W.Va. Claims OVAC All-Star Tilt

STEUBENVILLE – If anyone at Vaccaro Field watching the George Kavalick OVAC All-Star baseball game thought it was just for fun, apparently they weren’t seated close to the West Virginia dugout before the first pitch.

”Someone said before the game we’re just here to have some fun, and I said ‘no, we’re here to win the game,’ ” Mountaineers co-coach Brent Croasmum said. ”We wanted to win.”

The message from the Paden City coach must have resonated during the later innings as West Virginia scored two runs in the eighth, highlighted by a Trevor Stewart triple, to win the contest, 6-5, against the Ohio All-Stars.

With two outs and Trey Smith leading off at first, the Wheeling Park senior smacked one clear to the right field fence to score his teammate from Oak Glen and tied the game at 5-5.

”They threw me three straight curve balls in my first at bat, so I kinda just went up there and looked for the curveball and hit it,” Smith said.

Bishop Donahue’s Joey Myers then popped one over second to bring in Smith for the game-winner.

”It was nice to come out and finally beat Ohio,” Cameron’s Mark Walker said. ”I heard it’s been a long time since we have, so it’s a good win.”

Walker’s two-run single in the first gave West Virginia its first lead and a RBI single from John Marshall’s Zach Winland stretched the margin to 3-1.

”I think I got a lucky bounce,” Walker said of his hit. ”I knew we were talking during warmups about how rough the infield was and we were getting pretty bad hops in warmups. Then I noticed if you hit the ball hard in the infield, it’d be tough to field. I was just trying to drive it to the right side.”

After Alex Jones tripled in the second to bring the Buckeyes to within two, an error on the first baseman gave the Edison senior time to tie the game at 3-3.

Ohio picked up two more runs in the fourth and fifth before another RBI single from Winland drove in Walker to start the West Virginia comeback.

”It’s just so much fun it’s unbelievable,” Mountaineer and Magnolia coach Dave Cisar said of the experience. ”Everybody and anybody should coach an All-Star game. Just a lot of fun. Enjoy coaching with the guys, too. It was all awesome.

”We wanted to come up here and do well. Ohio played real well with good pitching. Our guys come back with a timely hit here and there and, hey, I’m happy to be here.’ ”

Added Croasmum, who was coaching in his 10th All-Star game: ”The good thing about it is that you have good coaches and great players at every position. You don’t have a weak spot on the field and it’s just a very enjoyable experience for anybody who has a chance to do it.”

Cisar, who passed 800 victories on the season, and Croasmum, who passed the 300-win mark, were both recognized and honored with plaques during a break in the game.