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Miller Tops Covenant 5-4 with Wild Finish in VIC Championship

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Senior Will Wagner was at the bottom of a dogpile after scoring the game-winning run Senior Will Wagner was at the bottom of a dogpile after scoring the game-winning run
The Mavericks beat the Eagles 5-4 to win the VIC Championship The Mavericks beat the Eagles 5-4 to win the VIC Championship
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

The Miller School baseball team scored two runs on a controversial play with two outs in the bottom of the 7th inning, and the Mavericks rallied to beat Covenant 5-4 in the VIC championship game on Saturday.

Miller was down to its final out with runners at 1st and 3rd when Ethan Murray sent a grounder to third base.

The throw over to first appeared to end the game, and the Eagles started celebrating, but the first base umpire ruled the first baseman had bobbled the ball, and Murray was safe.

The Mavericks' Tanner Morris had already scored from 3rd, and Will Wagner raced around the bases in the confusion to score the game-winning run.

Miller head coach Billy Wagner says, "In a championship game, there were some tough calls that had to be made.  I thought that one play at first base, I thought it was a good call.  If (the ump) thought that the ball was still moving, then it's not possession."

"I'm glad I'm not umping," he added.

Covenant head coach Jeff Burton says, "Obviously in a game without replay, the results of this game will stick. Hopefully, however, this will only further fuel our Covenant team as we pursue a State Championship."

Eagles' senior Tyler Mahone hit a three-run home run to give his team a 4-1 lead in the 3rd inning, and sophomore pitcher Declan Kent had a strong outing for Covenant.  

"Kent threw an awesome ball game, which is simply a continuation of what he's done all year," says Burton.  "He, in my opinion, is a no doubt first team all conference player.  It baffles me that other coaches didn't think his 6-0 record and .125 batting average against was worthy. He controlled a very good hitting, perhaps the best hitting, lineup in the state, surrendering only three hits and two walks over five innings.  He has tremendous poise and a huge future ahead of him.  I'm glad that great crowd got to see what I've been seeing all year long."

Covenant will be back on the field for the state tournament next week.

Burton says, "We are excited to host a game on Tuesday, and we will await who the state committee decides to send our way.  There is no doubt in my mind, and it's been repeatedly over and over by knowledgeable folks, that about seven of the top 10 teams in the state this year are in our D2 ranks.  So, it'll be a tough battle, whoever we get, but I think we have the pitching and the senior leadership to make a run.  It'll be fun."