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Blacksburg Beats County Rival Christiansburg in District Semi-Finals

05/25/2013, 11:03pm EDT
By Admin

Great Pitching, Defense, and an Efficient Offense, Propels Bruins into River Ridge Championship


On Friday, Blacksburg traveled to Kiwanis Field in Salem to finish the delayed second round game of the River Ridge Tournament vs. Christiansburg from the night before.  Because the Bruins finished in second place during the regular season, they had first round bye and did not play on Monday.

On Thursday, starting pitcher Thomas Hughes got the Bruins off to an excellent start, retiring the Blue Demons in the first, despite walking two batters. 

Blacksburg’s efficient offense wasted little time getting their offense going; scoring two runs without getting a hit.  Lead off batter Morgan McCoy reached on an error, and Tyler Barry drew a walk.  McCoy then stole 3B while Barry stole 2B.  McCoy scored on an error by the P on a failed pick off attempt, and Barry advanced to 3B.  Alex Pickrell then hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Barry, to take the lead 2-0.

In the top of the 2nd, Hughes continued pitching well, getting two quick outs and then the official delay was called due to lighting.

Following a major storm front that moved through, the field became “unplayable” and tournament officials decide postpone the game until Friday @ 2pm.  

With a 2-0 lead in the 2nd inning, the teams picked up right where the game ended, per VHSL Tournament rules.  On Friday, the game continued exactly where it left off.  However, due to new VHSL pitching rules, Hughes’ innings counted, and was ineligible to pitch Friday.  Consequently, that meant the task would fall on Morgan McCoy, who rose to the occasion.

McCoy promptly retired the last batter of the continuation inning, by striking out the Christiansburg player to quickly end the 2nd inning.

In the bottom of the 2nd, the Bruins added more runs to their score and expanded their lead to 4-0.  With one out, Alex Shimozono got thing started by drawing a walk.  Ethan Goforth then reached on an error, and Shimozono advanced to 2B.  Jake Verniel then sacrificed, scoring Shimozono while Goforth advanced to 2B.  Shimozono then advanced to 3B on an error by a Blue Demon infielder.  Morgan McCoy delivered Blacksburg’s first hit of the game, advancing Goforth to 3B.  Thomas Hughes followed with an RBI single, scoring Goforth and advancing McCoy to 2B.  Tyler Barry drew a walk to load the bases, but a fielder’s choice ended the inning, stranding all three runners.  But, Blacksburg would now lead 4-0. 

McCoy was very efficient in the 3rd.  He retired the first batter with a ground out and despite giving up a single, he immediately responded by getting the next batter to hit into a ground ball double play. 

Blacksburg was held in check in the bottom of the 3rd ,as the score remained 4-0.

McCoy picked up right where he left off in the previous inning, retiring the first two batters with groundouts.  Then, a walk and HBP, put two runners on and a batter reached base by an infield error, but the runner advancing to 3B broke to home and was thrown out at the plate by Thomas Hughes. 

In the bottom of the 5th, Alex Pickrell doubled to CF.  However, he was stranded, but the Bruins were not able to advance him any further around the bases.

In the top of the 6th, Christiansburg rallied to tie the game.  A lead off single got things started, and after an out, which advanced the runner, another single produced Christiansburg first run of the game.  The next batter reached on a fielder’s choice, and recorded the second out of the inning.  Another single put two runners on base.  A home run to LF tied the game in dramatic fashion 4-4.  Not deterred, McCoy retired the next batter with a ground out to SS to end the inning.

In typical fashion, Blacksburg would rally and win the game. Alex Shimozono led off the inning and was HBP.  Ethan Goforth then drew a walk.  Jack Madigan was inserted as courtesy runner for Goforth.  After two consecutive outs, Thomas Hughes drew a walk to load the bases.  Then, by being disciplined at the plate, Tyler Barry drew a RBI bases loaded walk to score the winning run (Alex Shimozono).  

McCoy retired the Christiansburg side in order in the top of the 7th, three up and three down, to secure the win.

Incredibly, Blacksburg produced 5 runs on just 3 hits.  Thomas Hughes pitched 1.2 innings, giving up no runs or hits, striking out 2 and walking 2.  Morgan McCoy got the win, pitching 5.1 innings, scattering 6 hits and giving up 4 earned runs.   He walked 1 and struck out 4.

Offensively, Blacksburg was led by Alex Pickrell, who was 1/2 with a double.  Morgan McCoy and Thomas Hughes added singles. 

With the win, Blacksburg advances to the Championship of the River Ridge District Tournament later on Friday, at 7pm.


Note: Photo courtesy of Wendell Jones

Tag(s): BHS Varsity