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SC finally wraps up baseball sectional

BUFFALO - For South Charleston, it finally came together at the right time.

Jerod Jobst fired a five-inning three-hitter with seven strikeouts and Cole Lanier headed a 14-hit attack by going 4 for 4 Friday evening as the Black Eagles scorched their way to a 15-2 victory over George Washington to wrap up the Class AAA Region 3 Section 3 title.

"We knew we had to win or go home,'' Jobst said, "so we had to produce, and luckily enough, everything was working.''

Besides Jobst's sharp pitching and the hitting onslaught, SC (16-13) played errorless ball. One of the runs for GW (21-12) was a gift - Jobst dropped the ball on the mound before delivering a pitch, resulting in a balk to allow a runner to score from third.

"We knew we had Jobst coming back with rest,'' said Black Eagles coach Ken Samms, "and we hit the ball and we made the plays. Any time you play GW, you've got to bring your 'A' game.''

SC piled up four runs in the first inning, three in the second, five in the third and three more in the fourth against a trio of Patriots pitchers. Meanwhile, GW managed only one run-scoring hit, a single by Austin Griffith in the fourth to plate Clayton Anderson, who had doubled.

Meanwhile, five different Black Eagle had multiple hits, led by Lanier, a freshman designated hitter who also drove in three runs.

"I've just been working on it,'' Lanier said, "but when it comes down to it, the team did well today. It wasn't just me. It was a team effort.''

Jonathan Cline, Antonio Brown, Jonathan Pauley and Zach Wright each added a pair of hits for SC and Austin Santrock also drove in three runs. Brown had two RBIs.

"You get that kind of pitching,'' Samms said, "and that kind of hitting, and there's nothing we can't do. This bunch has gotten better every game - and I told them that afterward. I've been preaching that to them, and I knew the sticks would come around. Hopefully, they stay around Monday against Riverside and into the state tournament.''

SC hosts Riverside at 6 p.m. Monday in the Region 3 semifinals.

The Patriots helped pave their own demise with four errors. All four runs in the first off Austin Henrich were unearned.

"They probably couldn't play any better than that,'' said GW coach Chad Campbell, "and we couldn't play any worse. Even a couple errors doesn't change the scope of the game the way they were hitting. You give up that many hits and it's hard to win the ballgame. Hats off to them.

"But our guys have had a lot of adversity this year, and I told them that after the game. Our right fielder [Anderson] could only DH [because of a torn labrum], our catcher [Connor Moffatt] is hurt behind the plate and not having Jeff [Wong] on the mound hurt us. Stuff like that's been going on all year. It's not an excuse, but we haven't had our starting lineup, and we've won with that lineup out there.''

For SC, the sectional title offers up the chance to make amends for last season's regional semifinal loss to Riverside.

"It's wonderful, and I'm glad it's happening with this team,'' Jobst said. "I like everybody on here, and hopefully we can win that [game].''

"I'll tell you what,'' Lanier said, "we worked hard all year and it's just going to be great from here. We're going at it full throttle.''

Friday's oft-delayed game was shifted to the turf field at Buffalo High School because of the threat of thunderstorms. Two minutes after the game ended, it poured.

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


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