NEW MARTINSVILLE - Magnolia coach Dave Cisar was not thrilled with the way his team finished out Saturday's West Virginia Class A Region One, Section Two contest with Paden City. Looking at the positive though, Cisar said, the Blue Eagles (14-6) emerged with a 10-2 victory, their fifth straight, at the George S. Mullett Baseball Complex.
''The first couple innings we swung the bat well, we had enthusiasm,'' Cisar said. ''Then boom, we look like we have never been on the field the last three innings.
''We've got to work on that and we'll get better.''
Over on the other side, Wildcats (10-13) coach Brent Croasmun was wondering what happened to his defense. Paden City committed six errors, leading to three unearned runs.
''If you would have told me after the first week of practice that we'd have six errors in one game, there's no way I would have believed that,'' said Croasmun, whose team will play Cameron at 5:30 on Monday, back at Magnolia. ''We've been pretty sound defensively most of the time.
''They want to win so bad that I think they are afraid to make a mistake.''
Cisar admitted to being a bit concerned heading into the contest, what with the Eagles beating the Wildcats twice previously, but by only one run each time.
Magnolia fired out of the gate with a four-spot in the bottom of the first inning. Two errors, a run-scoring double by Tyler Anderson and Brandon Mason's sacrifice fly provided the damage.
The Wildcats scratched through with a run as Zach Heasley doubled leading off the second and scored two batters later as Isaac Hall hit another double, this one to left field.
But the Blue Eagles got that one back in the bottom of the second as two more errors led to an RBI single by Anderson.
The big inning though, was the third.
Jake Starkey and Eric Smith sandwiched one-out singles around a Drew Keller walk, loading the bases for Miller, who reached in each of his five plate appearances. Miller turned around Kyle Postlewait's first-pitch fastball and sent it over the fence in left for a grand slam and a 10-1 lead after three innings.
''Anderson had a couple nice ones, Miller had good at-bats and Starkey had a couple real good ones,'' Cisar said. ''You want to look at the positive and you want to look at the negative.
''The positive is 10-2 is 10-2 and we will take it any day.''
That was more than enough for senior Magnolia ace Zach Willhoite. Working quickly as usual, Willhoite went the distance, struck out six and needed 91 pitches (69 strikes).
''You've got to give their pitcher some credit, but we did get some hits,'' Croasmun said. ''We hit the ball some and we haven't been doing that lately, so that was a positive.
''But then the fielding went someplace. I don't know where it went.''
The Wildcats got one in the top of the seventh as two singles - Tyler Stackpole and Luke Cooper - led to Heasley's second double, this one driving in a run.
The Blue Eagles will face the Cameron-Paden City survivor at 5 on Tuesday.