MORGANTOWN - Wheeling manager Mark Delbrugge had one clear message after his team's 4-3 loss to Morgantown at West Virginia University's Hawley Field.
Don't count Post 1 out of the West Virginia American Legion Baseball Tournament just yet.
''That was a great baseball game,'' he said. ''How can you hang your head after that? This game could have gone either way. Morgantown played very well and did the little things. We didn't quite execute the way we have been.''
PHOTO by TONY VIOLA
Post 1 (28-10) hit into five double plays in the first six innings and didn't collect an RBI until the top of the eighth when Eric Crow drove in Russell Schwertfeger to tie the game at 3-3.
After getting nothing in the top of the ninth, relief pitcher Trevor Stewart earned a K to start the bottom of the frame, but Morgantown's Jimmy Galusky doubled on the next at bat.
Wheeling looked as though it would force extra innings as catcher Chad Harper caught a popup for the second out, but Travis Renner sent the first pitch he saw deep down the left foul line to score Renner.
''Galusky is a great player and that double in the ninth really hurt,'' Delbrugge said. ''He almost battled his way out of it. It was a great baseball game. Sometimes you come out in the good end of it and sometimes you don't. (Thursday) we didn't. We're not done yet.''
Morgantown struck first in the fourth. Lucas Travato doubled with two outs and scored on an error.
The lead was short lived for Post 2 as Jameson Murray tied the game on a wild pitch in the fifth.
Morgantown got the run back in the fifth as J.T. Stegmaier hit a leadoff doubled and scored on a Connor Boyd base hit.
Post 2 turned a leadoff walk by Lucas Travato into another run as Kurt Latocha's base hit drove him in to make it 3-1.
Post 1 made it a one run game in the seventh. Justice Jackson doubled to lead off the inning, went to third on a fly out and scored on a wild pitch.
Morgantown pitcher Tyler Shorter earned the complete game victory. He retired three batters on strikes and allowed eight hits.
''I think we blew some chances,'' Delbrugge said. ''We hit into five double plays. Anytime you do that, you're going to have a hard time scoring runs. We had bad base running mistakes that cost us. I thought (starter) Mario (Peroni) and Trevor threw well.''
One key for Post 1 as it moves forward in the double elimination tournament is the fact it still has pitching left. Jameson Murray, Matt Brooks and Justice Jackson are still available.
''We're not done in this thing,'' Delburgee said. ''Don't count Post 1 out of it yet.''
Wheeling will return to Hawley Field today at noon to face Fairmont, a team it beat in the tournament opener, 7-6.
Nick Naumann will get the start on the mound for Post 1.
'' We'll rebound,'' Delbrugge said. ''I feel confident.''