First district title since 2007 Wayne County Cardinals take 48th District championship 7-6 over Southwestern
May 29, 2012 (Menafn - The Wayne County Outlook - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --The Wayne County Cardinals met rival Southwestern last Wednesday night at Cardinal Field, in the championship game of the 48th District Tournament.
The Cards advanced into the matchup with an impressive 21-1 win over Monticello, on Monday night, while Southwestern rallied for a 5-4 home win over McCreary Central in the other opening round contest.
Wayne County entered with a 17-14 overall mark and gained home-field advantage with a tie breaker coin-flip.
The Warriors owned the third best record in the 12th Region with a
25-12 mark and had bested the Cards in four straight 48th District Tournament matchups, dating back to 2008.
The teams split the regular season games, as Southwestern claimed a
2-1 home decision on April 10 and Wayne County repaid the favor nine days later with a 7-6 home win. The Cards were seeking their first district crown since 2007.
The game was backed up a day due to the weather, but the wait was worth it for the Cardinal Nation as Dagan Shelton laced the go-ahead 2-run double with 2 outs in the bottom of the 6th inning and Landon Hutchison wrapped-up his second win of the tournament with 2 scoreless innings on the mound, to pace Wayne County to a 7-6 championship win.
"This was a great comeback win for our kids, this game was back and forth, but give our kids credit they refused to quit and this was a total team effort. Dagan provided the offensive hit, but our bottom of the order really stepped up and executed the bunt game when we had to have it, plus Landon pitched five scoreless innings in the tournament without giving up a hit," said Cardinals head coach Shane Blevins.
Shelton a junior finished 2 for 4 at the plate with 2 RBIs and
pitched 3 innings of 3 run baseball in relief of Kyle Gehring.
Gehring also a junior started the game and pitched 2 innings allowing
2 runs, while adding a 1-3 offensive effort with a walk and 2 RBIs.
"Kyle started on the mound and after he left there played first, second and third base, so without saying his versatility is a big key for our team. Also credit our defense. Steven Hall and Tanner Bell recorded 11 put outs in the outfield and our middle infield play was sharp, which was another big key," said Blevins.
Freshman Tanner Bell finished a perfect 3 for 3 offensive night with a run scored and a walk, while Landon Hutchison, Ryan Cravens, Colton Hatfield, Steven Hall and Ryan Corder all added a hit each.
"Everyone stepped up and we had six or seven guys that could've been all-tournament selections, so I'm just so proud of the way we won this game as a team. I can't say enough about our two seniors Ryan Cravens and Zach Doss. Both of those guys have been in our program for four years and contributed, so to send them out at home with a district championship is certainly special. I don't think we're done yet and we look forward to the challenge of the 12th Region Tournament, at Danville," said Blevins.
Southwestern, which dropped to 25-13, was paced by the 5.7 innings of Bradley Logsdon on the mound. The senior scattered 11 hits and 4 walks with 4 strikeouts, allowing 7 runs, while junior Thomas Howard led the offense with a 3 for 4 effort and 2 RBIs, as a trio of Warriors added one hit each.
"Southwestern certainly has a very nice team and an excellent program. We've played three times this year and all three games have been decided by one run, so it's certainly good to be on the right side of this one. This certainly was a battle that our kids can be proud of," said Blevins.
Dagan Shelton, Kyle Gehring, Landon Hutchison and Tanner Bell all were named to the All-Tournament team at the conclusion of the championship game.
"All the guys were certainly very deserving so we're very proud of them, but as I mentioned earlier we had so many guys step up, this was a team effort," said Blevins.
Wayne County opens play Memorial Day in the 12th Region Tournament, at Danville High School and check next week's Outlook for all the details.
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