MASON, W.Va. — Most productive when most needed.
The Wahama baseball team broke a two-all tie with five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and ultimately cruised to a 7-2 victory over fourth-seeded Ravenswood on Wednesday night in a Class A Region IV, Section 1 winner’s bracket semifinal at Claflin Stadium in Mason County.
The top-seeded White Falcons (22-5) never trailed in the contest as the hosts broke a scoreless tie with a run in the bottom of the third, then added another run in the fifth en route to a grinding 2-0 advantage.
David Hendrick doubled, stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jonathan Frye for a 1-0 edge, then Hendrick singled and eventually scored on a selflessly-executed double steal that resulted in Frye being tagged out returning to first.
The visiting Red Devils — who left runners stranded at second and third in both the second and fourth frames — finally broke through in the top of the sixth as Swain singled home Moore for a 2-1 contest.
Swain ended up at third base after a one-out single from Hatcher, then Gwynn hit a slow-roller to second that allowed Swain to score on the 4-3 putout — tying the contest at two.
Following a brief sun delay before the bottom of the sixth, WHS started things with Tyler Bumgarner being hit by a pitch and then a walk was issued to Jacob Fisher. A passed ball allowed both runners to move into scoring position, then Ethan VanMatre lifted a sacrifice fly to right that plated Bumgarner with the eventual game-winner.
Hendrick followed with a two-out single to left that plated Fisher for a 4-2 contest, then Frye singled to put a pair on. Both Hendrick and Frye advanced into scoring position with stolen bases, and the throw to third ended up down the left field line — allowing Hendrick to trot home for a 5-2 advantage.
Tanner Smith completed the rally with a two-run home to centerfield that made for a five-run cushion headed into the top of the seventh.
RHS managed to put runners at second and third with one away in the top half of the finale, but reliever Antonio Serevicz recorded back-to-back strikeouts to wrap up the 7-2 triumph.
With the win, Wahama advanced to face second-seeded Williamstown in the winner’s bracket final at 6 p.m. Thursday night at Claflin Stadium.
The White Falcons outhit the guests by a 9-5 overall margin and also committed both errors in the contest. Ravenswood stranded nine runners on base, while the hosts left six on the bags.
Smith was the winning pitcher of record after allowing two unearned runs, five hits and one walk over six innings while striking out six. Swain took the loss after surrendering seven earned runs, nine hits and four walks over six frames while fanning six.
Hendrick and Smith paced Wahama with three hits apiece, followed by Frye with two hits and Fisher with a safety. Smith led the way with two RBIs and Hendrick also scored three times.
Hatcher led RHS with two hits, with Hickman, Swain and Miller also providing a safety apiece.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.