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Redskins storm into MSAC finals

By Tommy Atkinson, Staff writer
LAWRENCE PIERCE | Gazette
Hurricane’s Austin Hensley dives safely back to first base on a pickoff throw to Parkersburg’s Levi Casto.

HURRICANE — The last time Hurricane faced Parkersburg at home, the Redskins’ Trey Dawson and J.T. Rogoszewski weren’t factors.

The two carried the load Monday evening as Dawson drove in four runs and Rogoszewski fired a two-hit shutout and struck out eight in top-seeded Hurricane’s 10-0 five-inning victory over No. 4 Parkersburg in the semifinals of the Mountain State Athletic Confernece tournament at Lola Meeks Memorial Field at Hurricane High School.

Stephen Holland tossed a four-hitter with six strikeouts as No. 3 Huntington pulled away with a 5-1 win over No. 2 Cabell Midland in the other semifinal Monday. The Redskins (18-5), who are No. 1 in this week’s Class AAA state rankings, will face No. 3 Huntington (16-8) at 7 tonight in the championship game. No. 2 Cabell Midland (12-10) will take on Parkersburg (10-12) at 5 p.m. today in the consolation game.

Parkersburg squeezed out a 5-4 victory at Hurricane on April 22 with Dawson sitting out with an illness and Rogoszewski getting tagged with the loss.

“It was good for Rogo,’’ said Dawson of Monday’s win. “He was chucking from the get-go. We had to back him up and that was our main focus. Just get runs for him. He was pitching that great. Whenever he’s pitching like that, just do whatever you can for the team.

“I think we had a lack of energy in that first game. This time with MSACs we wanted to get a little redemption on these guys. We’re starting to see the ball, playing great defense and our pitching is good as always. We’re finally coming together at the right time.’’

With Rogoszewski dealing, setting down the Big Reds in order three of the five innings, the Redskins’ offense finally broke loose in the third and fourth innings.

Hurricane’s Rogoszewski and Tate Brock each singled in a run with one out in the bottom of the third and Brandon Pauley came through with a two-out RBI double for a 4-0 advantage. In the fourth, the Redskins sent 11 batters to the plate in scoring five runs for a 9-0 lead behind Dawson’s three-run double off the base of the left-field wall and Pauley’s two-out, two-run single up the middle. Dawson then invoked the mercy rule with an RBI single with none out in the bottom of the fifth.

“They’re better hitters,’’ said Hurricane assistant coach Billy Biggs of the Redskins, who have won eight of their last nine. “They’re slowing everything down and trusting themselves.

“It’s good to come out here and especially against a team that hit Rogo around a little bit last time. I thought he did a good job keeping the ball down and staying aggressive with his fastball. When you battle like that you’re going to give your team a chance.’’

Logan Dudley and Levi Casto each singled for Parkersburg.

Hurricane was scheduled to visit Huntington in late March, but the game was rained out.

“Huntington’s a great team,’’ Dawson said. “They can hit the ball. We’re going to have to bring out defense and have a lot of energy to win that game.’’

Huntington 5, Midland 1

Joey Mundy drove in a pair of runs and Jack Brunetti went 2 for 3 with a double for the Highlanders. Taylor Kuhn had a pair of hits for Midland.

Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkinson@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.


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