Cougars to face Irish today

East Hardy will look to send a special group of seniors, along with a veteran coach in his final season, back to the state tournament today.

The Cougars (23-10) will battle Notre Dame (22-10) at 6:30 p.m. in the Class A,?Region II title game at Frank Loria Field in Clarksburg.

Raymond Snapp, who has guided the East Hardy baseball team since the school was formed 34 years ago, will retire once the season concludes.

The Cougars have advanced to the state tourney seven times under Snapp, winning the title in 1987, and more recently falling to Madonna in extra innings in last year’s championship game.

“Our senior class has been a pretty good group,” Snapp said. “They have been fun to coach because they like to play the game and our motivated to win.”

Seven senior players that started the 2012 title game, including Shawn Skovron, Tyler Mongold and Korey Foltz will lead the Cougars against the Irish.

Skovron is batting a team-high .543 with five homers and 46 RBIs, Mongold has a .515 average with team highs in homers (8) and RBIs (52), and Foltz is hitting at a .467 clip, while stealing 25 bases and knocking in 37 runs.

East Hardy held off Potomac Valley Conference foe Pendleton County, 8-5, in Tuesday’s regional semifinal.

Notre Dame, meanwhile, coasted past Tucker County 19-0 in five innings to advance.

Anthony Belcastro knocked in five runs in the victory.

Chris Petrucci, Kolby Abruzzino and Chad Morrison are others to watch in the lineup.

The Cougars claimed a 13-7 victory over the Irish earlier this season in a game played in Clarksburg.