CAMERON - The ''Routt'' was on Monday in Cameron.
The Dragons' Logan Routt struck out 14 and scattered five hits as Cameron pushed Paden City to the brink of postseason elimination with a 6-2 victory in the opener of the West Virginia Class A, Region Two baseball sectional tournament.
It sounds like a smooth outing, but Routt had to work from the stretch much of the evening and did plenty of wiggling to get in and get out of some tough jams.
PHOTO BY JIM ELLIOTT
Cameron’s Ryan Clutter (1) throws on to first as Paden City’s Isaac Hall (6) bears down on Dragons second baseman Levi Knight (7) on Monday in Cameron. Cameron won, 6-2.
The Wildcats, who stranded 10 baserunners, loaded the bases with one out in the first and didn't score, then loaded them again with no outs in the fifth, where they pushed across their two runs.
Other than that, it was a lot of strike threes. Routt had seven strikeouts through three innings, including back-to-back punchouts of Michael Wilcox and Isaac Hall with the sacks jammed in the first.
In the sixth, he did similar work after hitting Zach Heasley with the bases loaded for the Wildcats' first run, he struck out three of the next four, allowing another unearned run on an error.
''(Routt) threw hard, and he threw a lot of strikes,'' Paden City coach Brent Croasmun said. ''We just could not get a timely hit. That could have been the difference.''
Statistically, Cameron didn't have any more success at the plate than Paden City, as both teams finished with five hits. But the Dragons capitalized in a big way on all three Wildcats errors. Of the 10 players to reach base for Cameron, six of them scored.
''When we did get runners in scoring position, we had some timely hits where we did get them in,'' Cameron coach Eric James said.
After surviving the top of the first, the Dragons got consecutive two-out hits from Mark Walker and Austin Pegg to get on top, 1-0.
They added three runs in the third, thanks to a hit batsmen, walk, two fielders choices, and an error.
''They scored three runs in that one inning without any hits,'' Croasmun said. ''You just can't do that in baseball. That just kills you when you get behind like that. Little things really hurt us."
After Paden City scored two in the top of the fifth, Cameron came back with two more, thanks to another error and an RBI single by Pegg, who was 2-for-2 with three RBI, the only other player in the game to have multiple hits besides Heasley, who was 2-for-3 with a single, double, and an RBI
''Their pitcher had us on our heels,'' James said of Wildcats starter Luke Cooper, who struck out five and walked two.
''I'm not satisfied with that at all. I don't believe we made a concerted effort at the plate to attack the baseball like I wanted to initially. You've got to try to generate things and manage the best you can offensively. When you do get guys on, you have to find a way to move them.''
To that end, the Dragons stole six bases, though a pair of them were uncontested because there was a man on third.
Both clubs are scheduled to be back in action today at the same site, as Cameron will play Magnolia, then Paden City will play the loser of that game.