The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

August 3, 2013

Miners clinch East Division pennant

BECKLEY — West Virginia Miners manager Tim Epling has the team — not a group of individuals — he wanted all along.

Kenny May drove in Dale Davis with the tying run in the bottom of the 14th inning, then Pat Kregeloh’s two-run homer punctuated a 4-2 win that made the Miners the Prospect League East Division champions.

The Miners (36-22) can finish no worse than in a tie with Butler for the division title, but they secured the championship by virtue of winning the season series with the BlueSox.

An offense that had been dormant during a season-worst four-game losing streak finally woke up in the 14th. West Virginia, which led the BlueSox by five games with eight to play last Saturday, hit just .189 during their losing streak.

They didn’t exactly take strides Friday night, but finally came through when it counted.

Dale Davis led off the 14th with a soft single to center on a 2-2 count, then went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Evan Potter. After Doug Votolato flied out to center, May hit a blooping single to center to score Davis for a 2-2 game.

“That hit by Kenny May was huge,” Epling said.

Then Kregeloh came up with his biggest hit as a Miner. The third baseman who had two of West Virginia’s four errors on the night, atoned for them both when he blasted the first pitch he saw from Zach Wolfe over the left field wall for his first walk-off homer since high school.

Kregeloh was happy to hit the homer, but was quick to credit May.

“I was just going up there looking for a pitch to hit,” said Kregeloh, who received two ice-water dousings from his teammates. “To tell you the truth, the hit Kenny May had before that was bigger than the home run.”

Chillicothe left fielder Dominick Brugnoni scaled the wall as high as he could as the fans celebrated and Kregeloh’s teammates waited to mob him at the plate.

The game was tied 1-1 until the top of the 14th when the Paints (32-26) finally took advantage of an opportunity.

Nick Lombardi walked and went to second when Brugnoni bunted for a single off Rolando Celis. Stuart Eisler tried to bunt them both over, but popped the ball foul behind home plate. Miners catcher Josh Galvan made a diving catch for the first out.

James Woods relieved Celis and struck out Vinnie Booker. Troy Kuhn then hit a ground ball that went off the glove of West Virginia shortstop Evan Potter for an error. Lombardi scored to give the Paints a 2-1 lead.

Chillicothe had six runners in scoring position in five of the six previous innings but left them all stranded.

Celis turned in a stellar relief appearance, going 7 1-3 innings. He struck out eight and walked two and was charged with the run — unearned — in the 14th.

Woods wound up getting the win.

The Miners will wrap up the regular season with a two-game set against Richmond starting at 7:05 p.m. today. It will be Fan Appreciation night, with fireworks after the game.

It will also be WVVA Night. There will be plenty of free giveaways.

The season finale will be at 5:05 p.m. Sunday. The best-of-three playoffs begin Tuesday at either Butler or Chillicothe. Games 2 and 3 (if necessary) will be played at Linda K. Epling Stadium.

Chillicothe and Butler can still tie for the second spot, but the Paints hold the tiebreaker. Everything hinges on what happens this weekend, including the conclusion of Butler’s game with Lorain County, which was postponed with the BlueSox leading 3-0 in the third inning.

— E-mail: gfauber@register-herald.com

Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 041714 millard Kickoff time set for WVU-Alabama

    West Virginia football fans can now start counting down to the exact minute, instead of just the day.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Questions raised about Turnbull’s firing

    Dr. Stephen Graber, an associate professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, is among the latest WVU teachers to deplore Oliver Luck’s firing of veteran wrestling coach Craig Turnbull.

    April 17, 2014

  • Gettin’ ready for gobbler season: Step 4 — the setup

    This just in — in a recent study on turkey hunting and turkey hunters it was found that 98.7 percent of the time when hunters were unsuccessful when calling in a gobbler, the hunter made some mistake during the last 50 yards of the bird’s approach.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041714 wright Former Red Devil star realizing dream of playing D-I basketball

    When former Oak Hill High School standout Kalif Wright was a kid, he would play EA Sports’ NCAA March Madness video games and dream of one day getting a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • McClung moving from mound to dugout

    Seth McClung was getting his daughters Madison and Fallon inside and ready for their baths when his phone rang. He’s said before that he enjoys the role of “daddy day care.”

    April 15, 2014

  • First stop Waffle House; next stop The Greenbrier

    Bubba Watson decided to keep his post-Masters victory more low key this year. Instead of going to New York for a media tour, he headed home to Orlando, Fla., and kept plans for a five-day vacation with his wife.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pick 3: Cam Huffman's answers

    Is Mike D’Antoni the best hire for Marshall basketball if the Herd can land him?

    April 15, 2014

  • Pick 3: Gary Fauber's answers

    Is Mike D’Antoni the best hire for Marshall basketball if the Herd can land him?

    April 15, 2014

  • Polands share life, coaching

    Married since 2011, Ashley and Dan Poland share the good times and the bad times that every husband and wife face. Be it an unexpected tax refund or a busted water pipe, they go through it together.

    April 15, 2014

  • fayetteville Who needs the beach?

    The word seems to be getting out about the Spring Break Wood Bat Classic.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

NCAA Hoops
AP Video