Sunday, April 6, 2014

First annual Consol Energy Classic a success

The Washington Wild Things hosted a baseball tripleheader Saturday with four local teams headlining the event. Despite the cold weather, the sun was shining and the event featured three exciting games. While the WPIAL baseball season is a few weeks old, it felt like the Consol Energy Classic was the first true kickoff.

In the first game, Waynesburg senior Aaron Hill had incredible command of his changeup in a a stellar pitching performance to shut down Wash High. In the second, Canon-McMillan showed why they will be a team to be reckoned with again in the Quad-A playoff chase. The Big Macs' offensive talent will be tough to match. It was exciting to see some nice hitting against Brooke, W.Va., as the sun finally started to come out.

In the third game, Trinity persevered against a tough Wheeling Park team and came back from a three-run deficit. According to Hillers head coach Scott Henson and the Hillers players, Patriots starting pitcher Justice Jackson was just as impressive as Keystone Oaks ace Taylor Lehman, who Trinity faced the night before.

Jackson was throwing hard, and luckily for the Hillers, was pulled after three innings. That’s when Trinity’s bats capitalized with a three-run sixth inning and a walk-off double by Dominic Neff sent the Hillers home as winners.

The only disappointment of the day was the attendance at Consol Energy Park. With a strong slate of games, it was expected that students would come out to support, but that did not happen. It was a shame that three strong baseball games did not have the support that other sports receive.

While a Division I and major league prospect like Lehman was not on display, there was plenty of talent on the diamond that justified a large crowd. It was the first time the event was held, but will certainly not be the last. I know watching high school baseball isn’t the same as a trip to PNC Park, but that does not mean an event at a great venue like Consol should not be ignored.

The Final Four took place Saturday, which I’m sure will be considered next year, and despite the disappointing student turnout, it was a great day for baseball.


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