The Blacksburg Bruins traveled to Roanoke on Friday to face a senior laden Lord Botetourt team, and came away with an exciting upset 9-5 win. A huge rally in the 6th inning propelled the Bruins to victory, while pitcher Thomas Hughes kept the Cavaliers in check for most of the game.
Blacksburg got off to a slow start, despite getting their first two batters on base via a walk and being HBP. However, a Lord Botetourt double play and ground out ended the inning.
In the bottom of the first inning, the Cavaliers jumped out in front 3-0. A lead off HR got things going for Lord Botetourt, and then a walk put a runner on 1B. After a ground out, a Cavalier reached via an error, and advanced around the bases to score on a ground out and Blacksburg error. A RBI double would score another run before Hughes retired the next player via a ground out.
In the top of the 2nd, Blacksburg only sent four players to the plate, as Jake Schirmer drew a walk, but was stranded.
In the bottom of the 2nd, Lord Botetourt set themselves up beautifully with a lead off single and then a double, but stranded both runners due to great defense by the Bruins. Ethan Goforth caught a pop up in foul territory, and then a Cavalier ground ball to 3B Jake Schirmer, assisted on the play as he threw the runner out at home with the put out of C Ethan Goforth. Hughes struck out the next batter to end the inning.
In the top of the 3rd, Blacksburg would score a run to close the gap to 3-1. Jake Verniel led off the inning with a single, and Morgan McCoy sacrificed Verniel to 2B. Thomas Hughes reached on an error, and Verniel advanced to 3B. Tyler Barry then doubled to CF, scoring Verniel and Adam Linkous, who was inserted as a courtesy runner for Hughes. The next two Bruin batters were retired in order.
In the bottom of the 3rd, Lord Botetourt led off with a single. A fly out and a single advanced the runner to 2B. However, both runners were stranded as Hughes got two Cavaliers to ground and fly out.
In the top of the 4th, Alex Shimozono doubled to lead off the inning. After a strike out, Ethan Goforth reached on an error. Adam Linkous was inserted as a courtesy runner, but the next two batters struck out swinging to end the inning.
In the bottom of the 4th, Hughes only faced four batters, walking one and striking out one. The other two Cavaliers lined out and flied out.
Blacksburg would battle back in the top of the 5th to close the gap to 3-2. Hughes led off the inning with a single to LF. After a strike out, Alex Pickrell drew a walk. With the next batter flying out, Hughes tagged up and advanced to 3B. Shimozono doubled to LF scoring Hughes and advancing Pickrell to 3B. However, a ground out ended the scoring threat.
In the bottom of the 5th, Lord Botetourt led off with a single, but a great defensive double play and ground out ended the inning.
The Bruins would explode in the top of the 6th, scoring 6 runs, all with two outs! After two fly outs, McCoy reached via an error that could have ended the inning. Thomas Hughes then homered to take the lead 4-3. Tyler Barry then reached on an error and Alex Pickrell hit a RBI double, scoring Barry. Tyler Davis and Alex Shimozono drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Jake Schirmer then hit a Grand Slam to push four more runs across the plate. A fly out ended the inning. The Bruins now led 9-3.
In the bottom of the 6th, a lead off single got thing started for the Cavaliers, but things quickly ended with a ground out FC, a fly out and strike out.
In the top of the 7th, Blacksburg would go three up and three down.
The Cavaliers did not quit, however, attempting a come back that came up short. A lead off throwing error put the batter at 2B. After a ground out, a Cavalier homered to narrow the lead to 9-5. A single put a runner on 1B, and another infield error put a second runner on base. The next Cavalier reached via a FC, recording the second out of the inning. Very appropriately, Thomas Hughes struck out the last batter after a full count.
Hughes led Blacksburg on the mound, pitching all seven innings for the win. He scattered ten hits, walked two, and struck out five. Of the 5 Botetourt runs, only two were earned. He is now 2-0 on the season, with a team leading 1.0 ERA.
Lord Botetourt surrendered eight hits, walked five, and struck out four Bruins. Of the nine runs, only two were earned.
Offensively, the Bruins were led by Alex Shimozono, who was 2/3 with two doubles, Thomas Hughes, who was 2/4 with a HR, and Jake Schirmer, who was 1/3 with a Grand Slam HR.
After the game, Head Coach Danny Shouse said “We went to war today and came out on top! These boys stick their noses in the dirt and get it done”!
With the win, the Blacksburg Bruins improve to 4-1 on the season and travel to Patrick Henry on Tuesday, March 26th.
Tag(s): BHS Varsity