ST. ALBANS, W.Va. — Trailing 9-3 in the sixth inning, it appeared the George Washington Patriots would be forced into a winner-take-all game against St. Albans in the Class AAA Region III, Section 1 tournament. The Patriots had other ideas.
George Washington (16-15) clinched a spot in the regional round by scoring ten runs in their final two innings at the plate to defeat the Red Dragons, 13-10.
“I think we have been through these battles enough to know that when you come down here, nothing is going to be easy. It is all to our seniors, all the credit. There was a point in time in the game where we were on the brink of collapse. They held it together. You play, you play, you play. They played all seven innings and that’s what we have been looking for all year. We were just able to get the timely hit,” said George Washington head coach Mike Davis.
“I just can’t say enough about their mental toughness. You don’t win a game like that if you are not mentally tough going up against these guys.”
GW scored four runs in the sixth inning and six more in the seventh. With two out in the seventh, Joe Lively stepped up to the plate with two men on. He sent a pitch into the trees beyond the left field wall, giving the Patriots their first lead since the third inning.
“Joe started out the year as one of our hottest hitters. I think he was hitting fourth for a large portion of the season. He went into a little bit of a slump. But over the last week and a half, he has probably been our hottest hitter.”
Isaac McCallister earned the win in relief for the Patriots. He allowed three runs in five innings. At the plate, McCallister went 3-for-4 with four runs batted in.
“Another senior stepping up. That’s what you need. The seniors have carried us.”
The Patriots collected 11 of their 14 hits in the final three innings. Cameron Reed, Abe Fenwick, Bryson Hoff and Lively each had multi-hit games.
George Washington will face Greenbrier East in the Class AAA Region III best-of-three regional series, which starts in nine days.
No. 8 St. Albans (22-8) was led at the plate by Carson McCoy and Aiden Youngblood. Both players had two hits and two runs batted in.