MORRISTOWN - The funny thing about baseball is that any team can beat any team on any given night.
That was proven Wednesday night as homestanding Union Local (5-16) sent Magnolia (25-3) back to New Martinsville with its second loss of the week, this one by a 6-3 count on Jets Field.
The Blue Eagles, who won the completion of a suspended game, 11-1, in six innings prior to the start of the regularly scheduled contest, are ranked No. 1 in W.Va. Class A.
MAGNOLIA’S CHANDLER Sapp (3) slides into second base safely as Union Local shortstop Austin Curry can’t get a handle on the ball during their game Wednesday night in Morristown. The Jets won, 6-3.
"I liked what I saw in that inning-and-a-half," Mark Cisar said. "We had some good at-bats. I think that was a little carryover to the second game.
"This effort was a complete turnaround from (Tuesday)," he said of a 13-1 trouncing at the hands of Shadyside. "That's why this is the greatest game on Earth. Anybody can beat anybody on any given day if you have pitchers who throw strikes, you put the ball in play, and you make the routine plays.
"That's what we did today," he continued. "This is what we are capable of doing. Not on a day-to-day basis, but we can play pretty well at times."
Deadlocked at three entering the bottom of the fourth, Union Local scored twice as the bottom of the order came through.
Kaleb Smolira singled to center leading off, but was erased on a fielder's choice off the bat of pinch-hitter Matt Dunfee. Justin Riley's bunt moved Dunfee to second, and he raced home on Brandon Winesickle's rope single to right. Winesickle alertly took second on the throw home and easily crossed the plate on Travis James' double to left-center, making it 5-3.
The Jets would add an insurance marker in the sixth when Lane Perkins drew a leadoff walk from Magnolia reliever Chandler Sapp. Two straight comebackers moved pinch runner Logan Keiser, who would chug home when Tristan Bruce legged out an infield hit to the hole at short.
"We got outcoached, outhustled, outemotioned and outplayed today," veteran Magnolia head coach Dave Cisar allowed. "I'm not going to bash my team because today, honestly, Union Local was the better team. They came to play. We come over here 8-0 in the first game and think it's a cake-walk.
"We score three runs and win and then they came to play the second game," he added. "They beat us soundly. Here's the thing, they caught the ball. They threw the ball, and they were aggressive. If you can't catch the ball, you're in trouble, and we were in trouble today."
Riley, who did yeoman's work on the mound for UL, went the distance, striking out four, walking three and scattering four hits.
"Justin has had six quality starts and is 2-6 now. You would never know that," Mark Cisar said. "He did a terrific job today."
Magnolia scored two unearned runs in the top of the first inning, thanks to an errant, 2-out pickoff attempt. Union Local came right back with some 2-out lightning of its own. Austin Curry launched a double to the left-center gap and raced home on Eric Dunfee's single to center. After stealing second and third, Dunfee trotted home on Colton McKivitz's line single to left.
Each team tallied a run in the third as Zach Wilhoite's suicide-squeeze bunt plated Sapp, who had reached on an error. The Jets responded with a triple to the leftfield line by Dunfee that chased home Bruce.
Not only was the win a timely one for the Jets, but it also allowed Mark Cisar to earn some bragging rights.
"These kids seem to pick up the intensity at certain times, and you know he's got a whole lot of it in that dugout," Cisar said of his father. "We always seem to play well against them. I'm really pleased with my kids."
(Completion of Suspended Game)
Magnolia 11, Union Local 1
Union Local 000 001 - 1 2 4
Magnolia 301 403 - 11 8 0
Batteries: McKivitz, Pritts (5) and Burnett. Sapp, Starkey (5) and Cain
Union Loal 6, Magnolia 3
Magnolia 201 000 0 - 3 4 3
Union Local 201 201 x - 6 8 2
Batteries: Starkey, Sapp (3) and Cain. Riley and Burnett
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