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East Hardy knocked out by Charleston Catholic, 2-0, in state semis

Jun. 1—CHARLESTON, W.Va. — No. 3 seed East Hardy had no problem getting runners on base in the Class A semifinal on Friday against Charleston Catholic.

The issue came with driving them home, falling to the No. 2 seed Irish 2-0 at GoMart Ballpark.

The Cougars (23-7) left nine runners on base.

"We had a couple times where we had people in positions to score," East Hardy head coach Tyler Mongold said. "We just couldn't get that timely hit today. I credit Charleston Catholic, they got timely hitting when needed."

East Hardy opened the top of the first with back-to-back walks by Evan and Mason Hamilton.

On a double steal, Evan Hamilton took third while Mason swiped second.

However, a popup and flyout stranded them to end the frame.

In the fifth inning, Evan Hamilton hit a line drive to right center for the Cougars' first hit.

Mason Hamilton then sent the first pitch he saw to left center for a hit.

The next batter grounded out to third base to end the inning.

"Most of the time, we started our rally with two outs," Mongold said. "We couldn't get anything going to move runners. We just couldn't get that timely hit."

East Hardy had one more glimpse of hope in the seventh.

Nate Smith reached on a fly ball to center. Two outfielders tried to make the catch, but neither could.

Brandon Jones sent a chopper to short and just beat the throw, putting two on with no outs.

"It felt like a dream was about to happen," Jones said. "We were about to make it to the finals and just do what we all dreamed of. And then as it just slowly went down, we got one out, two and then the final, all sucked."

A popup and a pair of strikeouts ended the game.

The Cougars left one runner in the fourth and sixth innings while going down in order in the third.

Shayne Sisler went six innings for East Hardy, throwing 94 pitches.

He stranded six runners, two in the first inning and one in the second through fifth.

"Shayne pitched a heck of a game," Mongold said. "He keeps it in the zone, keeps the hitters off balance. I expected that out of him. Holding Charleston Catholic to two runs, I'll take it."

He allowed four hits, two runs and two walks with four strikeouts.

The Irish (30-5) scored in the second inning off back-to-back bunts.

Charleston Catholic's second run came in the third inning when Jonah DiCocco hit a line drive RBI single to right center.

DiCocco threw a complete game shutout, allowing five hits and two walks with eight strikeouts.

"He's a solid pitcher, he hits his spots," Mongold said. "He knows exactly where to put it."

East Hardy made its first trip to Charleston since 2012 and sixth overall.

"We had fun, this has probably been the best year so far," Mongold said. "I knew every day we were gonna go out and do what we needed to do to win a ballgame. I'll definitely remember this year. My first trip as a coach, I honestly like it a little better on the coaching side."

Jones was one of five Cougars playing their final high school games, joining Smith, Noah Sager, Levi Mongold and JW Teets.

"It's my final year, so I won't ever see the life of a baseball field again," Jones said. "It really hurts me on the inside. I've played it since you could first start it, age four. Now having to say goodbye, not making it to the final in the final year sucks."

Charleston Catholic advanced to play top-seeded Williamtown (30-5) in the Class A title game on Saturday, which it won 6-3.

Jordan Kendall is a Sports Writer for the Cumberland Times-News. Email him with scores and story suggestions at jkendall@times-news.com.