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BASEBALL: News from across WV
Wire report
editor@wvrsn.com
July 22, 2011

baseball princeton rays1
Princeton Devil Rays

Rays to promote coal on Saturday

July 19, 2011 Rays to promote coal on Saturday Anonymous Bluefield Daily Telegraph The Bluefield Daily Telegraph Tue Jul 19, 2011, 04:57 AM EDT

PRINCETON  Some of the miners from the Spike Television series "Coal" are expected to be in attendance Saturday as part of the "Salute To Coal Night" at the Princeton Rays game versus the Elizabethton Twins at Princeton's Hunnicutt Field.

As part of the salute, the team is asking that fans wear black clothing.

Game time is slated for 7 p.m. with gates opening at 6. All miners and their families will be admitted at $2 each. Companies related to the mining industry are invited to contact the P-Rays about the possibility of setting up display tables at no charge.

"The appearance of the miners from the McDowell County-based Cobalt Coal Company highlights an evening that will celebrate the benefits that our country realizes as a result of the mining industry," said Princeton Rays General Manager Jim Holland.

"We are excited and honored that the folks from Cobalt will be sending some folks over for this event. Coal mining is an industry we are proud to salute since coal mining is the activator for so many good things that go on in our lives."

The primary corporate sponsor for the event, Fairchild International of Glen Lyn, Va., will be giving hard hats to the first children ages 10 and under through the gate. They will give stress rocks that looks like lumps of coal to adults while supplies last.

To get people in the spirit of the event, each program-yearbook purchased at the game will contain a $1 piece of paper "scrip" that will get fans $1 off any souvenir or concession stand purchase of $5 or more, good at Saturday's game only.

The team plans to dress up the ballpark in keeping with the theme. A portion of the ballpark's music and the between-inning on-field fan games will be coal-related.

A one-hour documentary, "Extra Innings," will run continually in the stadium throughout the game. The video, created and produced by West Virginia Public Television, deals with baseball in the West Virginia coalfields.

Representatives from the Coal Heritage Authority are expected to attend, to promote an effort to rebuild a coal camp baseball field in Helen, as well an interpretative center / museum devoted to baseball in the coalfields.

Holland said P-Rays intern Jed Lockett worked on getting Saturday's details finalized.

Storms take precedence at legion baseball game

Post 15 leading 6-1 when rains hit in top of the fifth June 24, 2011 By JIM BUTTA (jbutta@newsandsentinel.com) , Parkersburg News and Sentinel ST. MARYS-The third time wasn't the charm for Parkersburg Post 15 or St. Marys Post 79 as the American Legion rivals survived an early rain-delay and then a 30-minute lightning delay only to have their doubleheader wiped out when a third storm dumped more water than the infield at Dave Wilson Field could handle.

"We really wanted to get this game in because it would have put us above .500," Post 15 skipper Jim Goodwin explained.

The game, which was called by the umpiring crew with Post 15 leading by a 6-1 margin in the top of the fifth, is tentatively set to be resumed at 2 p.m. on Sunday with the second seven-inning contest to follow immediately afterward.

St. Marys returns to action at 6 p.m. Friday when it travels to Belpre's Civitan Park to take on Belpre/Marietta Post 64/495. Post 15 is slated to play host to Clarksburg at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Hank Greenburg Field.

Post 15 got on the scoreboard first thanks to a one-out walk to Fairmont State catcher Logan Flanagan, a pair of St. Marys errors and a single by Roane County's Alex Mace in the top half of the first inning.

St. Marys evened the score with a its only run of the game in the home half of the second.

Designated hitter D.J. Burgess led off the frame with a sharp single to right, but was picked off by Flanagan when the St. Marys runner wandered too far off first base.

Mace, who hurled all four innings for Post 15, made one of the few mistakes of the night for the visitors as he hit Post 79's Reid Phillips on an 0-2 pitch. The St. Marys catcher advanced to second on a error by Parkersburg's catcher and made it to third on a wild pitch by Mace.

