HURRICANE, W.Va. -- It was bottoms up on Monday night in the Mountain State Athletic Conference Tournament at hitter-friendly Lola Meeks Memorial Field, until an effective breaking ball ended 12 innings of run scoring.
Hurricane relief pitcher Drew Lawrence gave up a triple, then sat down the final 12 Cabell Midland batters to send the top-seeded Redskins into the MSAC championship game with a 9-5 victory over the Knights (12-12).
Until Lawrence claimed his seventh pitching victory of the season, Midland freshman No. 9 hitter Eli Canterbury hit a three-run homer and tripled, capping a night of hitting from the bottom of the lineup.
In the opening game, Princeton's sixth (Jack Hickman), seventh (J.C. Pennington) and eighth (Bryson Allen) batters hit homers in a 13-run third inning to vault the Tigers into the title game with an 18-6 rout of St. Albans (22-5).
The result is a Princeton-Hurricane MSAC championship game scheduled for approximately 7:30 p.m. today. The consolation game will get underway at 5 p.m. and pits St. Albans against Cabell Midland.
A potentially long night was shortened by Lawrence, who relieved fellow senior Riley Metz in the fourth inning of the second semifinal and threw only 33 pitches to 13 batters.
Canterbury hit Lawrence's fifth pitch for the triple.
"I wasn't pitching to contact, I was trying to be Roger Clemens and strike everybody out," said Lawrence, who, along with the other Hurricane seniors, has been a part of more than 100 wins during his four-year varsity career.
"I found my breaking ball."
Prior to going to the mound, Cabell Midland owned a 4-0 lead on two doubles, a single and Canterbury's home run in the second.
Offensively, Lawrence - who was batting .276 on April 9 - also bumped his batting average to .333 with a pair of run-scoring singles and another RBI on a sacrifice fly.
He followed an intentional walk to Metz with an RBI single.