4-3) won the game after coming on in relief during Man's big fifth. Andy Hoyer earned the save with a 1-2-3 seventh. Nelson McKown (2-for-4, two doubles, two RBIs) led the Irish hitting.
For the Billies, Jacob Riggins and Jordan Simpson each donated two hits.