Left fielder Bobby Casto then brought home the hosts' only run of the game when he laced a 2-1 offering by Mace into right for the RBI-single.

That, however, would be the only hurrah for the locals as Mace settled down to allow only one hit over the next two innings while Post 15's hitters exploded for a single run in the third and tacked on four more in the fourth before the weather took over.

Josh Wine, Mace and Damon Ribeiro each collected a pair of hits for Post 15. Mace knocked in two runs with a pair of singles while Flanagan, Randy Tallhammer, Brett Burns and Kyle Haverty each finished with one run-batted-in.

August 05, 2010 @ 12:40 AM

ANDREW RAMSPACHER

Herald-Dispatch.com

CEREDO-KENOVA  They made their traditional pre-game stroll along the warning track at Mitch Stadium, taking it all in.

"Little Bridgeport, W. Va.," as their coach labeled them, was in the Little League Baseball age 9-10 Tournament of State Champions finals Wednesday night.

The West Virginia champion conquered odds in pool play, in Tuesday's semifinal and, nearly, in the championship game. But, the clock struck midnight  10:46 p.m., actually  on Bridgeport's Cinderella run.

Columbus American, the Georgia champion, downed coach Todd Hineman's team, 5-4, on a muggy August evening.

"We're just a group of scrappy kids from Bridgeport, West Virginia, and we played on the big field against the state of Georgia," Hineman said. "We ran the bases well. ... You know, What can I say?"

Hineman can say he did something nobody's done in decades  manage a West Virginia squad this far in a regional.

Entering Wednesday's final, West Virginia teams were a combined 3-13 all-time in the TOSC.

Bridgeport went 3-2, earning much-deserved second place medals.

"We knew what this meant to our community," Hineman said. "And just to come down here and compete and not only make it to the championship. ... We beat Florida and played Virginia tough and took Georgia, which I thought was the best team down here the whole tournament, clear to the end."

Through five innings Bridgeport seemed as though it had the Mountain State's first regional title since 1951.

Gritty base running  all four runs came courtesy of hustle on wild pitches, steals or Georgia errors  gave Bridgeport a 4-1 lead entering the top of the sixth.

But that went to a 5-4 deficit after Georgia strung together three clutch hits and drew four walks. Georgia players Bo Voltz, Dalton Bradford, Chantler Valero and Seth Shaddix all delivered RBIs in the sixth.

Voltz, the No. 9 hitter, was the sparkplug. He laced a single to bring home Jason Konsler to bring it to 4-2.

"Bo Voltz, the smallest guy, always has the big hits," said Georgia coach Greg Mathis. "The biggest thing with him is he has a little small strike zone.

"He knows what pitches to hit and what pitches to take."

Bridgeport tried to take back the game in the bottom of the sixth after Andrew Barlow drew a two-out walk, but he was left stranded at first.

Konsler, the reliever, got a groundout to end the game to give Columbus American its second TOSC title in three years.

But, this one came against one of its more determined opponents.

"They had the scrappiest team," Mathis said. "This is our 19th game, I think, and they are the scrappiest team we've played through our district, state, regionals.

"Those guys never gave up." GEORGIA 010 004  5 7 1 WEST VIRGINIA 010 030  4 1 2 Bradford, Konsler (5) and Lingo. Williams, Drummond (6) and Hineman. W -- Konsler. L -- Drummond. Hitting: (G) Voltz RBI; Bradford RBI; Valero RBI; Shaddix RBI.

Elkins 14-year-old All-Stars set for regional competition in Wisconsin Elkins to open tourney play Thursday against host team

By ANDREW?DAVIS, Staff Writer POSTED: July 28, 2010 The Elkins 14-year-old All-Stars will begin regional tournament action Thursday in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Elkins will play host team Wisconsin in the opening round.

Elkins, which advanced to the regional tournament after claiming the West Virginia state title with a 13-7 win over Fairmont in Bridgeport last week, will face host team Wisconsin in its opener Thursday at 2 p.m.

