RAVENSWOOD, W.Va. — Give the Red Devils their due, they did something no team in Class A has done since 2014.
The back-to-back Class A state champion Wahama baseball team — which was seeded third in this year’s Region 4, Section 1 tournament — has been eliminated from the postseason, as top-seeded host Ravenswood claimed a 10-0 victory in five innings, on Saturday at Wright Field in Jackson County.
Ravenswood (20-7) — which is 3-0 in so far this postseason, outscoring teams by a 34-1 clip — scored the game-winning run with two outs in the bottom of the first inning, when Chase Swain blasted a solo home run.
After a scoreless second frame, RHS added two runs with two outs in the third inning, as Nathan Curtis doubled home Stephen Dawson and Nic Taylor.
A two-run single by Dawson highlighted a four-run fourth inning for the hosts, extending the margin on the scoreboard to 7-0. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, the Red Devils scored three runs to cap off the 10-0 mercy rule win.
The winning pitcher of record for RHS was Curtis, who tossed a complete game no-hitter. Curtis struck out eight batters, walked two and hit one.
WHS senior and Marshall University signee Philip Hoffman — who hurt his knee on a sliding play in Friday’s WHS win — took the loss in four innings on the mound, striking out four batters, while allowing seven earned runs, on six hits and five walks.
Nyles Riggs pitched the fifth inning for the White Falcons, striking out two and allowing three earned runs, on two hits and two walks.
Taylor led the Ravenswood offense, going 3-for-4 with a double, two bunt singles, two runs scored and one RBI. Swain hit a home run in his only at-bat, as the RHS junior was walked in his other two plate appearances.
“They’re a real good hitting team,” 13th-year Wahama head coach Tom Cullen said of the Red Devils. “Philip couldn’t field his position, he couldn’t move on that knee and they took advantage of that by bunting. You have to give Coach Wes Swain a hand, he put his kids in position to win.”
WHS junior Colton Arrington got on base twice in the setback, once on a walk and once after being hit by a pitch. Jared Oliver also drew a base on balls, while Dalton Kearns and Tyler Bumgarner both reached safely on errors.
Ravenswood only committed two errors, while the White Falcons committed one. The hosts left five runners on base, while WHS stranded four.
In the winner’s bracket final on Wednesday, Ravenswood ended Wahama’s 16-game postseason winning streak with a 13-0 victory, at Wright Field. Buffalo was the last team to eliminate Wahama, taking a 1-0 win over the visiting White Falcons on May 27, 2014.
This is the final game in the Red and White for Wahama seniors Jared Oliver, Wyatt Edwards, Nyles Riggs and Philip Hoffman.
“They gave me a lot of super memories,” Cullen said of his seniors. “They have done a great job in their four years. They’ve all battled and worked hard to get to where they’re at. They’ve had a lot of success, you hate to see them go out like this, but they can go out with their heads up.”
Along with two state championships, over the last four seasons, Wahama has won three Tri-Valley Conference Hocking titles, three sectional crowns and a pair of regionals.
With only losing four seniors the White Falcons are assured to bring a healthy amount of experience back to the diamond next season.
“There’s a nucleus there, we just have to come up with some pitchers,” Cullen said of what Wahama will have returning. “There are some young pitchers and if they’ll work, we could be pretty good next year.”
Ravenswood — which has now claimed 11 shut out wins on the year — will begin regional play on May 23.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.
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