Austin Cordell tossed a two-hitter and drove home a pair of runs to lead the PikeView Panthers past the James Monroe Mavericks 9-1 in West Virginia Class AA Region III, Section 3 tournament action Tuesday night. The win sends the Panthers to Thursday night’s championship round, while James Monroe takes on Bluefield tonight in an elimination game.
“The way he (Cordell) pitched today, giving up two hits, getting the outs when we needed to was great. The first run in the first (inning), a little mistake, probably the only mistake he made the whole game. He was spot on today,” said PikeView head coach Josh Wyatt. “He trusted the defense behind him. Even when he fell behind in the count he still made pitches that played to our defense and that’s where his intelligence as a pitcher kind of took over.”
James Monroe struck first as leadoff batter Reed McNeer singled up the middle on the game’s initial pitch. An errant pickoff throw by Cordell allowed McNeer to move to third and he came home on Caleb Brown’s ground out, giving the Mavericks the early lead.
The lead did not last long as Brown walked the first three Panthers that came to the plate, Carter Shrewsbury, Hunter Moses and Jon Clark. Shrewsbury scampered home on a wild pitch to tie the game.
PikeView took the lead in the bottom of the second. Ben Boggess led off with an infield single to short and took second when the throw sailed wide of first. Keian Lee had another infield single to short that put runners on the corners. Boggess attempted to score on a wild pitch, but Mavericks catcher Landon Shires got a good bounce off the brick backstop and flipped to Brown covering the plate to retire Boggess. Lee went to third on the play and scored later on another wild pitch. Zach Meadows, who walked, eventually scored on brother Seth Meadow’s ground out to first.
PikeView added a run in the third when Hunter Moses singled, went from first to third on a wild pitch and scored on an error. The Panthers added a single run in the fourth when Zach Meadows singled. Hunter Hill entered as a pinch runner, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Shrewsbury’s hit to left.
Meanwhile Cordell worked his way through the James Monroe lineup. An error gave the visitors a runner in the second, they picked up a walk in the third and fourth and leading off the fifth Preston Jones singled to left. It was the first hit for James Monroe since McNeer hit the game’s first pitch safely to center.
The first 1-2-3 inning of the game for either team came in the sixth when Cordell sat the Mavericks down in order, two via strikeout.
PikeView added insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth as they scored four runs on four hits. Shrewsbury, Moses and Jordan Hardin all had singles. Key was a two-run double off the fence in center by Zach Meadows. Hardin knocked in a run with his single and Clark had a sacrifice fly that scored one.
Seven different Panthers had hits with Shrewsbury, Moses and Boggess leading the way with two apiece. Cordell got the pitching victory as he tossed a complete game two hitter. He walked three and struck out eight.
McNeer and Jones had James Monroe’s only hits and Brown took the pitching loss. Brown worked six innings, allowed nine runs on 10 hits walked six and struck out two.
Mavericks head coach Nick Newberry said, “He (Brown) didn’t have his best stuff today. He came in pressing a little bit and didn’t throw a lot of strikes. You can’t give a good team a lot of bases and we did. We just didn’t make plays when we needed to and didn’t throw strikes when we needed to.”
James Monroe and Bluefield will meet for the fourth time this season tonight and according to Newberry, it should be an exciting matchup.
“We’ve beat them three times, but honestly, all three games could have gone either way, Newberry said. “We’ve had two walkoffs and the game over there we scored several in the last inning to pull ahead. Every game has been good.”
Wyatt was named Coalfield Conference baseball coach of the year on Tuesday.
“It’s an individual award and hopefully we get more individual awards going forward,” Wyatt said. “Offensively we’ve put up some outstanding numbers this year. It should lead to some personal awards that the team won.”
PikeView will meet the winner of tonight’s Bluefield-James Monroe game on Thursday.
At PikeView High School
James Monroe...........100 000 0 — 1 2 2
PikeView...................121 104 x — 9 10 2
Caleb Brown and Landon Shires; Austin Cordell and Hunter Moses.