CHARLESTON, W.Va. — J.T. Rogoszewski’s complete-game four-hitter sent Hurricane to the Class AAA state championship game.
“Another one,” he said.
Only 76 days ago, Rogoszewski was a top scorer on the Hurricane basketball team that lost by a point in the title game. Now the Redskins are chasing another trophy after downing Washington 3-1 in Friday morning’s baseball state semifinal.
Hurricane (28-7) will meet the Wheeling Park-Riverside winner Saturday.
Though Rogoszewski (8-1) fanned only three and issued for walks, he out dueled VMI signee Jared Silva, lowered his 1.59 ERA and limited Washington (23-5) to its second-lowest run total of the season.
“I didn’t feel in sync,” said the junior right-hander. “Whether it was the arm dropping, putting the foot down—I just couldn’t find my groove.”
Washington’s hitters would disagree after managing only four singles. One of those came from Silva in the top of the third and tied the game at 1-all.
But Hurricane answered with Tate Brock’s go-ahead RBI single in the bottom half.
Silva (7-2) allowed only four hits himself but left after five innings down 2-1, having thrown 102 pitches thanks to four walks and three hit batters.
“I gave up too many walks, too many hit batters, and made myself throw too many pitches,” Silva said. “I just didn’t have my best stuff today so I knew it was going to be a battle in a low-scoring game.”
Hurricane added an insurance run against reliever Zachary Burch in the sixth when Zach Pate lashed a leadoff double and scored on a wild pitch.
Rogoszewski set down the side 1-2-3 in the seventh.
“Our guys are hungry,” said Redskins coach Brian Sutphin, whose school hadn’t reached the state tournament since 2002. “They’ve been doubted.”
Rogoszewski escaped his stickiest jam in the fifth following a leadoff single and a mishandled bunt. But the Washington runner strayed too far in rounding second base on the play and Rogoszewski threw behind him for the first out. The next batter grounded into a double play.
While Hurricane has won seven straight, Washington saw its 13-game streak snapped. The Patriots were aiming to become the fourth Eastern Panhandle team to win the Class AAA crown in five years.
“We weren’t just happy to be here,” said coach Mark Hash. “Our kids play hard, but we just didn’t play well enough. But that’s the best team we’ve seen this year, so hats off to Hurricane’s kids.”
A tearful Silva tried to find the positive after the seven-year-old school made its first Final Four berth.
“I couldn’t be anymore proud of these guys,” he said. “The toughest thing is leaving them. We came up short but I hope they remember the feeling and go far next year.”
RADIO REPLAY: Listen to WVRC’s broadcast of Hurricane’s 3-1 win over Washington.