Hurricane advances to Carter Memorial title game against South
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- "Survive and advance" is a motto usually saved for college basketball tournaments, Hurricane's baseball team more than lived up to that strategy on Friday.
The Redskins sweated out a 4-3 win over Riverside early in the day, then with the help of six George Washington errors rallied past the Patriots in the nightcap 6-4 to claim a spot in the Ed Carter Memorial Tournament championship game.
The tournament consisted of two pods of three teams with St. Albans, Independence and Parkersburg South playing at St. Albans on Friday. All three teams finished at 1-1, but South emerged from that trio based on run differential and will face the Redskins at approximately 5 p.m. today in St. Albans.
GW will meet Independence in the third-place game at 11 a.m. (because of prom considerations), while Riverside and St. Albans will square off around 2 p.m. in the fifth-place contest.
George Washington pitcher Grant Wooten held the Redskins (13-2) hitless over the first three innings Friday and the Patriots built a 2-1 lead by the end of five.
But after Hurricane's J.T. Rogoszewski tied the game in the top of the sixth after doubling and scoring on an Austin Hensley single, the wheels fell off for GW (10-6), which committed four errors to go with a pair of Hurricane hits in the seventh.
The result was four Hurricane runs and a 6-2 lead and not even a Garrett Vogelbach two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh could save the Patriots.
It was one of those rare cases where neither coach was particularly happy after the game. While any coach will take two wins in one day, Hurricane's effort left a little to be desired in coach Brian Sutphin's book.
"Doubleheaders are not easy, but right now, we just pick and choose when we want to play hard and it's not fun until they give it all they've got," Sutphin said. "I know I'm not grading easy, but baseball is a game that's meant to be played full throttle. It's so much more enjoyable when you're willing to go all the way and right now, we just seem to pick and choose when we want to play hard.
"[GW] seemed a lot more enthusiastic to play baseball than our kids. They played at 1 o' clock and had to sit. If we want to be a good ballclub, you can't pick and choose when to play hard."
Patriots coach Chad Campbell wasn't particularly thrilled with his troops, either.
"We've got to make the plays defensively," Campbell said. "That's what got us tonight - six errors. I think almost every run they scored was off errors. We had two outs in the [seventh] inning, nobody on base, and we just have to execute those plays. To beat teams like this you've got to make the plays. You can't make errors and still expect to win."
GW missed a golden opportunity to stretch its lead in the bottom of the fifth.
No. 9 hitter Robbie Mounts led off the inning with a single and after John Thomas struck out, Vogelbach and Clayton Anderson each walked to load the bases with one out.
Cleanup hitter Connor Moffatt laced a line drive that was headed for left field until Hurricane third baseman Brandon Pauley stabbed it out of the air and nearly turned a double play. After Austin Griffith stuck out swinging in the next at bat, Hurricane was suddenly out of a jam and you could feel the air go out of GW's sails a bit.
Credit Hurricane pitcher Hensley, who threw five innings after throwing in the first game as well.
He limited GW to two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks while striking out six.
"First of all, he throws about 25 pitches in the first game, and then you sit an hour," Sutphin said. "He never was really loose in the first game and he kind of started off [in the second game] with better stuff than he had in the first game and I thought he really sucked it up."
Hensley also had the only multi-hit effort for the Redskins, going 2 for 2. Anderson had an RBI triple and went 2 for 3 to lead GW, and Griffith went 2 for 4 with a double.
Other Ed Carter games
"Basically, we ran out of pitching,'' said Red Dragons coach Rick Whitman. His team committed five errors that led to several Indy runs.
Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, email@example.com, or follow him at twitter.com/RPritt.