Most pitchers wouldn’t have been too pleased being replaced on the mound four innings into a no-hit bid.
Jamie Miller was fine with it.
The East Hardy senior knew why he was being removed.
It was this year’s state semifinal game against Valley Fayette, and with a comfortable lead, coach Raymond Snapp wanted to have Miller’s arm available if needed in the Class A title game.
“I was talking to the assistant coaches in the dugout before that, and I told them I hope coach pulls me and I didn’t care about coming out,” Miller said. “I had a no-hitter before, and a no-hitter is not a state championship.”
It turns out East Hardy did finish off that game against Valley and made it to the state title game. Miller was needed, entering the game and using up his allotted mound time during the latter innings in the Cougars’ 5-4 loss to Madonna.
Miller left the game in the seventh with the score tied at 4, doing his job to quell Madonna’s bats. Madonna would win the game in the eighth after Miller had to leave the mound.
He didn’t get his state championship, but Miller did help the Cougars to a school-record 31 wins. In doing so, he was named the captain of the Class A all-state baseball first team by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
It’s his third straight year as a first-teamer.
Miller was 10-1 on the mound with a 1.16 earned run average. In 771/3 innings, he struck out 133 despite being “the only lefty in the world who can’t throw a curveball to save his life,” Miller said.
His two-seamer, splitter and circle-changeup work just fine.
“He was our leader,” Snapp said. “When he was on the mound, we felt like we could beat anybody in the state.”
At the plate, Miller hit .436 with a .517 on-base percentage, 51 runs, 46 RBIs, three home runs and was 16-for-16 on stolen base attempts. He plans to play for Potomac State next year.
Joining Miller on the first-team all-state squad is East Hardy teammate Kolin Foltz in one of the utility positions. Foltz hit .371 with a .497 OBP, 36 RBIs, 48 runs and six homers. He was also 4-0 on the mound. Korey Foltz joined his two Cougar teammates as a second-team utility player.
Helping keep Miller and the two Foltz boys from a state title was Madonna senior outfielder Logan Linder.
Linder, a second-team selection last year and a first-teamer in 2010 recently signed to play college ball at Niagara. He hit .443 with 29 RBIs and five home runs for the Class A champs. Luca Fuscardo (pitcher) and Connor Mogan (utility) from state champ Madonna were second-team selections.
Charleston Catholic junior Rocco Wilcox (.350, 31 RBIs) and Wheeling Central senior Mike Keys (.500) are the other first-team outfielders.
Junior Karl Bennington (13-2, 1.33 ERA, 169 strikeouts in 92 innings) from Gilmer County and Charleston Catholic senior Kiefer Hovorka (3-0, 1.43 ERA) are the two other first-team pitchers.
For the second straight year, Parkersburg Catholic senior Zack Romine (.465, 38 RBIs, .930 slugging) is the first-team catcher.
Romine’s teammate at Parkersburg Catholic, junior Mitch Davis (.390, .467 OBP) was an infield selection along with Man senior Jordan Simpson (.282, 20 RBIs), Notre Dame sophomore leadoff hitter Chris Petrucci (.485, 34 runs, 15 RBIs, 16 steals) and Cameron senior Mitchel French (.456, five home runs). French is a first-teamer for the second straight year.
French’s teammate at Cameron, senior Ryan Hughes (.395, five home runs) is a first-team selection at utility along with Foltz, Valley Fayette junior Arik McGinnis (6-3 pitching record, .397, 40 RBIs) Williamstown junior Eli Gray (.431, 42 RBIs) and Wahama senior Tyler Roush (.450, eight home runs, 43 RBIs).
Valley senior Tyler Chaffins is the second-team captain at the utility position.
Class A all-state team
Pitchers — Jamie Miller, East Hardy, sr. (captain); Karl Bennington, Gilmer County, jr; Kiefer Hovorka, Charleston Catholic, sr.
Catcher — Zack Romine, Parkersburg Catholic, sr.
Infielders — Mitchel French, Cameron, sr.; Jordan Simpson, Man, sr.; Chris Petrucci, Notre Dame, soph.; Mitch Davis, Parkersburg Catholic, jr.
Outfielders — Logan Linder, Madonna, sr.; Mic Keys, Wheeling Central, sr.; Rocco Wilcox, Charleston Catholic, jr.
Utility — Arik McGinnis, Valley Fayette, jr.; Ryan Hughes, Cameron, sr.; Kolin Foltz, East Hardy, sr.; Eli Gray, Williamstown, jr.; Tyler Roush, Wahama, sr.
Pitchers — Luca Fuscardo, Madonna, soph.; Andy Hoyer, Charleston Catholic, jr.; Lance Taylor, Moorefield, jr.
Catcher — Gaige Evans, South Harrison, jr.
Infielders — Nelson McKown, Charleston Catholic, jr.; Zac Warth, Wahama, sr.; Wylie Koontz, Bishop Donahue, sr.; Jarrod Lough, St. Marys, soph.
Outfielders — Nathen Allison, Gilmer County, soph.; Aaron Presley, Montcalm, sr.; Tylor Tabit, Fayetteville, sr.
Utility — Tyler Chaffins, Valley Fayette, sr. (captain); Connor Mogan, Madonna, sr.; Korey Foltz, East Hardy, jr.; Michael Mayes, St. Joseph, jr.; Travis Paugh, Notre Dame, fr.
Special honorable mention
Kolby Abruzzino, Notre Dame; Nick Battista, Madonna; Jake Boice, Parkersburg Catholic; Todd Coleman, Valley-Fayette; Travis Coleman, Buffalo; Austin Cunningham, Gilmer County; David Delawder, Paw Paw; Case Edgar, Williamstown; Austin Flannigan, Doddridge County; Steve Halterman, Pocahontas County; Connor Golden, Charleston Catholic; Laythen Good, Buffalo; Hunter Kaschke, Bishop Donahue; Tyler Mongold; East Hardy; Randy Peck, South Harrison; Shawn Skovron, East Hardy; Brandon Stoneking, Valley Wetzel; Mark Walker, Cameron; Cody Winter, Valley Fayette; Stephen Jenkins, St. Joseph; Kurt Latocha, Clay-Battelle.
Justin Bayse, East Hardy; Wyatt Bayse, East Hardy; Robbie Belmont, Valley Fayette; Patrick Biega, Wheeling Central; Will Bowser, Madonna; Dalton Brindo, Wirt County; Tyler Clodfelter, Valley-Fayette; Wesley Felton, Pocahontas County; Spencer Harlow, Notre Dame; Dillon Hovorka, Pocahontas County; Levi Jordan, Buffalo; Andrew Keane, Wheeling Central;Garrett Keller, Moorefield; Aaron Krise, Fayetteville; Trenton Hardbarger, Wirt County; Zach Laughlin, Moorefield; Logan Propst, Pendleton County; Dusty Redman, Pendleton County; John Riggs, St. Marys; Phillip Smith, Bishop Donahue; Billy Tedesco, South Harrison; Adam Snyder, Moorefield; John Starkey, Moorefield; River Weese, Paw Paw; Shane Yeater, Doddridge County; Wyatt Zuspan, Wahama; Anthony Rabel, St. Joseph; Josh Lemley, Clay-Battelle; Nathaniel Tinney, Clay-Battelle;