HURRICANE — From the outset, Hurricane looked like a team that had sat through a venue change, game-time change, and a lengthy first game that included a rain delay.
In other words, it came out swinging.
The first four Redskins reached base in the first inning and each of them scored, dazing Chapmanville with an early barrage from which it could never recover in an 11-1 Hurricane win in the second game of the Ed Carter Invitational baseball tournament.
The game had originally been slated for St. Albans but was moved to Hurricane due to weather while games that were scheduled for George Washington were moved to Winfield. Game times were also pushed back due to rain.
Chapmanville outslugged St. Albans 18-10 prior to its loss to Hurricane in a game that saw the Red Dragons hold off the mercy rule with rallies in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings.
The Redskins beat Red Dragons 11-4 in the night cap as well, earning a spot in the tournament championship game today against Winfield at 1 p.m. The Generals emerged as the winner from a group that also included Logan and George Washington with those teams playing games at Winfield on Friday.
Chapmanville will meet GW at 10 a.m. in the consolation game with Logan and St. Albans squaring off in a fifth-place game at 4 p.m.
Redskins players were present throughout the lengthy first contest between St. Albans and Chapmanville, and when it was finally their turn to take the field, they didn’t waste the opportunity.
“I thought we had a better approach,” Hurricane coach Brian Sutphin said. “The kid they threw is a good pitcher and he was around the plate — our guys looked enthused to play. We’re trying to find that as a group. We’re trying to find guys that are enthusiastic about playing baseball.”
After feasting on St. Albans pitching, Hurricane’s Trey Dawson held the Tigers’ bats mostly silent, yielding just two hits while striking out four and walking two.
Dawson also played a big role offensively, doubling in the first two runs of the game and singling in the fifth inning to provide the final margin. All told, he went 3 for 3 with three RBIs.
“Our thought process coming into these last two games has been intensity from the get-go,” Dawson said. “We lost a couple of games and we didn’t have the intensity and we got down 4-0 to Midland and 4-0 to Nitro and we had to battle our way back. Losing those couple of games also gave us some motivation.”
From the get-go indeed.
Alexander Dunham led off the game with a double before Austin Hensley reached on a bunt single. Dawson’s double made it 2-0 and he eventually scored on a Tate Brock sacrifice fly to center after a J.T. Rogoszewski walk. Rogoszewski then trotted home on an RBI double from Brandon Pauley.
The Redskins (12-4) tallied three more in the second inning and two more in the third on a two-run homer from Pauley.
Meanwhile, both Chapmanville hits came from Tristan Thompson, one of which was a double in the fifth inning. But outside of a sacrifice fly to center from Brock Dalton in the third inning which scored Brady Cox, the Tigers couldn’t find the same offensive magic they found in the first game.
But despite the outcome of the second game, it was still a positive showing for Chapmanville, the lone Class AA team in the tournament.
“We wanted in this tournament,” Tigers coach Eric Ellis said. “When [St. Albans coach/athletic director] Rick [Whitman] called me and asked me and told me the teams that were in it I said, ‘Heck yes we want in that tournament,’ because we knew all five were good triple-A teams and playing against these teams is going to make you better. We were happy to get a win today and Hurricane came back and put it on us pretty good but that’s two good baseball teams we played today.”
Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at twitter.com/RPritt.