"The kids are really excited to have the opportunity to represent West Virginia in the tournament," said Elkins manager Jay Gainer. "They worked hard to collect funds and donations for their trip. Now its time for them to head to Wisconsin and play some baseball. "

Elkins is currently undefeated, sporting a 4-0 after cruising through West Virginia state tournament play. Elkins defeated Harrison County, Ceredo-Kenova and Fairmont twice en route to the title.

"It was a great accomplishment to win the state title," said Gainer. "But we're going to face even tougher competition in Wisconsin, so we're going to have to play good baseball."

The first two rounds of the tournament will be pool play format. Elkins' second contest will be Friday at 5 p.m. against Ohio's state champion

After Friday's action, the tournament format turns to single-elimination on Saturday.

The championship game of the tournament is scheduled for Sunday at 7 p.m.

"We're hoping to have a good showing," said Gainer. "Anytime you advance to regional play it's good competition. We are going to have play our best baseball if we want to be competitive."

Elkins' team members include: Jake Wyatt, Garrett Riggleman, Logan Phillips, Tyler Harris, Tyson Currence, Colby Gainer, Nick Hart, Kollin Hopwood, Tyler Shreve, Clayton Collett, Brandon Herron and Silas Gibson.

Dennis Phillips and Gary Hart are assistant coaches for Elkins.

Elkins fans can listen to all of the tournament action live at www.ifan.tv.com

Mull's Path Hasn't Been Easy By SHAWN RINE

WHEELING - If the old adage that says good things come to those who wait holds any kind of water, Wheeling Jesuit left-hander Noah Mull would be as good an example as any.

After enduring a stint as an invited walkon at Virginia Tech that didn't go the way he would have liked, Mull was somewhat surprisingly passed over four years later in the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft.

But what separates good pitchers from great ones doesn't necessarily come in the form of mechanics, ''stuff'' or athletic ability. Quite often it's being able to shake off a bad inning, start, season, or in this case an unforeseen occurrence.

Mull knows that more than most.

Blessed with a 90-plus mph fastball, a ''12-to-6'' curveball, and a hard slider, at long last Mull appears to be on the cusp of making his dream a reality. He figures to have his name called at some point during this year's draft, which is scheduled for Secaucus, N.J., on June 7-9.

His coach, Terry Edwards, says this has been a long time coming.

''If anybody ever deserved an opportunity to play it's Noah Mull,'' said Edwards, who also coached Mull during his sophomore season at Wheeling Central. ''You always hear people talk about a quote, unquote five-tool player, and you can take it for what it's worth.

''But if there's such a thing, he is that.''

Mull started out playing both center field - he led the club in every offensive category - and pitching for the Cardinals, but that all changed one summer when he competed in a wooden-bat tournament in Cincinnati. The coach on that team was a former scout for the Reds, and the pitching coach was a one-time draftee of the Toronto Blue Jays.

''We talked and those two told me how they could develop me into a better player,'' Mull said. ''They could tell my arm was getting tired.

''So I made the decision focus all the time on pitching. I miss hitting, but at the same time I've got to be a little selfish.''

Once he made that decision, he's been lights-out. Mull, who was named West Virginia Conference Pitcher of the Year, finished his senior campaign with a 7-1 record and a conference-best 2.09 earned run average.

Mull ranked second in NCAA Division II with 13.02 strikeouts per nine innings and 10th in hits per nine innings (6.27). He collected 81 strikeouts, allowing only 39 hits and 21 free passes in 56 innings pitched.

The All-Atlantic Region Pitcher of the Year held his opponents to a .194 batting average, while tossing two shutouts and earning four complete-game victories.

All of that has led to pre-draft workouts for both the Reds and the San Diego Padres, as well as serious looks from the Blue Jays just to name a few.

While in Florida, Toronto scouts had Mull at 92-93 mph on the radar gun, and he was still throwing 91 in the sixth inning.

