Mohigans Knock Off John Marshall

GLEN DALE – After dropping a narrow decision Monday at Morgantown, John Marshall returned home Tuesday looking to keep its season alive and force a deciding game in the West Virginia Class AAA Region One, Section Two tournament.

But Nick Gallagher, Tyler Shorter and the Mohigans were not interested in a third contest.

Gallagher went the distance on the hill, allowing six hits while fanning eight and walking a pair, Shorter had three singles and four RBI and streaking Morgantown was able to collect big hits at key moments in ending John Marshall’s season with an 8-1 victory at Monarch Field.

While Coach Mark McCarty’s 18-11 Mohigans will play host to Preston on Tuesday in a Region One semifinal contest, John Marshall, playing again without ailing coach Bob Montgomery, finishes at 8-10.

“It is really hard not having Monty here,” assistant coach Roger Simmons said. “He and his knowledge are really missed in this dugout. I honestly don’t know what he might have done different, but he would have thought of something.”

Morgantown took advantage of a couple of Monarchs mistakes in the top of the first to manufacture a run. Jordan Page reached on a one-out error, went to second on a fielder’s choice and advanced to third on a wild pitch.

The Mohigans made it a quick 1-0 count on Shorter’s two-out base hit in between short and third one batter later.

Shorter helped the visitors add a pair in the third with another two-out base hit that dropped just in front of a pair of outfielders and made it a 3-0 score. No. 9 hitter Zane Hern started things off with a single and went to third on a Page base hit two batters later, with Page taking second on the throw to third.

Morgantown added another in the fourth with a leadoff hit batsman, a one-out single and Hern’s sacrifice fly that pushed it to a 4-0 margin.

After sending just nine hitters to the plate through three frames, John Marshall got some breaks in the fourth and cut the deficit in half.

Jared Horan and Hunter Sadoski reached on walks before Trevor Hardesty reached on a fielder’s choice, erasing Sadoski, but scoring Horan. Hardesty moved up on a throwing error.

Jerreck Waldrum then singled to deep short with Hardesty scoring on Morgantown’s second bad throw of the inning making it a 4-2 score.

A double and a pair of singles to begin the fifth, including Shorter’s third single and fourth RBI, got a big inning going for the Mohigans.

A bases-loaded walk to Dustin Freeman made it 6-2 just ahead of Brady Matthews’ two-run single.

However, the Monarchs got out of any further damage thanks to an inning-ending double play.

“We had a nice inning and scored a couple of runs in the fourth and then go out and give them four in the fifth,” Simmons said. “I know it’s baseball, but you have to hold them there and then who knows.

“They have a nice team and I congratulate them and wish them good luck next week in the regional. Their pitcher did a real nice job and they put the bat on the ball.”

McCarty, meanwhile, was very happy with his team’s performance and is looking forward to next week.

“It is nice having Nick Gallagher back,” McCarty said. “This is only the fourth game he has pitched because of some rotator problems. But he was strong out there and I am real happy about that.

“Tyler Shorter also did a nice job at the plate. I know we left some guys on, but we had some big hits also. And aside from the one inning with a couple of errors and walks, I thought we played very good defense.”