WAYNE – For the second time in a week, Wayne Pioneers’ pitching no-hit Mingo Central, but this time it was in the Class AA Section 4, Region IV single-elimination tournament championship Wednesday at George Brumfield Ballpark in Wayne.
Pitcher Kodie Bowen’s 10-strikeout performance made up for the slow offensive start by the Pioneers on the way to a five-inning 10-0 victory.
“Kodie threw a great game for us tonight,” Wayne Coach Todd Ross said. “To get him on the mound and for him to throw so well is a big plus. Any time you win and any time you play well it really helps a young team and build our conference going into regionals.”
The Miners got on base only twice in the contest and that was thanks to patience at the plate by left fielder Michael Dotson, who was walked in the first and third innings.
After Monday’s 10-0 and 11-1 double-header losses, Mingo Central looked like a different team – at least in the field.
Wayne’s offense started slowly as it tried to get Miner starter Caleb Spencer’s timing down.
“Mingo’s pitcher did a good job,” Ross said. “He threw a little slower than what we’re used to and he had a knuckleball and change-up and gave us some fits. We had to make adjustments, but I think that overall we did okay.”
The Pioneers were able to scratch across a run in the first after Luke Cassidy earned a base on balls and advanced to third on passed balls.
The freshman came home on a hard single by Daniel Bloss for a 1-0 lead.
After an uneventful second frame, Wayne scored two more runs in the third, but it was a pitching change in the fourth inning that sparked an offensive explosion for the Pioneers.
Mitchell Bobbera relieved Spencer and Wayne promptly took advantage.
Mikey Perry led off with a single and swiped second base during Dakota McCloud’s at bat.
After McCloud flew out to center, Nick Harmon was walked but not before Perry moved to third on a passed ball.
Casey Brooks was sent in as a courtesy runner for Harmon and followed up with a steal. A passed ball brought Perry home and advanced Brooks to third.
T.J. Perry grounded out to Todd Slone at short for the second out of the inning, but was able to score Brooks to make the score, 5-0.
After a struggle to get two outs on Wayne, the Miners’ woes continued as Bobbera hit Stiltner with a pitch and walked Cassidy.
Stiltner had already stolen second by the time Cassidy walked and a passed ball to Bowen moved the two runners over to second and third.
Bowen drove Stitlner in to score and advanced Cassidy to third on a hard hit single into the outfield.
A dropped fly ball by the center fielder enabled Bloss to reach base safely and scored Cassidy.
Bowen’s courtesy runner, Josh Mitts, scored on a double from Brad Sharp that went down the third base line towards the left field fence.
The seven-run inning ended when Mikey Perry singled and was caught in a run-down between first and second.
Sharp was able to score during the confusion and after a series of throws, Perry was able to slide safely into second base.
Mingo Central advanced to the championship game after beating the Tolsia Rebels, 10-0 in a first-round, seven-inning game earlier in the evening on the strength of hurler Todd Slone’s 15-strikeout, one-hitter against the Rebels.
The Miners put up seven hits on Rebel starter Blake Stuart and reliever Nathan Marshall.
Tolsia’s only hit came from Zach Perry who led off the game with a single.
Wayne will take some time off in preparation for their Region IV game against Chapmanville on May 26 at Wayne.
“It’s always a big deal,” Ross said. “We always love to play them and we’re looking forward to it. We’ve played Chapmanville so much over the years that they’re almost like family.”