''Everybody is very impressed with velocity,'' Edwards said. ''With a little bit of professional tutelage he could increase that.

''And he guts it out.''

Scouts certainly know his name these days, but it wasn't always that way. Edwards says he hates to use the word 'market,' but that's precisely what he's done for his star lefty. If a scout said he would attend a game and didn't, Edwards was on the phone asking why immediately after.

What the coach found out was, if a scout had the choice between, say, a Wheeling Jesuit-West Liberty game and Louisville-West Virginia contest, that's a battle they just weren't going to win.

So Edwards adjusted.

''Scouts, I don't think they're as abundant or energetic,'' Edwards said. ''What we tried to do - at no detriment to our team - was instead of pitching Game 1 on Saturday, he went Game 1 on Sunday and we had numerous scouts here.''

It has apparently paid off. Though they declined to mention a specific round, the Padres have told Mull flat-out that if he's around at a certain point, he'll be a member of their organization. Not much else is guaranteed, however.

Being 23 years old and a fifth-year senior, teams realize Mull has run out of options, so to speak. San Diego has already notified him the only thing he'll get is a one-way plan ticket and a $1,000 signing bonus.

''That was the first time a team said 'we're going to draft you,' '' Mull said.

What's certain is Mull doesn't have any grand plans of throwing an all-out, draft-day bash like some of the ones we've all seen on TV. That's not his thing, and in truth, probably never will be.

''I'm not a fan of boasting or anything like that so I'll just be hanging out with my parents,'' Mull said. ''It would be nice to go as high as I feel my talent is, but I know my situation and all I want is to get in the system and develop.''

Simply being drafted isn't the end-game though. Mull pointed to a former teammate in that Cincinnati league who was drafted a year ago, did everything right, and was still let go.

''My buddy went to Arizona, pitched four innings of shutout ball and got cut,'' Mull cautioned. ''Getting drafted is no chance to sit back.

''You could be there a week or your whole career.''

Judging by a work ethic that Edwards called everything but legendary, chances are Mull will play his way into a spot, somewhere.

When he does, he'll probably celebrate by playing long toss or pitching a couple simulated games.

That's the only way he knows how to do things.

Shawn Rine can be reached via e-mail at Rine@theintelligencer.net

May 16, 2010 Patriots playing the waiting game Prep baseball notebook Six Kanawha Valley teams emerged with sectional championships last week, while six more went down swinging. That leaves only one more spot to be decided. By Rick Ryan Assistant Sports Editor Chris Dorst Kirby Patterson and the rest of the George Washington baseball team must wait until Thursday to complete their sectional tournament. Six Kanawha Valley teams emerged with sectional championships last week, while six more went down swinging. That leaves only one more spot to be decided.

George Washington extended its Class AAA Region 3 Section 3 tournament Saturday night with a 5-2 win over Logan. Each team now has one loss in the double-elimination event.

Because of the statewide WESTEST standardized testing that begins today, no games can be played until Thursday. So that's when GW and Logan will lock up in their decisive game, set for 6:30 p.m. at Roger E. Gertz Field in Logan.

After remaining alive Saturday, the Patriots (23-11) would just as soon have played another game that night - or as early as possible - to avoid the five-day delay.

"The sooner we play, the better,'' said GW senior pitcher Joe Mounts. "I hate waiting.''

The Patriots felt like they had momentum on their side, and the long pause between games may wipe that out.

"We'd like to just go and play tomorrow,'' GW coach Chad Campbell said after Saturday's game. "We got a little bump in momentum. But we'll have three good days of practice and these guys will be ready to play. We've got five seniors on the team and they understand that if we lose, it's over.''

Iron man

It only seems like Sissonville right-hander Jameson Landers pitches every day.

He does work a lot, evidenced by his innings-pitched totals the past two seasons. He led the Kanawha Valley last year with 871/3 innings and has already worked an area-high 931/3 this season after going 13 innings in last week's successful Class AA sectional.

