DAVISVILLE - Parkersburg Catholic scored only one run for the second straight game Thursday.
Unfortunately this time though, unlike the Crusaders' 1-0 eight-inning win over Gilmer County Wednesday, visiting Madonna tallied three runs before PC finally managed to plate a run in the bottom of the seventh to fall to the Blue Dons 3-1 in the Class A Region 1 baseball championship game at Marshall Romine Field.
The Crusaders, finishing their season at 19-10, had only three hits against Madonna's Logan Linder and just five base-runners total in the game, only more than one in just the third inning.
In the meantime, the Blue Dons (23-9) reached Catholic's Jim Ferrell, who hurled a gritty seven-hitter, for single runs in the second, fourth and seventh with two of them unearned to deny the Crusaders their first trip to the state tournament in 19 years.
''You get that close and it's heartwrenching,'' said Catholic head coach Tom Harvey about not getting the one last win Wednesday that would have put his team in the state tournament after a turn-around season from 9-10 last year.
''But Madonna was just a little bit better than us today. We didn't hit it real well, but part of that was Linder on the mound doing a good job too. We gave it all we had, and what an effort by Jim Ferrell, who gave us a gutsy performance. I'm proud of our kids, and not ashamed a bit. Our kids never gave up. We tried to rally there in the seventh a bit, but came up a couple runs short.''
Class AA, Region I final
Wednesday at Point Pleasant
Point Pleasant 6, Magnolia 3
Magnolia 111 000 0 - 3 4 0
Point 200 103 x - 6 7 0
WP: Tyler Roberts 7IP 4BB 11SO
LP: Tanner Hanna 0.2IP 2BB 0SO
Zach Willhoite (starter) 5IP 1BB 3SO
Chandler Sapp 0.1IP 0BB 1SO
Leading hitters: Magnolia -Tanner Hanna 2-2, RBI; Zach Willhoite 1-3, RBI; Kyle Elliott 1-3; Keller RBI. Point Pleasant- Roberts 3-3, HR, RBI; Potter 1-3, 2B, 2 RBIs; Toler RBI; Thompson RBI.
Records: Magnolia 17-12, Point Pleasant 25-7
Class A Region 1 Championship
At Marshall Romine Field, Davisville
Madonna 3, Parkersburg Catholic 1
Madonna (23-9) 010 100 1 - 3 7 1
Catholic (19-10) 000 000 1 - 1 3 2
WP: Logan Linder, 7 IP, 5 SO, 1 BB
LP: Jim Ferrell, 7 IP, 2 SO, 6 BB
Madonna hitting: Nick Battista 2-4; Ross Comis 1-3, RBI; Chris Duerr 2-3, double; Nick Ossman 1-4; Will Bowser 1-2, RBI
Catholic hitting: Jake Boice 1-3, double; Bobby Casto SF, RBI; Nick Roedersheimer 2-3
The Blue Dons took a 1-0 lead in the second on a leadoff double by Chris Duerr, who went to third base on a groundout and scored on Will Bowser's RBI single to center, and went up 2-0 in the fourth on a walk, wild pitch, passed ball and error.
Catholic's lone scoring threat until the seventh came in the third on a one-out single to right-center by Nick Roedersheimer followed by a walk to Payton Sturm. They both moved up a base, to second and third, as Mitch Davis grounded out to the right side, but were left stranded there.
In the top of the seventh, Ferrell surrendered an unearned run on an RBI single by Ross Comis before the Crusaders' lefthanded-hitting Jake Boice began the bottom of the inning by lining an opposite-field double off the glove of diving Madonna third baseman Comis and by him down the left-field line. Boice advanced to third on a groundout and came home when Bobby Casto drove a ball deep to right field for a sacrifice fly.
''We just couldn't string three, four, five hits together to get a lead,'' said Harvey, ''and that's tough when you're playing from behind. It might have been a little bit of nerves maybe too for us, being our first time being this far while Madonna's been here before.''
The 19 wins is Catholic's most in a season since 1986. ''It's been a great year, and it's been fun,'' said Harvey. ''Plus, we opened our new ballpark (Romine Field). So maybe we can get a little bit of Catholic baseball tradition rolling.
''And we want this loss to be one of those long-term memories, so when we come in next year, we'll remember this 3-1 feeling and work to hopefully be on the other end of that score.''