By Paul Adkins Sports Editor
February 26, 2014
The University of Charleston is known affectionately as “Logan County Sports North.”
And for good reason.
As the spring sports season began last week for UC teams, the school’s softball, baseball and golf rosters are dotted with, count ‘em, 12 former athletes from Logan County schools.
All 12 hail from Logan High School and Chapmanville Regional High School.
On the women’s golf roster is sophomore Kelli Garrett, a Chapmanville graduate, who was named to the All-WVIAC team last season.
Four players from Logan County are on the UC women’s softball team, including: twin sisters and UC sophomore infielders Allison and Jenna Evans; sophomore pitcher Morgan Aguirre from Logan; and freshman infielder Rachelle Toppings, also from Logan.
Last season, Jenna Evans hit .321 for the Golden Eagles, the third-highest batting average on the team, with 10 RBI, two doubles and a triple. She also had 13 stolen bases — third-most on the ballclub. Allison Evans hit .214 with two RBI.
Aguirre was UC’s ace pitcher last season in her freshman year with a 15-9 record and 2.22 ERA. The strong-armed right-hander struck out 133 batters in 151.1 innings of work.
On the Charleston baseball roster are seven former Logan County athletes, including: Timmy Rein (senior third baseman from Logan); Jordan Kirk (junior catcher from Chapmanville); Alex Lakatos (freshman infielder from Logan); Dylan Saunders (junior pitcher from Chapmanville); Josh Easterling (junior outfielder from Chapmanville); Corey Lakatos (senior pitcher from Logan); and Jordan Banks (sophomore pitcher/infielder from Chapmanville).
Banks is so far 2-for-3 at the plate on the young season with two RBI. Rein is 4-for-10 and batting .400 with three RBI. Easterling is 3-for-12 at the plate and hitting .250. Banks and Corey Lakatos have also seen time on the mound.
Both the UC softball and baseball teams were picked to finish fourth place in the newly created Mountain East Conference, a league with teams in Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia. With the breakup of the WVIAC at the end of last season, its former members bolted and many ended up in the MEC.
The UC softball team has started out the season with a 2-3 showing in a tournament in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., over the weekend.
Allison Evans went 1-for-4 at the plate to start off with a .250 batting average. Jenna Evans was 2-for-13 with an RBI for a .154 clip. Toppings went 1-for-3 in her first collegiate action. Aguirre was 0-2 within the pitcher’s circle.
The Charleston baseball team completed a three-game sweep over Ohio Valley last Saturday afternoon at UC’s Triana Field, winning 8-7 and 8-3 to open the season with a 3-0 record.
In Game One of the twinbill the Golden Eagles (3-0) jumped out to 2-0 lead in the third inning on a Rein sac fly that plated Banks followed by a Tyler Itnyre single which brought in Logan Valentine. The Fighting Scots answered with seven consecutive runs between the fourth and sixth innings to build a 7-2 lead heading into the bottom half of the sixth.
Charleston, like the previous day, used a huge inning to snatch victory from OVU. UC scored six in the bottom of the sixth that put them ahead for good and win 8-7. Ryan Foster scored the game winner after reaching on an error, stole third, then trotted home on the errant throw.
Tyler Shreve pitched five innings, giving up four runs but only one earned before giving way to Joey Shiflett who earned the win. Charleston senior Corey Lakatos worked the seventh to pick up his first save of the season.
Game Two saw the Scots score three runs in the first to quickly grab a 3-0 lead. UC responded with five of their own in the bottom of the second to grab the lead back. The Golden Eagles took advantage of some OVU miscues in the field that led to the big inning.
Charleston went on to add a run in the fourth and two in the fifth on their way to an 8-3 win. After a rough first inning, freshman hurler Andy Hoyer settled in to throw five solid innings in his first collegiate win. Logan High School’s Rein had a good afternoon going 2-for-3 at the plate, driving in two and stealing three bases.
UC is scheduled to return to play this Saturday by hosting West Liberty for a four-game weekend series. First pitch on Saturday is set for 2 p.m. at Charleston’s Appalachian Power Park.