WHEELING, W.Va. — Wheeling Central Catholic needed just two innings to jump out to a 8-0 lead against Cameron in the decisive game of the Class A, Region 1, Section 1 tournament. The Maroon Knights cruised to an 11-3 victory, clinching a spot in the regional round.

Central racked up 11 of their 14 hits in the first three innings. “This whole series, they threw us curve balls away, away, away,” said Wheeling Central Catholic head coach Bo McConnaughy. “We made a little adjustment in our batting for the last couple days in the cage. The first couple innings we executed that to a ‘T’.”

The Maroon Knights scored two runs in the first inning and six in the second. Cameron answered with a pair of runs in the third to make the score 8-2. But the Dragons did not threaten the rest of the way despite ending the game with ten hits.

Sonny Peluchette earned the win on the mound for Central. He allowed three runs in five innings while striking out eight batters. Adam Murray pitched two scoreless frames to close the game out. He saw his first action of the postseason after being hampered by a hamstring injury.

Angelo Gentile led the Central offensive attack with a four-hit game. Trin Scott, Garrett Scott and Aidan Lucey each had multi-hit games for the Dragons.

Central was the Class A state runner-up last spring and the Maroon Knights have rebuilt their roster with a younger group of players. “We only had three guys that came back with varsity experience,” McConnaughy said. “Most of our guys are freshmen and sophomores. We have been doing on-the-job training all year long.”

Cameron’s season ends with a record of 21-14. The Maroon Knights (20-8) will host Ritchie County (20-11) Monday, May 20 in the regional opener. The best-of-three series moves to Ellenboro a day later.