The 2013 Blacksburg Middle School team started off their season with a 7-6 win at the Benjamin Franklin Eagles (Franklin County) on Friday night.
The visiting Bruins started out fast with the first two batters of the game, Sebi Cianelli and Justin Snyder, reaching base. After Cianelli scored on a balk, Synder was pushed across by a double off the bat of left fielder, CJ Linares.
Brad Shelton started the game on the mound for the Bruins, and gave up no runs in the first inning.
The Bruins were retired in order in the top of the second inning. The Eagles threatened with two baserunners in the bottom of the second, but a 6-4-3 double play by Cianelli, Jared Madigan, and Blake Davis squashed their threat.
In the top of the third inning, Justin Snyder reached base on a walk, but he was stranded.
In the bottom of the third, Sebi Cianelli relieved Brad Shelton on the mound. The Eagles were able to score two runs on a walk, single, and double, but the Bruins left an Eagle baserunner stranded on second base after a catch on a deep fly ball to CF by Snyder. After three innings, the score was tied 2-2.
The Bruins responded to the Eagle's two runs with a big inning in the 4th. Ryan Anderson, Brad Shelton, Will Justus, and Jared Madigan all reached base by error or after being hit by a pitch. Christian Vance then came in to pinch run for Brad Shelton, and all four runners scored. A clutch single by Chris Wysocki helped score one, and a bases-clearing double by Cianelli down the left field line, pushed two more runs across.
After the top of the fourth, the Bruins led 7-2. Cianelli kept the Eagles bats quiet during the bottom of the fourth, and the score after four complete innings was 7-2.
The Bruins were unable to score any more runs in the top of the fifth, and Justin Snyder came in to close out the game in the bottom of the fifth. The Eagles were able to claw their way back into the game by scoring four runs and had the game-tying run on third base, and game-winning run on second base with two outs, and their best hitter at the plate. However, Snyder was able to bear down, and get the final out to secure the win for the Bruins.
Head Coach Mike Madigan said "It was great to start the season with a win, and we played a pretty good game defensively. We scored enough runs to win, but are capable of more offensively. We are looking forward to getting back out there and playing more baseball."
The Bruins return to action Wednesday night against Radford at Veterans Field. Although the game will be played in Radford, Blacksburg will be the "home" team as this is a re-scheduled game from Sunday's rainout at BHS.