Getting out of the biggest jam
Logue leads La Plata baseball to first state title since 2008; Childers wins 100th
ABERDEEN — All season long, La Plata head baseball coach John Childers had trusted his senior pitcher Scott Logue to finish games.
So when Logue threw 10 balls in 11 pitches to load the bases with two outs in the bottom of the seventh in Monday’s Class 2A state championship game versus Williamsport, Childers didn’t flinch.
Needing just one out and the pressure on, Logue turned to his defense as Caden Keplinger grounded out to shortstop Taylor Cook for the 6-4 force play to end the game, leading La Plata to a 4-1 victory over the Wildcats of Washington County at Ripken Stadium en route to the program’s first state championship since 2008.
When the final out was recorded, Logue’s teammates rushed him, making a pile on the mound in celebration. With hard-throwing, low fastballs he was able to keep the Wildcats from advancing runners.
“It was a lot of pressure with the state title on the line and I struggled to throw strikes, but I have a great defense behind me,” said Logue, who also got out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fifth. “I just had to stay composed and trust my teammates.”
La Plata (22-2 overall), the
2A South Region champions, provided early offense, scoring one run in the first and three in the third as Logue and the defense helped secure the eventual victory.
“I can’t really grab my mind around it yet. We were sweating out that last inning and I didn’t know what was going to happen for us,” said Childers, who won his 100th game as La Plata head coach. “I’m just excited for the kids and all their hard work. It just feels great to put them in the position to be successful.”
“That game was much like the Southern game when Scott had the tying runs on base,” said Childers, referring to the 4-2 victory over the two-time defending state champions in the region final on May 20. “After he walked the first two batters, I told him that he is not coming out no matter what and that we are winning or losing with him on the mound. He’s been our guy all season and came through again.”
Logue, who walked the first two batters that he faced to start the seventh, forced the next two batters to fly out to right fielder Nick Steury and center fielder Peytyn Gray, respectively, for the first two outs.
After walking the next batter load the bases, Logue forced a grounder for the final out to finally relieve the pressure. He allowed one run on six hits with four walks, three coming in the seventh, to go along with three strikeouts.
“I was blowing it by them the whole game and my catcher [Tyler Stockwell] just told me to keep mixing up my pitches,” Logue said. “I just kept fighting and my defense did the rest.”
La Plata junior left fielder Brett Pilkerton scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the first on a Williamsport error at first base. Then in the third, the Warriors scored three more runs on three hits as Stockwell drove in Gray on a one-out RBI single. Jake Hanks followed up with a tworun single that brought home Cook and Ethan Becker to cap off the scoring.
“I told Scott that you are the best pitcher in the state,” said Stockwell, who had two hits on the day. “We had a three-run lead and I told him to go out there and win the game and that’s what he did. We all came together as a team like we have all season, and that is what won the title for us.”
La Plata, which outscored its postseason opponents 41-6, gave up the Wildcats’ lone run in the top of the fifth as JP Melby scored on a fielder’s choice.
Williamsport junior starter Matt Harsh went five innings with six strikeouts, allowing three earned runs on five hits with three walks. Williamsport, the 2A West champion, finished 19-5.
La Plata coaches and players run from the dugout after the final out of the 4-1 victory over the Williamsport Wildcats in the Class 2A state baseball championship game at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen on Monday. It is the Warriors’ first state title since 2008.
La Plata pitcher Scott Logue allowed one run on six hits with four walks, three coming in the seventh, to go along with three strikeouts in Monday’s Class 2A state championship game at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen. Logue got out of a seventh-inning jam, giving the Warriors their first state title since 2008 with a 4-1 win.
La Plata’s Jake Hanks delivers the tag at second on Williamsport’s Caden Keplinger in Monday’s 4-1 win in the Class 2A state baseball championship game at Ripken Stadium.