NEW MANCHESTER - It was cold and windy at the Oak Glen Field of Dreams baseball diamond, and it must have seemed even colder for the Golden Bear baseball team as they could manage just one hit in a 3-0 loss to Fairmont Senior Friday afternoon.
The victory propels the Polar Bears (25-6) into the state championship tournament next week in Charleston.
Meanwhile, the Golden Bears (16-10) came into the game riding an eight-game win-streak that included a dramatic walk-off victory last Tuesday against Ritchie County. The Golden Bears had reached the Region 1 level the past two years, but the 1-0 victory against Ritchie County was the first win in a baseball regional.
Polar Bear senior right hander, Matthew Robbins, was in command all the way yielding only a fourth inning double to Vincent "Bub" Haddox, while striking out eight and walking three.
"We knew going in that the Robbins kid was one of the best pitchers in the state," said Mark Shenton, who was serving in the head coaching capacity for the game because Mat DeVeaney was best man in a wedding. "He is being recruited by Division I schools so we knew runs were going to be far and few between.
As it turned out, the Polar Bears, who are riding a 10-game winning streak and had beaten the Golden Bears 4-1 on April 12, scored the winning run in the top of the first inning.
Robbins led off the game with a single, but was erased when Fletcher DeVaul bounced into a fielder's choice.
Austin Norman, who was a thorn in Steed's side all game with three singles, recorded his first base hit to put DeVaul on third base. Johnny Kesling followed with an RBI single to plate DeVaul before Steed worked his way out of the inning.
That was all of the scoring till the top of the seventh when Fairmont Senior plated two insurance runs.
Oak Glen's only threat was in the bottom of the fourth inning when senior center fielder, Matt McLaughlin, worked Robbins for a walk. Robbins had mowed the Golden Bears down in order in the first three innings. Zach Porter struck out, but Haddox ripped his double to the fence in left center sending McLaughlin to third.
However, Robbins was up to the task striking out the next two batters to leave the runners stranded.