DAVISVILLE - Parkersburg Catholic scored only one run for the second straight game Thursday.
The difference this time though, unlike the Crusaders' 1-0 eight-inning victory against Gilmer County Wednesday, visiting Madonna scored three runs before PC finally managed to plate a run in the bottom of the seventh to fall to the Blue Dons, 3-1, in the Class A Region One baseball championship game at Marshall Romine Field.
The Crusaders (19-10) had only three hits against Madonna's Logan Linder and just five base runners, only more than one in just the third inning.
In the meantime, the Blue Dons (23-9) reached Catholic's Jim Ferrell, who hurled a gritty seven-hitter, for single runs in the second, fourth and seventh with two of them unearned to deny the Crusaders their first trip to the state tournament in 19 years.
''You get that close and it's heartwrenching,'' Catholic coach Tom Harvey said about not getting the one last victory.
''But Madonna was just a little bit better than us (Thursday). We didn't hit it real well, but part of that was Linder on the mound doing a good job too. We gave it all we had, and what an effort by Jim Ferrell, who gave us a gutsy performance. I'm proud of our kids, and not ashamed a bit. Our kids never gave up. We tried to rally there in the seventh a bit, but came up a couple runs short.''
The Blue Dons took a 1-0 lead in the second on a leadoff double by Chris Duerr, who went to third base on a groundout and scored on Will Bowser's RBI single to center, and went up 2-0 in the fourth on a walk, wild pitch, passed ball and error.
Catholic's lone scoring threat until the seventh came in the third on a one-out single to right-center by Nick Roedersheimer followed by a walk to Payton Sturm. They both moved up a base as Mitch Davis grounded out to the right side, but were left stranded there.
In the top of the seventh, Ferrell surrendered an unearned run on an RBI single by Ross Comis before the Crusaders' left-handed-hitting Jake Boice began the bottom of the inning by lining an opposite-field double off the glove of diving Madonna third baseman Comis and by him down the left-field line. Boice advanced to third on a groundout and came home on Bobby Casto's sac fly.