DAVISVILLE - Parkersburg Catholic scored only one run for the second straight game Thursday.
And, that wasn't enough against the Madonna Blue Dons.
Senior Logan Linder allowed three hits, struck out five and walked one in going the distance during Wednesday's 3-1 victory over the Crusaders in the Class A Region 1 baseball championship game at Marshall Romine Field.
That victory, the Blue Dons' 23rd in 32 starts, earns a trip to Charleston next week for Final Four weekend.
"He attacked the strike zone the whole day," Madonna coach Jeff Baire said of Linder, a University of Niagara signee. "He made big pitch after big pitch. He came out and did everything we asked him to do and everything he needed to do. He pitched a great game for us.
"He didn't have a stellar day at the plate. But, did a great job on the mound and was able to separate the two and that's a baseball player."
Class A Region 1 Championship
At Marshall Romine Field, Davisville
Madonna 3, Parkersburg Catholic 1
Madonna 010 100 1 - 3 7 1
Parkersburg Catholic 000 000 1 - 1 3 2
MADONNA (23-9): Linder (WP, 5K, 1BB) and Duerr; Battista 2S; Comis S, rbi; Deurr S, D; Ossman S; Bowser S, rbi.
PARKERSBURG CATHOLIC (19-10): Ferrell (LP, 2K, 6BB) and Casto; Boice D; Casto rbi; Roedersheimer 2S.
The Crusaders, finishing their season at 19-10, had only three hits against Madonna's Logan Linder and just five base-runners total in the game, only more than one in just the third inning.
In the meantime, the Blue Dons (23-9) reached Catholic's Jim Ferrell, who hurled a gritty seven-hitter, for single runs in the second, fourth and seventh with two of them unearned to deny the Crusaders their first trip to the state tounament in 19 years.
''You get that close and it's heartwrenching,'' said Catholic head coach Tom Harvey about not getting the one last win Wednesday that would have put his team in the state tournament after a turn-around season from 9-10 last year.
''But Madonna was just a little bit better than us today. We didn't hit it real well, but part of that was Linder on the mound doing a good job, too. We gave it all we had, and what an effort by Jim Ferrell, who gave us a gutsy performance. I'm proud of our kids, and not ashamed a bit. Our kids never gave up. We tried to rally there in the seventh a bit, but came up a couple runs short.''
The Blue Dons took a 1-0 lead in the second on a leadoff double by Chris Duerr, who went to third base on a groundout and scored on Will Bowser's RBI single to center, and went up 2-0 in the fourth on a walk, wild pitch, passed ball and error.
Catholic's lone scoring threat until the seventh came in the third on a one-out single to right-center by Nick Roedersheimer followed by a walk to Payton Sturm. They both moved up a base, to second and third, as Mitch Davis grounded out to the right side, but were left stranded there.
In the top of the seventh, Ferrell surrendered an unearned run on an RBI single by Ross Comis before the Crusaders' lefthanded-hitting Jake Boice began the bottom of the inning by lining an opposite-field double down the left-field line. Boice advanced to third on a groundout and came home when Bobby Casto drove a ball deep to right field for a sacrifice fly.
''We just couldn't string three, four, five hits together to get a lead,'' said Harvey, whose team beat Madonna 9-8 earlier in the year. "And that's tough when you're playing from behind. It might have been a little bit of nerves maybe too for us, being our first time being this far while Madonna's been here before.''
Baire and Company have won eight in a row and 10 of 11.
The first win of that stretch, an 8-6 decision at Hebron Lakewood in the second game of a doubleheader has helped turn this around for the Blue Dons.
"Early in the season we're going to give our guys a chance, when we have guys on base, to not play small-ball and see who will be able to produce when the chips are down in close games," said Baire. "We decided in the second game at the Lakewood doubleheader it was time to make that switch and start playing small-ball and it's definitely worked to our advantage."
Until that game, Madonna had lost four of five, the only win being a yawner against Morgantown Trinity.
"The last 11 games we have done a good job of this - making the plays when we needed to make them," said Baire. "I am extremely proud of our team and what we have done this year to achieve this goal."
Madonna tees it up at 7 p.m. June 1 at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston against Charleston Catholic in one semifinal. The Blue Dons topped the Irish, 9-8, on April 12.