WHEELING - River baseball coach Mark Romick will be the first to admit this season is a learning experience for his young team.
With that in mind, there was one thing he wanted his team to do in their Wednesday afternoon matchup with Linsly at Holloway Field. Observe Logan Goodnight.
There's really no question as to why. Goodnight, who has already verbally committed to Penn State as a sophomore, pitched three solid innings of shutout ball as the Cadets blanked the Pilots, 10-0, in five innings.
Photo by Tony Viola/Linsly’s Colton Coss slides safely into third as River’s Jordon Doty (10) awaits the throw.
''I told our kids to watch him,'' Romick said. ''Watch how he handles his mechanics, how he handles himself and everything. That's how you play baseball.
''My son's a college coach and he was scouting him when we played Linsly last year. My son told me after the game that (Goodnight) was one of the best ball players. He said he's an old time ball player who knows how to play the game. He's fundamentally sound. There's a reason why Penn State wants him. He's a ball player.''
Goodnight was relieved by Colton Coss in the fourth and the two combined to throw a one-hitter and allowed only three base runners.
''(Goodnight) threw a great game up at Kiski on Friday,'' Cadets coach Jay Cartwright said. ''He was getting the ball up a little bit early (Wednesday), but he made a nice adjustment and started getting it down in the zone. When he does that, he's really tough.
''We kept both our pitcher's counts pretty low because we have the OVAC tournament coming up. We want to have our arms ready for that.''
Those arms had plenty of help from the offense. The Cadets (14-3) totaled eight hits, seven of which came in the final two innings.
Already ahead 2-0, Linsly sent all nine batters to the plate in the third.
Coss started the inning with a hit before he stole second and third and scored on a Logan Goodnight double. After River starting pitcher Eric Dierkes walked in a run, James Cartwright drove in Goodnight and pinch runner Zeke Scherick scored on a fielder's choice. A Zak Kriechbaum sacrifice fly brought in Tyler Ashbrook to make it 7-0.
The Pilots (3-9) got their lone hit in the fourth from relieve pitcher Trey Isaly and loaded the bases with one out before Coss worked his way out of the jam.
Coss, again, started the Cadet's offense off with another hit in the bottom of the inning and scored on a Jameson Murray hit. Ashbrook followed that up with a two run single which drove in Murray and Goodnight.
Linsly will begin its defense of the OVAC 3A crown on Saturday when it will face No. 2 seed Fort Frye.
''It's going to be a real challenge,'' Cartwright noted. ''We're excited. We have a shot at an OVAC championship. That's all we can ask for.''
Wheeling Central 12, Paden City 2
ELM GROVE - Brian Campbell doubled among two hits and drove in a run as Wheeling Central topped Paden City.
Derek Yocke had a two-run single for the Maroon Knights (8-10) and Brian Shaw had two hits and drove in two runs.
Zach Heasley had an RBI triple for the Wildcats (8-8), while Luke Cooper had an RBI single.
Weir 4, East Liverpool 2
WEIRTON - Will Larch homered, doubled and batted in two runs as Weir topped East Liverpool.
Mitch Biakely earned a victory for the Red Riders (2-7-1) as he retired eight on strikes and added a double among two hits with an RBI.
Ryan Burson had an RBI single for the Potters (3-8).
Wheeling Park 4, Brooke 2
WELLSBURG - Phil Bledsoe picked up a victory as he fanned six batters as Wheeling Park beat Brooke to complete the regular season sweep.
Michael Grove had two hits and drove in a run for the Patriots (11-5) and Grove Calvert had an RBI double.
Aaron Walker took the loss for the Bruins (11-5) and Matt Mazzone had an RBI double.
Union Local 5, Indian Creek 5
Suspended after 12 innings
WINTERSVILLE - Both pitchers were on a roll before play was suspended between Union Local and Indian Creek.
Eric Dunfee retired nine on strikes for the Jets, while the Redskins' Cole Yearter fanned 12.
John Marshall 4, University 3
GLEN DALE - Trevor Hardesty doubled among two hits and drove in two runs as John Marshall edged University.
Schuyler Callihan earned a victory as he retired eight on strikes for the Monarchs and Bailey Black doubled among two hits.
Colton Sanders was a triple shy of the cycle for the Hawks and drove in a run.
Steubenville 7, Boardman 2
YOUNGSTOWN - Anthony Zorne came up a triple shy of the cycle and drove in three runs as Steubenville beat Boardman.
Demitri Collaros had two hits and drove in a run for Big Red and Anthony Corsi earned a victory as he fanned four.
East Fairmont 16, Magnolia 10
NEW MARTINSVILLE - Magnolia gave up 16 runs in the fourth innings as it fell to East Fairmont (11-5).
The Blue Eagles (9-4) committed four errors, walked seven batters and allowed six hits in the frame.
Jake Starkey doubled among three hits and drove in three runs for Magnolia and Tyler Anderson doubled twice and drove in a run.