Landers could very well work 100 innings this season, but his arm doesn't seem to be worse for the wear.

"I get worn out,'' Landers said after his complete-game effort in a 10-1 win over Herbert Hoover Saturday. "But it's just ice it, and I keep working. Coach puts me on a program and that's all I do is pitch.''

Indians coach John Brown said last year's run to the AA state tournament - the first for Sissonville since 1996 - prompted him to develop a timetable where he could get the most out of Landers from opening day to the first week of June.

"It was set up that way,'' Brown said. "This year, you've got to come into the season thinking we've got a good chance to win it all, and you've got to look at the schedule. We've built him up so he can pitch twice a week. We've got him working hard.

Six Kanawha Valley teams emerged with sectional championships last week, while six more went down swinging. That leaves only one more spot to be decided.

George Washington extended its Class AAA Region 3 Section 3 tournament Saturday night with a 5-2 win over Logan. Each team now has one loss in the double-elimination event.

Because of the statewide WESTEST standardized testing that begins today, no games can be played until Thursday. So that's when GW and Logan will lock up in their decisive game, set for 6:30 p.m. at Roger E. Gertz Field in Logan.

After remaining alive Saturday, the Patriots (23-11) would just as soon have played another game that night - or as early as possible - to avoid the five-day delay.

"The sooner we play, the better,'' said GW senior pitcher Joe Mounts. "I hate waiting.''

The Patriots felt like they had momentum on their side, and the long pause between games may wipe that out.

"We'd like to just go and play tomorrow,'' GW coach Chad Campbell said after Saturday's game. "We got a little bump in momentum. But we'll have three good days of practice and these guys will be ready to play. We've got five seniors on the team and they understand that if we lose, it's over.''

Iron man

It only seems like Sissonville right-hander Jameson Landers pitches every day.

He does work a lot, evidenced by his innings-pitched totals the past two seasons. He led the Kanawha Valley last year with 871/3 innings and has already worked an area-high 931/3 this season after going 13 innings in last week's successful Class AA sectional.

Landers could very well work 100 innings this season, but his arm doesn't seem to be worse for the wear.

"I get worn out,'' Landers said after his complete-game effort in a 10-1 win over Herbert Hoover Saturday. "But it's just ice it, and I keep working. Coach puts me on a program and that's all I do is pitch.''

Indians coach John Brown said last year's run to the AA state tournament - the first for Sissonville since 1996 - prompted him to develop a timetable where he could get the most out of Landers from opening day to the first week of June.

"It was set up that way,'' Brown said. "This year, you've got to come into the season thinking we've got a good chance to win it all, and you've got to look at the schedule. We've built him up so he can pitch twice a week. We've got him working hard.

"The regionals are every other day this year and the states are every other day for us [in AA]. We know you've got to take it one day at a time, but the schedule is set up for that.''

All sectionals not alike

After the format for the state basketball tournament was successfully altered two years ago, coaches in other sports are wondering when their time will come.

Pairings for baseball and softball sectionals remain prearranged by the SSAC before the season starts. That can lead to some interesting showdowns at the first level, but some deserving teams get eliminated before the regional round.

Five teams in the Gazette's final regular-season state ratings were ousted last week, four of them to other ranked teams - Herbert Hoover in AA and Moorefield, Buffalo and Wheeling Central in Class A.

For some teams, it's simply the luck (or muck) of the draw.

The annual Nitro-St. Albans skirmish in AAA started with the two teams averaging 22.5 wins. Teams in the GW-Logan-South Charleston sectional came in averaging 19 victories and the AA pairing of Sissonville, Hoover and Clay County averaged 18.7 wins.

"This whole postseason baseball thing is ridiculous,'' said SA coach Rick Whitman last week. "For your postseason to be predetermined before you ever play a game is absolutely ridiculous.

"I know that sounds like sour grapes because we've lost the last three years, but I've said that before when we were winning sectionals. No way should your sectional be predetermined before you do anything in the regular season. But that's the way it is. It's crazy to talk about travel and all this, but why not seed the baseball regions like they seed basketball? Do it that way.''

