By J. Daniel Rollins
Register-Herald Sports Writer
A chill was in the air as Logan Wriston zeroed in on his catcher Wednesday night.
Wriston was brought in to close out a game that saw Woodrow Wilson’s Hunter Greco once again put in a solid effort, only allowing one Shady Spring run.
The Flying Eagles were up 4-1, but Shady was threatening. The Tigers had the tying run at the plate as Jacob Childers and Brendan Schack were in scoring position. Jordan Meadows held tight to the bat.
It was a full count.
Wriston checked his runners, took in a breath and fired it home, right past Meadows to give the Flying Eagles the victory.
“I thought our team played well,” Shady Spring skipper Dave Shaw said. “I thought both teams played well. It was a good high school game. The pitchers did well. It’s just a good game.”
“We fared OK,” Woodrow Wilson coach Mark Daniel said. “We didn’t swing the bats real well, but we did enough to win the game.”
It was more than a victory for Beckley. The win kept Woodrow in the hunt for the No. 1 seed in next week’s sectional tournament.
“We’re going to have a coin toss now,” Daniel said. “Both of us ended up tied, so we’re going to have a coin toss either (today) or Friday or Saturday and see who gets it.”
“We’re going to recheck the numbers,” Shady Spring skipper Dave Shaw said. “The criteria is that if you have a tie, it’s the least amount of runs given up. It appears it’s going to be between us and Woodrow, but we’re going to recheck the numbers to be sure.”
Regardless of who wins the coin toss, both teams have plenty to be happy about, especially the young men commanding the mound.
Woodrow Wilson’s Greco gave up one run on five hits and had a strikeout. Shady Spring’s Ryan Snodgress gave up three runs on six hits and fanned four Flying Eagles.
“I thought (Snodgress) pitched really well,” Shaw said. “I mean, we kept him in a little too long, but he was still throwing pretty hard at the end. I thought he pitched a really good game.”
The Flying Eagles ‘skipper echoed those sentiments.
“I thought Greco pitched a good game,” Daniel said. “Wriston came in and pitched a good game in relief. Shady’s pitcher pitched a good game too.”
The Flying Eagles are the veterans of the section, sharing it with two newcomers to the AAA ranks in Shady and Oak Hill. The move to the senior circuit doesn’t seem to concern Shaw.
“I think it heightens our competitive nature with Woodrow,” Shaw said. “I think it makes every game a little bit more important. I like that. We feel comfortable where we are.”
The Flying Eagles too, feel comfortable where they are. Following an 0-4 start, the Beckley bombers have now improved to 13-9 and have won five of their last six games.
“We’re playing really well right now,” Daniel said after the game.
“We’re playing well, but ya know, records don’t mean anything now,” Daniel continued. “Everyone starts with a clean slate on Monday.”
While Beckley may be the more experienced team, Shaw hopes the Tigers can play spoiler and make it to their first-ever tournament as a member of class AAA.
“I think the section is up for grabs,” Shaw said. “I think anybody — any of the three teams — can win it. And so that gives us just as good of a shot as anybody. It’s just a matter of which team decides to peak.”
Shady Spring will have an opportunity to right the ship when Greenbrier West comes to visit tonight at 4:30 p.m., while Woodrow will welcome perennial AA power Liberty on Friday at 5:30 p.m.
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Woodrow Wilson 4, Shady Spring 1
WW: 102 000 1 — 4 8 1
SS: 000 100 0 — 1 9 0
WW: Hunter Greco, Logan Wriston (6) and Daniel Rose. SS: Ryan Snodgress, Franklin Buckner (7) and Brendan Schack. WP — Greco. LP — Snodgress. Hitting — WW: Cole Williams 3-4 (R, 2 SB), Hunter Greco 1-3 (SB), Logan Wriston 1-3 (R), Hunter Halstead 2-4 (2 RBI), Daniel Rose 1-3. SS: Brendan Schack 2-4, Jordan Palchesko 1-1 (SB), John Linkous 1-4, Jordan Meadows 1-3 (2B, SB), Drew Green 1-2 (R), Franklin Buckner 1-3, Adam Carr 2-3 (RBI).