Blacksburg traveled to Christiansburg for the second round of River Ridge District play this season. The Blue Demons were eager to redeem themselves from being no hit in the first game vs. Blacksburg, while the Bruins set out to sweep their cross county rival. The game proved to be an exciting one, bouncing back and forth and not fully decided until the last inning.
Both teams started slow as starting pitchers Morgan McCoy for Blacksburg and Aaron Jackson for Christiansburg dueled one another in a strong battle. For Blacksburg, Thomas Hughes drew a walk in the 1st, while Jake Schirmer hit a single in the 2nd, but both were stranded. McCoy kept the Christiansburg offense in check, allowing just a double and a walk in the first two innings.
In the top of the 3rd, Blacksburg struck first, scoring two runs to go up 2-0. With one out, Morgan McCoy singled and Thomas Hughes drew a walk, to put two runners on base. After a strike out, Alex Pickrell reached 1B on an error, scoring McCoy and Hughes. A strike out ended the inning, but the Bruins jumped out in front 2-0 on Christiansburg’s untimely error.
Christiansburg responded in the bottom half of the frame, scoring two runs of their own to tie the game. A lead off single put a runner on base, and after an out, a two run Home run tied the game 2-2.
Jackson kept Blacksburg in check in the top of the 4th, only facing 4 batters with Shimozono singling to RF.
In the bottom of the 4th, Christiansburg pulled ahead for the first time in the game, scoring a run to make the game 3-2. With two outs, a Blue Demon reached on an error, and then a double to LF scored the unearned run. McCoy got the next batter via a ground out to SS.
In what as setting up to be a low scoring pitcher’s duel, turned out to be just the opposite. Both teams made pitching changes in the 5th inning, and both offenses adjusted accordingly. The Bruins took advantage of the change quickly. McCoy led off the inning and reached on an error, and took 2B on the same play. Hughes then doubled to LF, scoring McCoy. Tyler Barry then delivered a 2 run homerun, putting Blacksburg back on top 5-3. Alex Pickrell singled, but was stranded after a sacrifice and two strikeouts.
In the bottom of the 5th, Thomas Hughes relieved McCoy and the Blue Demons managed to put 5 runs on the board to take the lead 8-5. A lead off single got things started for Christiansburg. After an out and a walk, a run scored on a passed ball. A single put a 2nd runner on base, and then a RBI single scored the 2nd run of the inning. A Blue Demon reached via an infield error and loaded the bases. A RBI single to LF scored the 3rd run of the inning, and after an infield fly rule (out), a double to LF scored two more runs. Hughes struck out the next batter to end inning. After 5 complete innings of play, Christiansburg led 8-5.
The “Battlin Bruins” would not surrender, however, and bounced back to score four runs of their own, and re-take the lead 9-8. With one out, Morgan McCoy got the rally started by doubling to RF, and moved himself to 3B. Hughes then walked and McCoy scored on a wild pitch while Hughes moved to 2B. Tyler Barry drew a walk as did Alex Pickrell, which loaded the bases. After the 2nd out, Christiansburg walked back-to-back Bruins, Jake Schirmer and Alex Shimozono, resulting in RBIs that scored Hughes and Barry. Ethan Goforth then singled to RF, scoring Alex Pickrell and Christiansburg was finally able to retire the next batter to end the inning as Blacksburg left the bases loaded.
In the bottom of the 6th, Hughes found his groove and retired the Christiansburg lineup in consecutive order.
Blacksburg exploded for seven runs in the top of the 7th and blow the game open for good. Taking advantage of a very thin Blue Demon pitching staff, the Bruins went to work quickly. Morgan McCoy led off with a double to CF and Thomas Hughes followed with a single, which scored McCoy. Tyler Barry singled to RF, advancing Hughes to 3B. After an out, Tyler Davis hit a 2 RBI single to CF, scoring Hughes and Barry. After the 2nd out of the inning, Alex Shimozono drew a walk, and then Ethan Goforth doubled to score Tyler Davis and Shimozono. Jake Verniel hit a RBI single, scoring Goforth and then Morgan McCoy, hitting for the 2nd time in the inning, reached via an error, advancing Verniel to 3B. Verniel then scored on a wild pitch to score the 7th run of the inning. The next batter struck out to end the inning, but not before the Bruins took a commanding lead 16-8.
Down 16-8 in the bottom of the 7th, Christiansburg only mustered a single, with the last batter appropriately striking out to end the game. Hughes was the winning pitcher for Blacksburg, pitching 3 innings in relief, giving up 6 hits and 3 earned runs. Starter Morgan McCoy pitched a strong first four innings, scattering just 4 hits and giving up only 2 earned runs. He struck out 6 and walked just 1 batter.
Christiansburg’s starting pitcher, Aaron Jackson, pitched 4 strong innings for the Blue Demons, scattering 3 hits, striking out 5, walking 2 batters, and giving up no earned runs.
Offensively, Blacksburg pounded out 14 hits, drew 9 walks, and scored 7 earned runs. At the plate, they were led by Morgan McCoy, who was 3 / 6 with 4 runs scored. He was one of only two Bruins who did not strike out. Thomas Hughes was 2 / 3 with 2 RBIs and reached base safely 5 times with 3 walks. Tyler Barry was 2 / 4 with 2 RBIs and a home run.
With the win, Blacksburg improves to 10-6 overall and 3-3 in River Ridge District Play. The Bruins travel to Hidden Valley to play the Titians on Friday @ 5:00 pm.
Tag(s): BHS Varsity