Hoover coach Brian Young, whose team was ranked No. 5 in AA heading into the sectional, didn't want the Huskies unfortunate end to sour what has been a turnaround season for the program.

"That's one thing we told our seniors,'' he said. "It's tough for them because it's the last time for them, but they really helped turn the program around. We struggled through last year and did a really nice job this year. They won a lot of ballgames for us this year, and we beat a lot of good teams. It's because of our seniors turning the program around to where we believe we ought to be.''

Hoover finished 21-11, more than doubling its win total from a 10-16 showing last year.

Line drives

Parity/disparity: Two defending state champions didn't even make it out of their sectionals - AA Lincoln (which lost to Liberty Harrison) and Class A Moorefield (dispatched by East Hardy). That leaves AAA Martinsburg as the only possible repeat titlist. Hurricane left-hander Sam Kmiec, who moved in from Delaware in the fall, played on a summer league team last year with Ryan Ripken, son of Orioles Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. Helping the rapid rise of Elkins (23-6) this season has been a pair of players hitting about .550 - senior catcher Spencer Webley and junior utility man Lance VanNoy. Jefferson (24-10) has extended its incredible record to 34 straight seasons with 20 or more wins.

Posted February 1, 2010

COCOA BEACH, Fla. - It is a blessing to transform a life passion into a career.

Former West Virginia University standout pitcher Matt Yurish, a local product of Hedgesville High School, knows he's one of the lucky ones.

A football, basketball and baseball player at Hedgesville, the strong left-hander is currently the director of athletics at the Cocoa Expo Sports Center in Cocoa Beach, Fla.

After his 2008 graduation from West Virginia, Yurish said his foray into the managerial ranks came a little quicker than even he envisioned. He took the job at the former Houston Astro's spring training complex to be close to the sport he loves.

A little over a year later, he found himself in charge - the head honcho, if you will.

"It started a little faster than I thought it would. It can be daunting," Yurish said. "But on my best days, I spend eight hours talking baseball. It is a good time - a little hectic."

On his worst days, Yurish can't complain. They are mostly spent gearing up for the spring season, scheduling and organizing.

College, high school and even some youth teams from across North America use the complex as a training facility. Yurish helps in just about every way imaginable.

This year's training season begins Feb. 25 with the arrival of Frederick Community College.

"We're really getting going now," Yurish said.

Besides overseeing the use of the facility, Yurish also organizes "tournaments" for the visiting teams.

"The games count toward the regular season for the teams," he said. "It's fun tobe surrounded by like-minded individuals."

In some ways, Yurish has continued his education through his current job.

"We also host softball and lacrosse," he said. "I've got an education about those two other sports on the job"

Yurish said his ties to the Eastern Panhandle are still strong with a lot of family and friends residing in the area. Through the years, he has made it back as often as possible to visit, even catching a baseball game or two.

"I try to get back a couple times a year," he said. "I don't know if this is a permanent thing from a family standpoint. I'd like to get home at some point."

Yurish grew up watching players like Jefferson's Josh Cenate and Jimmy Rhodes.

"Baseball has always been very good back home," he said.

He certainly represented the Panhandle well in his time in Morgantown.

He was called a, "very intelligent, well-rounded athlete who has a bright future" on msnsportsnet.com.

He is one of only eight Mountaineers to throw a no-hitter and is the only Mountaineer to repeat the feat.

He tossed a seven-inning no-no against Coppin State as a sophomore on April 4, 2006, and his five-inning no-hitter against Maryland Eastern Shore on April 1, 2008 is the most recent on file for the university. He ranks seventh on the career strikeout list, sixth in innings pitched, sixth in career appearances, fourth in career starts and was one of just seven Mountaineers honored as the National Player of the Week.

- Nate Maczuzak can be reached at (304) 263-8931, ext. 131 or nmaczuzak@journal-news.net

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