CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Garett Haggerty threw a complete-game, one-hit gem as Moorefield upended defending Class A champion Charleston Catholic 2-0 on Friday night at Appalachian Power Park.
“That’s about as efficient as I’ve seen anyone throw all year, especially on our staff,” said Moorefield coach Wade Armentrout. “He’s been tremendous.”
While Haggerty wasn’t overpowering — he fanned only four batters — he coaxed 13 ground balls and four fly-outs to benefit from error-free defense.
“It’s the formula that we’ve used throughout the section and the region,” Armentrout said. “Our defense has been getting better and better as the season has gone along. To hold that team to just one hit is tremendous.”
Haggerty threw just 78 pitches, 49 of them strikes. The senior standout, who began the night with a 1.92 ERA, surrendered just one walk and improved his record to 8-2.
“I wanted to hit my spots, locate the ball well and then if they hit it, let my defense do the work,” he said. “That’s probably the best I’ve been. In our regional game against Notre Dame, I threw the ball pretty well, but I walked a couple of batters. I’m usually around 90 to 100 pitches.”
Thomas Blaydes collected Catholic’s lone hit, a single leading off the fourth inning. He stole second and took third on a groundout before getting stranded when John Hufford lined out to left field. Haggerty wasn’t yielding anything to the top-seeded Irish (25-13).
“We were told that he has a tendency to be a little wild, so we were hoping to squeeze out a few more walks,” said Charleston Catholic coach Bill Mehle. “But his pitch count was low for seven innings and that just shows that he was pounding the zone, because we weren’t chasing pitches outside of the zone. He changed eye levels and kept our hitters off balance.”
After neither team scored in the first three innings, Moorefield scored in the top of the fourth on an RBI single from Lane Ours that followed Hayden Baldwin’s lead-off double.
The Yellow Jackets (22-9) added their second run in the fifth when Jake Ours crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
“It means a lot to know that we beat the team that won it last year,” Haggerty said. “Now we have a shot to win it ourselves.”
Marshall Pile got the start for Charleston Catholic, going five innings and giving up two runs on five hits while striking out 10.
“That’s just the nature of the game. Sometimes the ball falls your way, sometimes it does not,” Mehle said.
“Hats off to our seniors. They all played in the championship game last year. They enjoyed that kind of success, but they didn’t sit on it. I’m very proud of them and what they accomplished over the course of their four years.”
Baldwin finished 2 for 3 with a run in the win for Moorefield, while Isaac Van Meter went 2 for 4.
It will be Moorefield’s first appearance in the state championship game since beating Man for the Class A title in 2009.
“The fans have supported us and it was great to see them here – I’m sure there will be more here on Saturday,” Armentrout said.
“It’s great to just see these young guys have this opportunity. I don’t think they realize how big of an opportunity it is at this point, but they haven’t shied away from any of the stages that we’ve put them on. We’re anxious.”
Saturday’s Class A title game will be the final of the day — slated for approximately 4 p.m. — the Yellow Jackets will face Wheeling Central.
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