State bound: Williamstown baseball tops Madonna for regional title | News, Sports, Jobs

Photos by Kerry Patrick Williamstown Baseball players hold up the Class A, Region I championship plaque after beating Madonna 12-9 on Wednesday.

WILLIAMSTOWN — Williamstown coach Levi Maxwell expected plenty of runs to come into play for Wednesday’s Class A, Region I championship game with Madonna.

The coach was spot on as the result devolved into a war of attrition as both teams relied on the fate of the newcomers’ backup pitchers.

Carson Hill of the Yellowjackets proved most effective in his 2 1/3 innings of work and clinched the win as Williamstown scored a second straight 12-9 win over the Blue Dons in the deciding game for top player promoted to the state tournament. from three series.

“Anytime you get to a three-game streak, the pitching can go a little off the table.” said Coach Maxwell. “Our boys did enough to come through and win the game.”

Williamstown improved to 26-5 and advanced to a semifinal against an opponent yet to be determined. The Yellowjackets play at the Appalachian Power Park in Charleston next Friday at 10 a.m.

Williamstown pitcher Braydin Coleman delivers a pitch during Wednesday’s Class A, Region I championship game against Madonna.

“The Yellowjackets were 8-7 behind before capitalizing on three Madonna errors in a four-run fifth inning and moving forward to stay at 11-8. The fifth inning ended a series of three lead changes that occurred during the middle innings.

“Both teams were at the end of their pitching staffs and it was about who made fewer mistakes.” said Madonna trainer Jeff Baire. “At the end of the day, those were two really good ball hitters.”

Madonna, who called Marquise Parker as the starting pitcher sophomore, turned to freshman Lucas McAllister for the final 2 2/3 innings. McAllister went into play with an out bottom of the fourth inning and a runner on first base, and the Yellowjackets led 5-3. His first batter, Leewood Molessa, fell behind at 1-2 before the Yellowjacket senior delivered a hands-off victory over the left field fence for a two-run home run.

“The boy counted really well – kudos to him, he almost got me.” said Leewood Molessa. “Madonna threw this whole series well.”

The Blue Dons threw the ball infield for three penalties in the fifth inning and Hill provided some offense with an RBI double. Madonna got a run back on Matt Amaismeier’s RBI single in sixth place. Early in the third inning, the senior hit a solo homer to tie the game at 3.

Williamstown’s final run crossed home plate in the home half of the sixth inning. Luke Ankrom took the lead with a double and ended up hitting with Chase Barkley’s sacrificial fly.

Hill, who was responsible for maintaining the 12-9 lead, pulled back the 7-8-9 hitters in the Madonna lineup — including back-to-back strikeouts to secure the state championship berth. Both of Williamstown’s title wins, in Sectionals against Tyler Consolidated and again on Wednesday against Madonna, have been won by a Yellowjacket rookie.

“I’m just so proud of our freshmen” said Coach Maxwell. “The underclassmen – we’re pretty hard on them, hard on them and make them work hard. We treat them as if they are seniors and the respect they receive in such situations is very important.”

After three hits from Amaismeier and McAllister, Madonna defeated Williamstown 13-12. Several people contributed to the Yellowjacket attack, including Ty Ott and Coleman, both of whom ended with two hits and two RBIs.

“I think the return to the state tournament is good for the young people to get that experience of big game situations.” said Molessa. “We’ve had a couple of younger kids in big situations tonight and all year round so it’s good for years to come and good for the next game.”

Parker Schramm, who picked up a complete game win in an eliminator for Williamstown the previous day, added an RBI double in the clincher.

“After we scored five runs in the second inning on Tuesday, my confidence grew from there.” said Schramm. “I threw ground balls and the team made games. My confidence was really high because we scored those runs.”

As for their respective starting pitchers, Marquise allowed six runs over 3 1/3 innings, dropping two and walking two. Coleman gave Williamstown 4 2/3 innings and gave up eight runs on 11 hits with five strikeouts and two walks.

“It was nerve-wracking there on the hill,” said hill. “When you have a defense like ours, just go out there and pitch. I thought Coleman would go all the way. He’s a really great pitcher. At the end of the game I was just really excited. It was pretty amazing.”

Madonna, who bounced back from a 7-3 deficit with a five-run fifth inning, finishes the campaign 15-18. The Blue Dons graduate four seniors but lose only one of their batters on the starting lineup for practical reasons.

“I’ve already said that I don’t think our record is an indication of what kind of team we are.” Baire said. “It took a few minutes to figure out who we are. We found out just before the sections and gave ourselves a chance.”

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