Local Sports, Morgantown, Sports

Dakan throws a shutout as Mohigans advance to section championship

MORGANTOWN — Starting pitching can take you far in the game of baseball.

How far? Morgantown is hoping all the way to a state championship.

The Mohigans got a second straight strong start in the Region I, Section 1 tournament as Hunter Dakan went the distance in a 6-0 win over visiting John Marshall Wednesday on Dale Miller Field.

“To win championships you have to have quality starters and quality outings and that’s what we got both nights,” MHS head coach Pat Sherald said. “We’re always monitoring pitch counts, so it puts us in a situation where we have the rest of our pitching staff available to throw.”

Dakan got the complete-game shutout, surrendering just six hits in seven innings while striking out four with no walks.

The difference in the game was how the teams responded to early chances on offense. The Mohigans (24-7) took full advantage, while the Monarchs (13-17-1) squandered their opportunities.

“It just comes down to timely hitting and getting a few hits when you need a few hits,” JM coach Mark Cisar said. “(Morgantown) produced, they came up in situations where they needed a hit and they got a hit and we didn’t.”

John Marshall had runners on base in each of the first three innings but stranded all five as Dakan pitched out of every jam.

On the other side, Morgantown got runners on in the early frames as well, but the Mohigans were able to bring them around to score. Tommy Montague and Tristan Milik each had RBI hits in the bottom of the first while Mason Bowers and Dylan Travinski picked up RBIs in the second. Bowers scored on a wild pitch as MHS led 5-0 after two innings.

“They had timely hitting and they produced when they needed to,” Cisar said. “They didn’t hit missiles, they put the ball in play and we didn’t. We had our chances in the first two innings and left some guys on.”

It was also the second game in a row that MHS played great defense in the field. The highlights were a diving stop by second baseman Koa Silvers to save a run in the third and a pair of running throws by shortstop Weston Mazey.

“We’re strong up the middle right now,” Sherald said of his double-play duo. “They work real well together, they practice all the time together.”

MHS added a sixth run on an RBI single by Parkers Jefferies in the fifth as Dakan finished off his complete-game allowing just two baserunners over the final four innings.

Morgantown’s offense had nine hits, all singles, with most being either perfectly timed to drive in a run or perfectly placed to fall in safely.

“We are who we are,” Sherald said. “For us to be successful, we have to have quality pitching outings, play quality defense like we did today and yesterday and then we have to be opportunistic at the plate.”

Bowers had two hits, an RBI and scored two runs and Milik had two hits and drove in a run. Travinski, Montague and Jefferies had the team’s other RBI.

JM starter Tommy Clegg pitched better than his final line would suggest, allowing six runs on nine hits across five innings. He struck out three and walked two.

With the win, Morgantown advances to the section championship game on Friday.

John Marshall now faces an elimination game and will rematch Wheeling Park tonight. The Monarchs sent the Patriots into the losers’ bracket with a 5-0 win on Tuesday. WP staved off elimination with a 3-2 win over Brooke on Wednesday.

Morgantown 6, John Marshall 0
JM 000 000 0 — 0 6 1
MHS 230 010 x — 6 9 1
JOHN MARSHALL (13-17-1) — Hughes 3 0 1 0; Martin 3 0 0 0; Wilhelm 3 0 0 0; Markonich 3 0 1 0; Jones 3 0 0 0; Clegg 3 0 1 0; Gaiser 3 0 0 0; Koontz 3 0 2 0; Harrison 3 0 1 0. Totals 27 0 6 0.
MORGANTOWN (24-7) — Mas. Bowers 3 2 2 1; Silvers 3 1 1 0; Travinski 3 1 1 1; Montague 2 1 1 1; Milik 3 0 2 1; Boggs 3 0 0 0; Jefferies 3 0 1 1; Nutter 3 1 1 0; Mazey 2 0 0 0. Totaled 25 6 9 5.
WP: Dakan 7ip, 0r, 6h, 0bb, 4k
LP: Clegg 5ip, 6r, 9h, 2bb, 3k