CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Just a scant few hours after winning its second straight Class AA state baseball championship, Logan was back at its baseball field, celebrating with a picnic and the accompanying atmosphere — the team, family, friends and community.
“We said we wanted to take them out, have a nice dinner to celebrate, and some of the parents suggested we have celebration at the baseball field and make it like a picnic,” Logan coach Kevin Gertz recalled. “So, we get back, there are about six cornhole boards in the outfield, everybody has a good time, and this goes on for a few hours. About 10 o’clock we are wrapping up and I see the weight room door open, and the light is on. And Korbin Bostic was in the weight room working out.”
Understand, Bostic, an outfielder, is a senior, who has signed with Bluefield State.
And to understand that is to understand Logan’s success on the diamond the last two seasons.
“Last year we won the state championship on a Saturday, and we were back home the next day and my dad calls me up and says, ‘You aren’t going to believe what’s going on down here.’ It turns out he went by the school and all eight of our returning starters were working out,” Gertz said. “I’ve never had a team that works out like this team does, and they do it on their own.”
Bostic and two junior teammates, pitcher Dawson Maynard and catcher Jake Ramey, were named to the Class AA all-state team released Wednesday by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
There were other sets of teammates on the first team, including Robert C. Byrd’s infielder Nathaniel Junkins and outfielder Nick George, Fairmont Senior’s outfielder Evan Dennison and utility Gunner Riley, Shady Spring’s pitcher Cam Manns and utility Josh Lovell and Independence’s catcher Atticus Goodson and infielder Michael McKinney.
Bostic, Maynard, Goodson and McKinney, along with Sissonville’s Collin Cottrell are repeat first-teamers.
Bostic enjoyed a banner year, hitting .407 with 10 doubles, four triples, four home runs and he drove in 39 runs.
“And I think defensively he is the best outfielder in the state of West Virginia,” Gertz said.
Maynard was a utility pick and he fit the bill but was named as a pitcher this year. He was 5-1 with a 0.91 earned run average and was the winning pitcher in the first game of the state tournament, outdueling Shady Spring’s Manns, a fellow first-teamer. He hit .495 with 11 doubles, five triples, six home runs and 45 RBI.
“Dawson is a special player,” Gertz said. “If he were just a pitcher, I think he could go to a Division I school and help them. If he was just an infielder, I think he could go to a Division I school and start for four years. He had some arm problems, lost about 8-10 miles off his velocity and still put up those numbers.”
Ramey caught all 36 games for Logan this year, a rarity these days.
He hit .413 with eight doubles, a home run and 41 RBI.
“He isn’t the biggest guy, and he took a beating back there, but he is tough, and it never bothered him,” Gertz said “He was our No. 3 hitter and did the job offensively as well.”
Goodson and McKinney were also repeat first-teamers, but Goodson made a big jump from outfielder to catcher. His play never missed a beat.
Goodson hit .462 as the Patriots’ leadoff hitter, had eight home runs, scored 41 runs, walked 13 times and was hit by pitches 19 times. His on-base percentage was .628.
Goodson played six different positions defensively this year, was a pitcher (3-2, 1.81 earned run average, 66 strikeouts in 38 2/3 innings) and was the only player to receive two or more votes at pitcher, catcher, infield, outfield and utility.
“When he first came to me as a freshman, he said he was a catcher, but we had guys back there and he became one of the best outfielders in the state,” Independence coach Scott Cuthbert said. “At the end of last year, he came to me and said he wanted to catch, and we had a need at that spot. We tried him out during a bullpen session in the gym and he took right to it.”
Goodson will attend Walters State to play baseball in the fall. Walters State is regarded as one of the nation’s top JUCO baseball programs.
McKinney, who has signed with N.C. State, repeated as an infielder. He hit .412 with eight home runs and had 28 walks.
“I don’t know about being the best player but I’m sure I’ve not had a kid as athletic as Michael,” Cuthbert said. “He can do things normal people can’t do. He makes every play. You don’t find many 6-foot-4 shortstops who can do the things he can do.”
The other duos, like Logan, were from state tournament teams.
Fairmont, which fell to Logan in the championship game, was represented by Dennison and Riley.
Dennison hit .457 for the Polar Bears with nine doubles, five triples, seven home runs and an on-base percentage of .570, and he had a team-best 69 quality at-bats.
Riley, a utility player, led the team in hitting at .475 with 13 doubles, three triples and five home runs.
Robert C. Byrd, which fell to Fairmont in the semifinals, was led by Junkins and George.
Junkins hit .464 with 11 doubles, two triples and six home runs. The senior infielder was named captain of the team.
George hit .465 with 25 doubles, three home runs and 39 RBI.
