Overall, the Polar Bears are 0-8 in the title game, 0-7 under 24th-year coach Steve Naternicola.
"They're all tough when you come down here,'' Naternicola said. "We had the opportunity to score more runs, and we didn't. We can blame that on us. But this is the first time we've come down here and not made an error. That's probably a world record for us.''
Naternicola wanted to milk all the innings he could out of Strand, who went 52/3 innings Saturday after pitching four in Thursday's 10-inning win against Bridgeport.
"I took Andrew out because he was getting tired,'' Naternicola said, "and Matt wanted the ball. And they hit him. I knew they had trouble hitting lefties because when they played Sissonville [and Zach Null in the regional semifinal], that pitcher had nine strikeouts. So I tried to go with my lefty as much as I could.''
Things looked good for the Polar Bears through five innings, as their big fourth put them in control. They were helped by a pair of crazy plays that came back to back.
With runners at first and third and none out in a 1-1 game, Gage Hannah plopped down a bunt that landed a few feet in front of the plate. Scooter Farmer, Hoover's catcher, picked it up and went to tag pinch-runner Matthew Strand, who was sliding home. Strand was ruled safe, which was disputed by Farmer, who continued to sit on the ground holding the ball up even as the other runners advanced to second and third.
The next batter, Plivelich, hit a come-backer to Fields, trapping Skarzinski off third base and forcing a 1-2-5-1 rundown, with Fields applying the tag at home. On the play, Skarzinski was tossed for blasting into Fields, who came up throwing wildly to third, allowing two more runs to score.
However, after a lengthy delay, those runners were sent back to first and second as the play was ruled dead following Skarzinski's ejection.
"The official made the call, and evidently it was correct,'' Naternicola said. "I told [Skarzinski] to make contact with the guy in the baseline. I didn't know he was going to roll him over. He's used to playing football.''
Farmer watched the play develop on the rundown.
"He tried to lower his shoulder,'' Farmer said, "and then I don't know what happened. We threw him out, and he was out. All that matters now is that we won.''
After that, Bailey Mohr and Robbins donated RBI singles for Fairmont Senior, and the other run scored on an errant pickoff throw by Fields.
Admittedly, the Huskies were momentarily dazed, but certainly not confused, or even close to overwhelmed.
"We don't give up,'' said Fields, who started for a second straight game after leaving Thursday's contest when he took a batted ball off the leg in the first inning.
"We play until the final out. That's what we say every practice - we don't give up. We're not going to give up. You may have us down 10-0, but we're still going to try to win the game. And that's what we did. We stayed in the game and got hits.''
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.