RICHMOND - Edison, much as it seems to do every year, has reached an Ohio Valley Athletic Conference championship baseball game.
On the strength of Saturday's 4-1 win over Morgantown, the Wildcats play for the OVAC Class 5A crown, putting them in the title game for the fifth consecutive season. Edison has won three straight titles with a 3A title in 2011, a 4A crown in 2012, and the 5A championship last season. They also dropped the 3A title game in 2010.
"Our goal is to get better every day and we had a six-game stretch where we weren't playing real well," said Edison head coach Mike Collopy. "I think we played better today. Nolan (Marcus) pitched well. We have a lot of competitors, and, obviously, he's one of the best we have. I think we made the plays behind him. Offensively I think we created some opportunities to score some runs. There were a couple situations there where I think I could have helped us out better as the coach.
SWINGING AWAY — Edison’s Dylan Jones connects for a single in the third inning of the Huskies’ 4-1 win over Morgantown in an OVAC Class 5A semifinal at Jefferson Lake State Park on Saturday. Standing in the on deck circle is fellow Edison senior Josh Pasek.
"All the credit to the kids. They were ready to play, and it was good to get back on the winning track."
Marcus went six full for Edison, striking out six and giving up just two hits to pick up the victory on the hill. With Marcus' pitch count at 105 after the sixth, Collopy went to Austin Horan in the seventh. Horan responded by sitting down all three hitters he faced, including striking out a pair, to pick up the save.
"Austin is never rattled," said Collopy of Horan. "He's real calm on the mound. He just comes in and throws strikes, and that was 100 percent credit to coach (Jim) Marcus. He made that call (to bring in Horan), and that's why he's a great coach. We talked and just felt it was in the best interest of the team. We have a lot of confidence Austin and obviously it worked out for us."
Edison 4, Morgantown 1
Morgantown 001 000 0 - 1 2 3
Edison 200 200 x - 4 4 1
MORGANTOWN: Shorter (LP, 6K, 2BB) and Starliper. Hames S; Croft S, R; Hern RBI.
EDISON (12-2): Marcus (WP, 5K, 4BB), Horan (S, 7th, 2K, 0BB) and Skeeles. Allese 2S, 2RBI, R; Dillon S, R; Pasek R; Marcus R; Skeeles RBI.
The Mohigans' Tyler Shorter pitched well despite the loss, sitting down six Wildcats on strikes and allowing only four hits. A pair of errors in the first and a wild pitch in the fourth cost Shorter during a strong outing.
"He threw well," said Morgantown head coach Mark McCarty. "It's just that we're very young this year all the way up and down this year, and we obviously didn't swing the bats very well. He pitched a good game. We have three sophomores in the infield and two juniors that played. That's pretty much the extent of it. He gives up four runs; obviously if we swing the bats at all we're in the game."
With one out in the bottom of the first Josh Pasek and Nolan Marcus both reached base on Morgantown misplays of ground balls. Storm Allese's bloop single just over the second baseman's head with two outs allowed both Pasek and Marcus to score to put Edison up 2-0.
The Mohigans put their run up in the third with a little help from a Wildcat error. Reid Croft led off the frame with a single and was pushed to second on a Jordan Page groundout to Marcus. An error on a Damon Carr ground ball allowed Croft to arrive at third. Zayne Hern then pushed him home on a groundout to second. Morgantown loaded the bases, but was unable to get anything else as Marcus struck out J.T. Stegmaier to end the threat.
The fourth inning saw the Wildcats push their lead out to three runs. Allese led off with a bunt single and then stole second to get in scoring position. After Collin Scott was hit by a pitch, Matt Dillon made the score 3-1 with a base hit. Dillon later scored on a wild pitch to make the score 4-1, which was more than enough for Marcus and Horan.
"Situation offense I thought was good," said Collopy. "That a good pitcher. I don't know what his velocity was, but he had a lot of zip on the ball. He was able to throw two or three pitches for strikes, and he kept our batters off balance, but our kids did a good job of just trying to get quality at bats, and put the ball in play."
Edison advance to next Saturday's OVAC 5A final where it takes on Wheeling Park, a 15-11 winner over Brooke in the other semifinal game. The game is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Vaccaro Field.