The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Other 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
Other Sports
  • Herd staffer completes Boston Marathon

    As Travis Epling watched the events of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings as they were unfolding, he couldn’t help feeling a connection.

    April 23, 2014

  • Beckleyan completes Boston Marathon

    Of the more than 32,000 people who ran in Monday’s Boston Marathon, 59 were from West Virginia.

    April 22, 2014

  • 042014 old white Happy birthday to The Old White

    As Greenbrier owner Jim Justice proudly stood behind the podium on the first tee box addressing a crowd at the 100th anniversary of the historic Old White TPC Course, a surprise guest emerged from the bushes by the tennis center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 042014 bubba VIDEO: Watson becoming a West Virginian

    Greenbrier owner Jim Justice was glued to the television a week ago today, watching Bubba Watson try to chase down his second green jacket at Augusta National Golf Club.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914 old white Old White to celebrate 100 years

    The home of The Greenbrier Classic will be having a birthday today, and the celebration should be something special.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mullens, Pineville to meet in Anderson Memorial

    After many years away from the sideline, legendary Mullens High School coach Don Nuckols is returning to the game of basketball.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041914 D'Antoni Lakers mum on D’Antoni

    Mike D’Antoni was still the Los Angeles Lakers’ coach when he left their training complex to spend the Easter weekend out of town with his family.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • D’Antoni’s Lakers future still unclear

    With the Los Angeles Lakers season officially over — the Lakers beat the Spurs 113-100 Wednesday but finished 27-55 overall, the most losses in the club’s history and the franchise’s worst winning percentage since the Minneapolis Lakers in 1957-58 — Marshall fans will be keeping a close eye on what’s going on in Tinsel Town over the coming days.

    April 17, 2014

  • 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