The Blacksburg Middle School team kicked off it's 2014 home campaign with a DH with Radford on Sunday. The Bruins were a little slow out of the gate, but got things going late and went on to win to 12-2. In the 2nd game, the Bruins kept their offense going early in the game, and cruised to an 8-0 win, sweeping Radford in the double header.
In the first game of the DH, Blacksburg's Grant Johnston took the mound for the Bruins and kept Radford scoreless in the top of the 1st. One player reached on an error and another player walked, but Johnston only faced five batters in the inning.
Blacksburg was kept in check in the bottom of the frame. Chris Wysocki drew a walk in the bottom of the 1st but was stranded.
Johnston retired Radford in the top of the 2nd. A player reached base on a hard hit infield error, but Johnston came right back and got three consecutive outs.
Blacksburg scored in the bottom of the 2nd to take a 1-0 lead. With one out, Johnston reached on an error, and then Davis Roberson hit a deep fly ball double to center field, scoring Johnston from 1B. Jacob Lucas drew a walk and then a double play ball ended the inning for the Bruins.
Radford took the lead briefly in the top of the 3rd, scoring two runs to make the score 2-1. With one out, Radford hit a single and then drew a walk to put two runners on base. After an out, Radford reached on an outfield error that should haven ended the inning, allowing both runners to score. The next player singled, but then Johnston forced a fly out to end the inning and stop the Radford momentum.
Blacksburg responded immediately, tying up the game 2-2 in the bottom on the 3rd. Collin Collver reached base with a lead off error. A balk call advanced Collver to 2B and then he stole 3B. After an out, Chris Wysocki reached on an infield error, allowing Wysocki to score. A ground out ended the inning for Blacksburg.
Johnston kept Blacksburg in the game through the 4th, facing just four batters, and giving up one single in the top of the 4th.
In the bottom of the 4th, Blacksburg blew the game open, scoring 10 runs on 4 hits to extend their lead to 12-2. Wesley McCoy led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch, then advanced two bases on passed balls. McCoy then stole home to break the tie 3-2. Craig Weaver then walked. Johnston reached on an error, scoring McCoy (4-2). Roberson drew a walk. Jacob Lucas hit an RBI ground out, scoring Johnston (5-2). Caden Croy and Collver both drew walks. Luke Goforth hit a single, scoring Croy on the play (6-2). Collver advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch, and then scored on a passed ball (7-2). A Bruin player was caught stealing home for the second out of the innng. Meanwhile, Goforth had advanced to 3B on the play and then scored on another passed ball (8-2). Wysocki then drew a walk. Cole Epperley reached on an error and Wysocki advanced to 2B. A wild pitch advanced both runners one base erach. McCoy hit an 2 RBI double, scoring Wysocki and Epperely (10-2). Craig Weaver then hit an RBI single, scoring McCoy (11-2). Johnston then singled to right field, advancing Weaver to 3B. Roberson kept the rally going by hitting another single, scoring Weaver (12-2). A player was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
Wesley McCoy was inserted to pitch in the top of the 5th. Facing just four batters, McCoy struck out the first two batters, walked one, and then struck out the last batter to end the game.
Offensively, Blacksburg was led by Davis Roberson, who was 2/2 with a double and a single. Wesley McCoy added a double, while Luke Goforth, Craig Weaver, and Grant Johnston each had a single. Roberson and McCoy both had two RBIs.
Blacksburg scored 12 runs off 6 hits and only struck out once. Radford scored 3 runs off of 2 hits and struck out 6 times.
Grant Johnston got the win for Blacksburg, pitching 4 innings, scattering 3 hits and giving up no earned runs. He struck out 3 batters, and walked two.
In the second game of the double header, Blacksburg wasted little time picking up where they left off from the first game. Wesley McCoy started on the mound for the Bruins and retired the side, facing just four batters.
Blacksburg picked up five runs in the bottom of the 1st to take a quick, commanding lead 5-0. Luke Goforth led off the game with a single to right field and then Chris Wysocki reached on an infield error, putting two players on base with no outs. Wesley McCoy hit an RBI single to center field, scoring Goforth (1-0). Austin Nickle then ripped a doubled to left field, racking up two RBIs, scoring Wysocki and McCoy (3-0). Devin Stosser drew a walk and then Ryland Bennett singled to left field, advancing Stosser to 3B and getting an RBI for scoring Nickle (4-0). After a fly out and a strike out, Christian Vance reached on an error, but Stosser scored on the play (5-0). A strike out ended the inning for the Bruins, but Blacksburg had gained a lot of momentum right out of the gate.
McCoy retired the first batter of the top of the 2nd via a fly out. Blacksburg then inserted Austin Nickle to pitch. After a single and a walk, Nickle struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
In the bottom of the 2nd, Blacksburg scored two more runs to extend their lead 7-0. With one out, Cole Epperely drew a walk to get on base and then stole 2B. Epperley then advanced to 3B on an error by Radford’s pitcher and scored on a passed ball (6-0). After a strike out, Nickle drew a walk and then Stosser singled to left field, scoring Nickle (7-0). Bennett drew a walk and advanced to 2B on a passed ball. Stephen Case drew a awl, but then a ground out ended the inning.
Nickle forced a ground out with Radford’s lead off batter. Two consecutive singles put two runners on for Radford, but then Nickle forced a ground out and struck out the last batter to end the inning.
Blacksburg picked up a run in the bottom of the 3rd, being very productive despite just sending four players to the plate. Christian Vance drew a lead off walk and advanced to 2B on a ground out. Vance moved himself to 3B on a passed ball and then scored on a ground out (8-0).
In the top of the 4th, Zack Cregger was inserted to pitch and shut the Bobcats out to end the game. After getting the lead off batter via fly out, Cregger walked two batters, but came right back and struck out the next batter and forced a ground out to end the game.
The game ended early due to darkness.
Offensively, Blacksburg had 5 hits, with Luke Goforth, Wesley McCoy, Austin Nickle, Devin Stosser, and Ryland Bennett each having a hit.
Wesley McCoy, Austin Nickle, and Zack Creggar all pitched for Blacksburg, scattering 3 hits, walking 4 players and striking out 6 Radford players.
Head Coach Brad Epperley was very pleased with how the Middle School team played. Epperley said "The boys played great today. We needed that big 4th inning push in the first game to get us going. The bats came alive, we had good pitching and our defense made the plays that they were supposed to make. We were playing Blacksburg Baseball at its best. I asked the players to build from the game 1 victory and keep it going. The players did just that for game 2. It was a total team effort today. Everyone contributed in some form or fashion today. Proud to be a part of this team!"
With the two wins over Radford, Blacksburg improved their season record to 2-1-1.