Shady Spring was represented by Manns and Lovell.
Manns, who had a big win in the Class AA Region 3, Section 2 series against Independence, was 6-1 on the season with a 1.96 ERA in and he struck out 75 batters in 39 1/3 innings.
“He started to get noticed on the state level when he beat Independence in the sectional tournament,” coach Jordan Meadows said. “This year he performed like we knew he would, and he is a gamer. The state tournament experience in every sport he plays (football and basketball, where he played in two state championship games, winning one) gives him the composure to compete at a high level.”
Lovell, a utility player who played everywhere from catcher to outfielder to designated hitter, hit a team-best .475, had 47 hits, including five home runs and 43 RBI.
“Josh was our leader this year from Game 1,” Meadows said. “He led the team all year in batting average, and we knew we could rely on him in big situations. He played many positions during his career, and he played them all well.”
Cottrell is a repeat pitcher for Sissonville, and he fashioned a 9-3 record with a 1.19 earned run average. He had 118 strikeouts and just 11 walks on the season.
Kerry Collins from Bluefield and Jacob Howard, both infielders, were two of the top hitters in Region 3 this season.
Collins hit a school-record 10 home runs, including two three-run shots in a must-win game at Shady Spring. Collins hit .515 and had 43 runs batted in.
Howard led the region in hitting at .586 and he had 15 doubles, three triples, five home runs and 36 RBI. He was walked 26 times, 75 percent of those coming via intentional walks.
Cole Malnick of North Marion was also a utility pick on the first team. As a pitcher, Malnick was 6-2 with 73 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings with 73 strikeouts and a 2.64 earned run average. At the plate he hit .458 with eight doubles, two triples, three home runs, 28 RBI and 30 runs scored.
Here is the Class AA all-state baseball team released Wednesday by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
Pitcher: Cam Manns, Shady Spring; Collin Cottrell, Sissonville; Dawson Maynard, Logan.
Catcher: Atticus Goodson, Independence; Jake Ramey, Logan.
Infield: Nathaniel Junkins, Robert C. Byrd (captain); Jacob Howard, Wyoming East; Michale McKinney, Independence; Kerry Collins, Bluefield.
Outfield: Korbin Bostic, Logan; Evan Dennison, Fairmont Sr.; Nick George, Robert C. Byrd.
Utility: Josh Lovell, Shady Spring; Gunner, Riley, Fairmont Sr.; Cole Malnick, North Marion.
Pitcher: Mayson Jack, Fairmont Sr.; Luke Sperry, Robert C. Byrd; Tanner Sipes, Independence.
Catcher: Bryson Redmond, Bluefield (captain); Peyton Clark, Frankfort.
Infield: Brody Dalton, Chapmanville; Garrett Williamson, Logan; Ryker Brown, Bluefield; Alfred Isch, Philip Barbour.
Outfield: Clay Hershberger, East Fairmont; Isaiah Ramsey, Sissonville; Will Bright, Herbert Hoover; Aiden Slack, Logan.
Utility: Tanner Cook, Robert C. Byrd; Carson Brown, Independence.
Tyler Baldwin, Braxton County; Clay Basham, Independence; Ryan Beasley, Herbert Hoover; Gavin Blair, Fairmont Senior; Noah Broadwater, Kesyer; Brett Bumgarner, Winfield; Trey Butcher, Chapmanville; Colten Carpenter, Sissonville; Levi Cassidy, Wayne; Cody Cooper, Philip Barbour; Tobin Cruz, North Marion; Brody Dalton, Chapmanville; Caleb Fuller, Bluefield; J.P. Girod, Nicholas County; Andrew Lynch, Frankfort; Hunter Harmon, Bluefield; Seth Healy, Keyser; Caleb Henson, Winfield; Alex Johnston, Shady Spring; Dustin Keener, Grafton; Tyler Kelly, Weir; Will Kirkendall, Chapmanville; Dylan Kuhl, Winfield; Andy Lester, Independence; Stevie Loftis, Sissonville; Johnny Lopez, Lincoln; Konnor Lowe, Logan; Andrew Lynch, Frankfort; Tyler Mackey, Shady Spring; Michael Martin, Lincoln; Jacob Meadows, Shady Spring; Griffin Miller, Scott; Alex Ooten, Mingo Central; Alex Pritt, Nicholas County; Hagen Summers, Nitro; Tyson Thompson, Chapmanville; Connor Tingler, East Fairmont; Jared Vestal, PikeView; Sam Viani, Fairmont Senior; Tanner Whitten, Wyoming East.
Dave Morrison is the state chairman of the WVSWA and provided this story on behalf of the WVSWA.