Morgantown downs Warriors in OVAC semifinal
WHEELING, W.Va. — After a recent hot streak the Warren Warriors found themselves in the 5A Ohio Valley Athletic Conference semifinals Saturday against the top-seeded Morgantown Mohigans.
Unfortunately for the Warriors they came up short in one of the better pitching duels you will see in a high school game. Senior Kurt Taylor was on the losing end of a 1-0 defensive battle. The Warren starter went 6 strong innings allowing only two hits striking out six and walking four. The Mohigans starter Quincy Thornton went all seven for the host throwing a complete game no hitter with one walk and one hit batter.
While the Warriors couldn’t get anything going at the plate they were led by some excellent defense in the field behind Taylor. After a leadoff walk in the first the Mohigans hit a ground ball to third baseman Derek McAfee who threw to first for the out. On the play they attempted to advance to third on the throw but first baseman Caleb Davis fired back to McAfee for the rare 5-3-5 double play. Taylor struck out the next batter to end the inning.
Morgantown threatened in the bottom of the third when the second batter up hit a high fly ball to left that was misplayed by the Warren outfielder resulting in a double. Taylor walked the next two and the bases were loaded with one out. Fortunately for Warren, Taylor got the next two batters to hit infield pop outs to end the threat. The Warriors were retired in order in the third through sixth innings.
The Mohigans had another chance to pose a threat in the bottom of the fourth when lead off batter Zach Brennan hit a leadoff single and was sac bunted over to second. The next batter hit a sharp line drive to Dalton Higgins in center field, who fired a strike to second to double up Brennan who was attempting to steal on the pitch and couldn’t get back in time.
The fifth inning proved to be costly for the visiting Warriors as the leadoff batter drew a walk and was moved to second on a nicely executed sac bunt. The next batter hit a slow ground ball to McAfee who tried to make a nice play but the errant throw took Davis off the bag at first and up the line resulting in a collision with the Morgantown runner. The ball got away from Davis which allowed the Mohigans to score their only run of the game which proved to be enough. Morgantown improved to 11-1 with the loss. The Warriors dropped to 14-9.
The loss was the second in two days as Warren dropped a tough 7-5 decision on Friday night New Philadelphia in an ECOL matchup. Evan Gandee started and took the loss for the Warriors, going five innings, striking out four and scattering seven hits. The third inning was costly as the Quakers were able to score five runs to extend their lead to 7-0. Warren battled back with three in the third and two in the fifth but stranded 10 runners. Gandee led the Warriors at the plate going 3 for 4 with two runs scored. Kurt Taylor, Caleb Davis and Scott Reynolds each had a hit for the host.
The Warriors return to action Thursday when the travel to Parkersburg to face the Big Reds.