CHARLESTON, W.Va – The Fairmont Senior Polar Bears wrapped up the regular season as one of the hottest baseball teams in the state of West Virginia and they parlayed that into the postseason, playing their way into the Class AA state championship game, looking to deny defending champs Logan a second straight title.
Logan struck first with a big opening frame, starting with a Dawson Maynard ground rule double that opened the scoring. That was followed by a Garrett Williamson ground ball that brought one across then a Fairmont Senior throwing error allowed a third run to score and another single straight back up the middle capped off a five run first for the Wildcats.
The Polar Bears got to work scratching back early as a Cam Peschl ground ball caused some problems for Logan and Gavin Blair scored to make it 5-1.
The rally stopped there as Ryan Roberts induced a double play ball and they turned it, 6-4-3 on the tailor-made twin killing.
On the mound, Dom Viani kept battling for Fairmont Senior, striking out his first of the day but Maynard turned right around and blasted a solo shot over the left field wall to extend the lead to five and they’d add another to make it 7-1.
Senior wasn’t ready to fold yet. With Sammy Viani at the plate, an error on Roberts brought Dennison in to score and made it 7-2 in the top of the third.
Logan added one more in the fourth before Dennison got his shot at the plate. He blistered one down the right field line and brought two across the plate before Blair sent one into right field and just like that it was a three run game.
Logan loaded the bases in the bottom half but Dennison played the hero again, trucking a long way into the left-center gap to record out number three.
Unfortunately for the Polar Bears, Konnor Lowe struck in the sixth for Logan as his double added two insurance runs before a delayed steal made it a five-run game.
Dennison got one more shot and was able to drive in Riley from second with his third double of the day but Lowe recorded the final out and the Logan Wildcats are back to back Class AA champions. Fairmont Senior finished as runners-up and Coach Dave Ricer is proud of how his team performed against a tough opponent.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Logan. That’s a great ball team over there,” he said, “They did what they were supposed to do and unfortunately early on, we just didn’t.”
Despite the losses of Dennison, Blair, Hissam and Dom Viani, Ricer believes the future is bright for the Polar Bears
“Our 7, 8, and 9 guys were all freshmen and all contributing freshmen that did their jobs,” he said, “You hate to lose your seniors but we get everybody back and get a couple players here or there, we’ll be back here.”
Mayson Jack, Dennison and Riley each earned all-tournament team honors.