GLEN DALE - What a difference 24 hours makes.
A day after being shut out by Morgantown, John Marshall evened its Best-of-3 series with a 12-3 thumping of the Mohigans to force a deciding game today in the West Virginia Class AAA Region One, Section Four playoffs.
''Every day is different, every game is different,'' John Marshall coach Bob Montgomery said. ''(Wednesday) was our day. Facing elimination we are hanging in there. It was quite a game for us.''
John Marshall’s Mitch Whorton applies a tag on Morgantown’s Ryan Antonini after a pick-off throw to first base.
Two pitches into Wednesday s game at Monarch Field, Morgantown's Connor Leone kept the momentum going for the Mohigans with a solo home run off the scoreboard in right center.
From there, it was all Jeremiah Fromhart.
The Monarchs pitcher went the distance, striking out nine - including Leone twice, the second time to end the game - and allowing four more hits.
John Marshall (13-13) got the run back in the bottom of the first when Chris Minder led off with a single, and came around to score on two wild pitches.
Mender's hustle quickly the drew the praise of his coaches and teammates.
In the second inning, with runners on first and second and two outs, Minder beat a throw to first for an infield single to keep the inning alive and put John Marshall ahead 2-1.
''Coaches are always saying every play matters and that one did,'' Montgomery said. ''That play led to (five runs). It really turned us on. (Tuesday) we got down four early so that was a big play for us.''
That's when the Monarchs broke the game open.
A throwing error allowed two more runs to score, followed by an RBI triple from Zach Winland and an RBI single by Fromhart as John Marshall batted around and took a commanding 6-1 lead.
Even when Morgantown tried to climb back in with two unearned runs in the top of the third, John Marshall was quick to answer, scoring four in the bottom of the inning, two coming via an RBI double from Mitch Whorton, followed by a two-run home run that was crushed by Shane Wellman for an 11-3 advantage.
Evan Magers scored the final run, reaching on a leadoff walk in the fourth inning and scoring without the benefit of a hit (stolen base, wild pitch, passed ball).
The game was so lopsided, Morgantown coach Mike McCarty was at a loss for words.
''We stunk the place up,'' McCarty said. ''We stunk the place up and that's all I've got to say.''
The series returns to Morgantown for a deciding game at 5 p.m. today at Mylan Park.
After using his top two pitchers in the first two games, Montgomery said he will have to sleep on his decision about who will take the mound in Game 3.
''We knew coming in we are thin on the mound this year,'' Montgomery said. ''It could very well be by committee. Seven of them an inning each.''