The Logan and Chapmanville high school baseball teams once played each other in a fierce baseball rivalry.
Some top-notch play was usually the offering when the Wildcats and the Tigers stepped out onto the diamond.
The zenith was on April 25, 2001 when Class AA No. 1 and undefeated Chapmanville went to Logan to take on the Class AAA No. 1 and unbeaten Wildcats.
It was one of those rare earth events, if you will, when the planets were aligned and all of the intangibles were in place.
What transpired was an incredible event in high school baseball terms as 1,500 fans showed up to see Logan beat the Tigers 3-1. The Wildcats, led by State Player of the Year and fireball pitcher Brandon Chambers, went on to go 32-3, gain a top 50 national ranking and claim the Class AAA state championship, their second in a row.
From 2003-08, in the days when Logan briefly dropped down to Class AA status, the Tigers and the Wildcats played each other in the same Double-A section with the Scott Skyhawks.
There were many huge battles then.
Twice Logan had to rally from one-game deficits to defeat Chapmanville in the double elimination sectionals.
But fans wanting to see Chapmanville and Logan square off again in baseball are going to have to wait a bit longer as the two are not scheduled to play each other in the upcoming 2013 season.
According to the WVSSAC’s website, a quick scan shows that Logan’s just released baseball schedule does not include a game or games against Chapmanville this spring.
The two rivals are definitely in a “cooling off” period.
Tensions during a 2011 meeting, which included an altercation in the stands, has put the Logan-Chapmanville baseball series on hold, at least for now.
Logan, which has a 30-6 record against Chapmanville since 1999, won 4-1 over the Tigers on April 21, 2011 in the last meeting between the two old rivals. Chapmanville went on to finish 35-3 that season and defeated Wyoming East 8-0 in the Class AA state championship game at Charleston’s Appalachian Power Park — the Tigers’ first state crown since 1997. CRHS, coached by Eric Ellis, would also earn a national ranking.
Even though Logan does not play the Tigers, there’s a lot of interesting games on the 2013 schedule, including a home-and-home against Nitro, last year’s Class AAA state runner-up.
Logan, coached by veteran mentor Roger Gertz, also has a home-and-home against Class A county rival Man and games against Cabell Midland, St. Albans, Ripley, Hurricane, Winfield, Lincoln County, Belfry (Ky.) and Class AAA sectional foe George Washington.
The Wildcats are slated to open the season on March 19 at Cabell Midland. The home opener is set for March 23 against St. Albans.
The Logan baseball team’s highlight is April 2-5 when the Cats are scheduled to again play in the Mingo Bay Tournament at Myrtle Beach, S.C., over Spring Break.
Logan also plays a pair of games at George Washington on April 20 against Bridgeport and Charleston Catholic.
The Wildcats are hoping to bounce back from last year’s disappointments which saw Logan’s streak of 13 straight sectional championships come to a close.
Logan’s string came to an end in the Class AAA sectional finals when the Cats were upset 3-1 by homestanding South Charleston in the finals. The Wildcats, which finished the season 21-7, had advanced with a 15-5 victory at home over George Washington in an elimination game.
Logan loses some key players due to graduation, including Matthew Greene, Justin Oney and the twins Alex and Adam Mareske. Greene hit .443 last year with a team-high 29 RBI. Alex Mareske hit .407 with three homers and 26 RBIs.
The good news is that several players are back, including sophomore infielder/pitcher Z. Minnick, who hit .366 with two home runs and 26 RBI last season as only a freshman. On the hill, Minnick was 5-1 last season with a 4.16 ERA. In 35.1 innings pitched, he had 41 strikeouts.
Trent Dalton and Josh Rein are also back along with a host of others, including pitcher Troy Burgess.
The Logan baseball team also lost longtime pitching coach, assistant and first-base skipper Jim Willis Jr., who retired at the end of the 2012 season.
2013 Logan High School
March 19: at Cabell Midland, 6:30 p.m.
March 22: at Scott, 7 p.m.
March 23: St. Albans, 3 p.m.
March 27: Ripley, 7 p.m.
March 28: at Hurricane, 7 p.m.
April 2-5: at Mingo Bay Tournament, Myrtle Beach, S.C., TBA
April 9: at Nitro, 7 p.m.
April 10: at Man, 7 p.m.
April 12: at Ripley, 7 p.m.
April 13: Winfield, 7 p.m.
April 15: Cabell Midland, 7 p.m.
April 17: Lincoln County, 7 p.m.
April 20: vs. Bridgeport (at George Washington), 11 a.m.
April 20: vs. Charleston Catholic (at George Washington), 2 p.m.
April 22: Nitro, 7 p.m.
April 23: Scott, 7 p.m.
April 24: at St. Albans, 7 p.m.
April 25: at Belfry, Ky., 7 p.m.
April 26: Hurricane, 7 p.m.
April 27: at Winfield, 7 p.m.
April 29: at Lincoln County, 5 p.m.
April 30: Man, 7 p.m.
May 1: Belfry, Ky., 7 p.m.
May 2: George Washington, 7 p.m.