Brandon Taylor's sacrifice fly in the seventh inning scored the go-ahead run and gave Wheeling Central a 6-to-5 win over Van in the Class Single-A championship game today.
Wheeling Central captured its second title in three years and
its fourth since 1999.
Van pounced out 12 hits but didn't score the runs like it did in
a 17-to-3 semifinal win over Charleston Catholic on Thursday. That
game was stopped after six innings due to the ten-run mercy rule.
Van jumped ahead 3-to-1 in the third inning on Jonathan Simms'
two-run single. Wheeling Central scored three times in the top of
the fourth on Josh Jackson's R-B-I single, a bases-loaded walk to
Eli Popicg (POP-ich) and Lawrence Witzberger's R-B-I groundout.
Van regained the lead 5-to-4 with two runs in the bottom of the
fourth on R-B-I's by Scott Branham and Victor Niemec.
Wheeling Central tied it in the sixth on Eli Popicg's
(POP-ich's) run-scoring single.
In the seventh, Wheeling Central's Zack Foose singled and went
to second when the center fielder overran the ball. He stole third
base and scored on Taylor's sacrifice fly to right.
Scott Branham singled with two out in Van's half of the seventh,
but reliever Jack Weishar got Victor Niemec to end the game with a
Van hasn't won a state title since capturing three in a row from
1991 to 1993. It lost in the championship game in 1996 and 2004.