WHEELING - Bishop Donahue got the extra hit.
Deadlocked at 6-6 with one on and two outs in the sixth, Brett Moore doubled deep over top the right fielder's head to drive in Lane LeMasters for the go-ahead score as the Bishops defeated Wheeling Central, 7-6, in the opener of the Class A, Region I, Section I tournament Tuesday at the I-470 complex.
Moore's hit lifted Donahue (11-10), who held a 6-0 lead after three innings, into tonight's matchup with top-seeded Madonna at 6. The two previously met in the OVAC 1A championship game as the Blue Dons halted the Bishops run of three straight conference titles with a 3-2 victory.
Photo by Tony Viola/Bishop Donahue winning pitcher Hunter Kaschke throws a pitch during a West Virginia Class A sectional game at the I-470 complex.
Central will play the loser of tonight's game on Thursday with the winner of that game facing the winner of tonight's game Monday in the sectional championship.
"We started out of the gates good, but, typical Wheeling Central team, they're not going to die,'' Bishops coach Bob Kleeh said. "I've known (Central) Coach (Jimbo) Wodusky for ever and I know he's not going to let them quit.''
It took a pitching change in the third to re-energize the Maroon Knights (10-13).
Mario Peroni came on in relief of starter Brain Shaw and proceed to retire six of the next nine Bishop batters on strikes and back-to-back RBI doubles from Bryan Campbell and Derek Yocke in the fourth turned what looked to be a blowout into an entirely new ball game.
"When (Hunter) Kaschke pitches, (Bishop is) a whole different team,'' Wodusky noted. "They're confidence level goes up to a new level. With Mario on the mound, ours goes up, too.''
Yocke scored on an error followed by a sacrifice fly by Peroni that drove in Jeff Gwynn to cut the deficit to 6-4.
After Peroni struck out two more in the fifth, Nate Bakaitis plated Kevin Keane, who reached on a bunt, with a double into deep left field and Campbell scored Bakaitis on a hard hit to center.
"Kaschke has been pitching against us for four years now, and some of these kids have played against him for two or three,'' Wodusky said, "so sometimes it takes them one time through (the order) to get their timing down. He threw a little harder this game then he did against us in the second game of the season. He probably picked up a good five miles an hour on his fast ball.''
While Kaschke got touched up for five hits in the fourth and fifth innings, he regained his poise and allowed only two more base runners the rest of the way, one on an error and the other was walked.
"He's the man,'' Kleeh said of his ace. "I know (Central) has their (guy) and Madonna has theirs, and they're all quality kids and all quality pitchers, but I'm going to go with my guy. He battled through.''
Moore's double in the sixth was the first hit Peroni allowed. He struck out eight for the game.
"He was throwing pretty hard,'' Kleeh said of Peroni. "He's a good pitcher. Our bat speed wasn't there. We weren't taking good approaches. A couple of our big kids were trying to hit it over the fence. He got them back in it.''
Jesse Padlow got the Bishops' offense started in the second as he doubled down the right field line to score LaVonte Hampton and LeMasters. Austin Cunningham scored on a groundout and Bryce Jones followed that up with a hit up the middle to score Padlow.
Chaice Truex drove in Kaschke with a hit into shallow left and a sacrifice fly by LeMasters plated Alex Riedel to give the Bishops a 6-0 lead.
"We play one of the top teams, if not the best team, in the state (today),'' Kleeh said. "This is one step. We got a lot more to take. I'll take a win against a quality team. We're going to build off it. Hopefully we get a little bit mentally tougher and a little bit stronger because we're going to need it.''
W.Va. Class A
Region I, Section IV
Valley 7, Tyler Consolidated 4
ST. MARYS - Brandon Stoneking retired nine on strikes as Valley earned a sectional victory against Tyler Consolidated.
Peyton Palmer added two hits and plated three runs for the Lamberjacks (6-10), while Colby Bucher had two hits and drove in two runs.
Jordan Baker took the loss for the Silver Knights (9-12) as he fanned seven.
Ohio Division II
Cambridge 5, Indian Creek 4
STEUBENVILLE - Terry Neff came on in relief to retired nine and earned a victory as Cambridge beat Indian Creek.
Neff also drove in a run on a hit for the Bobcats (6-15), while Kohl Taylor also had an RBI single.
Cambridge will return to Vacarro Field Thursday for a semifinal match with No. 2 Edison.
Brooke 5, John Marshall 4
WELLSBURG -Heath Hildreth tripled among two hits and drove in three runs as Brooke edged John Marshall.
Russell Schwertfeger added two hits and Chad Harper had an RBI single for the Bruins (18-7), who begin sectional play Friday against Wheeling Park at home.
Alex Whorton had two of the Monarchs' five hits.
Ohio Division II
Edison 3, Beaver Local 0
RICHMOND -Kayli Stewart doubled and drove in a run as Edison blanked Beaver Local.
Lynsey Morrison played a run on a hit for the Wildcats (10-13), who will take on top-seeded Indian Creek tonight at 5:30.
Courtney Messenger took the loss for the Beavers (7-12).