FAIRMONT, W.Va. — In a game that featured just twelve combined hits in the first eleven innings, one big swing of the bat kept Fairmont Senior’s season alive. Breeden Gilbert’s 3-run walkoff home run in the 12th inning lifted the Polar Bears to a 5-2 win over county rival North Marion.

Top top-seeded Bears (17-11) have forced a winner-take-all contest Saturday at 11am for the Class AA, Region 1, Section 2 championship.

Fairmont’s first two batters reached base to lead off the 12th when Gilbert stepped to the plate and delivered the game-winning homer. “I thought it was short,” Gilbert said. “I thought I popped out again. It felt great though.”

North Marion (12-11) pitcher Michael Harris struck out eight batters in five innings of relief. But he ran into trouble in the 12th and Gilbert took advantage of one of the few pitches that was left over the middle of the plate.

“First time I saw him, he did not throw one fastball,” Gilbert said. “I thought here we go again… no fastballs. He threw it right down the middle.”

Three Polar Bear pitchers combined to allow just two unearned runs and four hits. Starter Cam Hines reached the 110-pitch limit facing his final batter in the eighth inning. Hines stranded two runners in scoring position with a strikeout to close the eighth.

Mayson Jack pitched a scoreless ninth inning and Matt Edwards earned the win by tossing three scoreless frames.

The Huskies are attempting to become a second consecutive No. 5 seed to claim this sectional tournament. Weir accomplished the feat a year ago.

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