On Friday night, Blacksburg advanced to the Championship game by beating New River Rival Christiansburg earlier in the day 5-4. The bats that had been silent in the previous game, got going in the Championship. Morgan McCoy lead off with a single to CF and Thomas Hughes followed with a single to RF. McCoy advanced to 3B on the play. Tyler Barry drew a walk to load the bases with no outs. Alex Pickrell hit a sacrifice fly, scoring McCoy for the first run of the game. Jake Schirmer then singled, advancing Hughes to 3B and Barry to 2B and re-load the bases. After a strike out, Alex Shimozono was HBP, and Thomas Hughes was forced home. A strike out ended the inning, but not before Blacksburg took an early 2-0 lead.
Starting pitcher Tyler Davis started on the mound for Blacksburg and held Hidden Valley in check, allowing just one single.
The Bruins were retired in order in the top of the 2nd.
In the bottom half of the frame, regular season Champion Hidden Valley bounced back to take a 3-2 lead. With one out in the inning, a Titan batter was HBP. The next batter drew a walk to put two runners on base. A RBI double scored two runs to tie the game 2-2. A walk then put another runner on base. A single then loaded the bases for Hidden Valley. A player was HBP, forcing a run home and scoring the third run of the inning. With bases loaded, Davis buckled down and was able to escape further damage by forcing a fly out to RF and end the inning.
The Bruins were held in check again in the top of the 3rd. They did draw two walks, but both runners were stranded.
Hidden Valley went to work again in the bottom of the 3rd, scoring two more runs to jump out to a 5-2 lead. With two outs, a single, a player HBP, and a single, scored a run for the Titans. Another single scored an additional run, and despite the next batter being HBP, Davis retired the next batter with a pop up foul ball. At the end of three innings of play, Hidden Valley led 5-2.
Both pitchers pitched well in the 4th and 5th innings, keeping each opponent scoreless.
Alex Pickrell singlde in the 5th, and Tyler Barry drew a walk, but both were stranded.
In the top of the 6th with two outs, Ethan Goforth led off with a double and Jake Verniel drew a walk, but both were stranded.
In the bottom half of the frame, Hidden Valley scored two more runs to extend their lead to 7-2. A lead off walk, followed by a player reaching on a sacrifice error, put two runners on base. A single then scored a run and then an outfield error allowed another run to score. Interesting, upon the throw in to the infield, a second infield error thrown over the cather’s head then resulted in the Goforth throwing out a runner trying to advance to 3B. The next batter reached via an infield error, and the inning ended with a Titan caught stealing.
The top of the 7th has to go down in the record books as one of the most exciting, yet strangest baseball comebacks in Bruin history. Thomas Hughes led off with a single and Tyler Barry drew yet another walk. Alex Pickrell singled to CF to load the bases. Jake Schirmer singled to LF, scoring Hughes and re-loading the bases. After a strike out, Senior Alex Shimozono reached on a fielder’s choice, forcing Schirmer out at 2B. With two outs, and two runners on base, a strike out appeared to end the game, but Ethan Goforth hustled to first on a trapped ball and reached first base successfully after Hidden Valley thought the game was over and was walking off the field.
With bases now loaded and a big momentum change, Jake Verniel hit a two RBI single to LF, scoring Pickrell and Shimozono and pulling the Bruins within one run of Hidden valley 7-6. A new pitcher took the mound and lead off batter Morgan McCoy singled to RF to score Goforth from 2B on a very close play at the plate. Thomas Hughes then hit a ground ball to SS, and a Hidden Valley throwing error resulted in Blacksburg scoring the go ahead run. A strike out ended the inning, but not before the Bruins would score 6 and make an improbable comeback.
After pitching 5+ innings in the first game, Morgan McCoy would return to the mound to close. With one out, the Titans singled, but then McCoy shut the door on Hidden Valley with a strike out and ground out. McCoy became the first Bruin to earn a win and a save in one day.
Offensively, Blacksburg was led my Morgan McCoy, Thomas Hughes, Alex Pickrell and Jake Schirmer, who all had two hits. Tyler Barry reached base four times in drawing four walks. In all, Blacksburg scored 8 runs, 4 of them earned, on 10 hits.
Tyler Davis pitched very well for the Bruins, scattering 8 hits, giving up 6 earned runs, striking out 1 and walking 3.
The Bruins advance to regionals on Tuesday and Host Bassett. It will be Blacksburg's first trip to Regional since the 2009 season.
Note: Photo courtesy of Wendell Jones
Tag(s): BHS Varsity