Jackson Newspapers - Ripley, WV
  • Swarm win Memorial Day Showdown tourney

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  • CINCINNATI, OH - As local high schools have ended their play on the baseball diamond, summer league play is just getting underway for Jackson County based baseball and softball players.
    One team, The West Virginia Swarm, includes six 14U Ripley area sluggers on its roster and is coached by Jon Casto and Kenny Swisher.
    The team traveled to Cincinnati Ohio last weekend to compete in the Memorial Day Showdown. The tourney consisted of 22 teams from the region.
    The Swarm took on the Kentucky Squirrels in game one of pool play and dominated the nut gatherers by a score of 12-1. Lane Casto was the culprit of much of the action notching a two run double and plating a run via a sacrifice fly. Jarred Bumpus walked three times and scored three runs. Cody Pittenger walked once, Remy Boyce went 2-for-2 with an RBI and two runs, Trae Swisher walked once and Logan McCoy went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored.
    On the hill, McCoy went four innings and gave up only three hits with nine strikeouts and just one walk with no runs allowed. Pittenger threw 2/3 of an inning and notched a strikeout and allowed no runs.
    In game two of pool play it was Bumpus' turn to do the damage on the mound as the Swarm downed J.B. Yeager of Cincinnati, 9-3.
    The southpaw hurled five innings and gave up a hit and struck out two while walking two and allowing zero runs. Pittenger threw two innings and allowed just two hits and a walk with two strikeouts and zero runs allowed.
    "Pitt" blasted a monstrous homerun to right field that cleared the fence with footage to spare that helped break the game open. The lefty led Ripley High in homeruns last season as a frosh and is continuing his battery of opposing pitchers.
    For the game, Pittenger had two hits, two RBIs and scored two runs, Lane Casto was 2-for-3 with a double, Bumpus had an RBI and Remy Boyce scored a run.
    It was time for the Swarm to enter tournament play and as the competition got better, the boys from West Virginia began to heat up.
    The team's first opponent was a rematch with J.B. Yeager. In this game, it was Jarred Bumpus' turn to go deep with the bat. Bumpus cranked a fastball offering over the fence in right centerfield for a solo shot to put his team ahead, 1-0.
    The swarm won a tight contest, 2-1 to advance in the "one and done" style tournament and advanced to the semifinals.
    In the hitting department for the swarm, Bumpus was 2-for-2 with a homer, RBI and a walk, Pittenger went 1-for-1 with two walks and Boyce walked once.
    Page 2 of 2 - In the semifinal matchup, the Swarm faced an elite team from Indiana called the Franklin County Wildcats.
    The Storm tamed the 'Cats in what wasn't a very competitive contest, 10-0.
    McCoy took the hill for West Virginia and threw four stellar innings while allowing no hits, no runs, six strikeouts and a walk. McCoy buttered his bread during his freshman year at Ripley High with efficiency and the lefty has continued this approach into the summer, successfully.
    At the plate, Bumpus was 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored, Pittenger went 1-for-3 with a double, an RBI and two runs, Casto went 1-for-2 with a walk, an RBI and a run, Boyce went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and McCoy went 1-for-1 with a run scored.
    As the Storm advanced to the championship game, they knew they were in for a dogfight and the notion proved to be true as the Kentucky Red Sox put up a fight but fell to the West Virginia Storm, 5-4 on a Sunny Sunday afternoon.
    On the hill, Bumpus started the game and went 2/3 of an inning giving up three hits and four runs on lightly hit balls that found holes. Pittenger took the hill and shut down the Red Sox bats for good going six 2/3 innings and giving up just three hits, one walk, six strikeouts and zero runs.
    Bumpus went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, Pittenger walked twice and scored, Casto went 1-for-2 with a double and was hit by a pitch, Swisher went 1-for-1 with two walks and a run scored and McCoy scred a run for the Swarm.
    The squad was presented with the championship hardware and traveled back to West Virginia exhausted but ultimately victorious.
    The West Virginia Swarm are sponsored by Logan Outdoor, LLC, Firehouse Subs, Chick Fil-A, Athletic Outfitters, Jackson County Realty, Lester Raines Honda and Little General Convenience stores.
    The team returns to action June 8-9 when they travel to a tourney in Radford Virginia.
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