Blacksburg traveled to Hidden Valley on Wednesday, a game postponed from a day earlier due to rain. In the end, the game resembled more of a Friday night football game than a baseball game, with 27 runs being scored.
Blacksburg got off to a good start, scoring a run in the top of the 1st. With one out, Jon Hinson singled to right field and then Ethan Goforth drew a walk. After an out, Hinson and Goforth put on a double steal, with each advancing one base. Hinson scored on a wild pitch and then a strike out ended the inning.
Blacksburg started it's # 1 pitcher, Morgan McCoy on the mound in an attempt to break the long standing winning streak the Titans have over the Bruins. Hidden Valley picked up 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st on three walks, an error, and a double. At the end of one inning, Hidden Valley would lead 3-1. All three runs were unearned, however.
Blacksburg went three up and three down in consecutive order in the top of the 2nd inning.
In the bottom of the 2nd, Hidden Valley tacked on three more runs to extend their lead to 6-1. With one out, a player reached base via an outfield error, and then advanced to 2B on the play. A walk put another runner on base. McCoy struck out the next batter to record the 2nd out of the inning. Another walk loaded the bases for Hidden Valley and then the Titan's Mark Uttermark hit his 2nd double in as many innings, clearing the bases (6-1). McCoy came right back and struck out the next batter to end the inning.
Blacksburg fought back in the bottom half of the frame, scoring two runs of their own to cut the lead to 6-3. Jake Verniel led off the inning with a single to get things started for the Bruins. After an out, Hinson drew a walk, putting runners at 1st and 2nd. Goforth doubled to center field, scoring Verniel and Hinson (6-3). Grayson Shelton was entered into the game as a courtesy runner for Goforth. Adam Linkous drew a walk, but then a strike out ended the inning.
McCoy found his groove in the bottom of the 3rd, retiring the side in consecutive order.
Blacksburg did not score in the top of the 4th. Tyler Davis and Ben Anstrom drew a walk to put runners on with no outs, but three consecutive outs stranded the two runners for the Bruins.
Hidden Valley opened up the game in the bottom half of the inning, scoring two runs to extend their lead 8-3. With one out, two Titians singled. In conjunction with an out, a runner scored on an infield error (7-3). Then Uttermark hit his 3rd hit of the game, a single, scoring another run (8-3). McCoy was able to get the next runner ground out to end the inning.
Blacksburg then unloaded in the top of the 5th, scoring ten runs off eight hits, including two Home runs, to take the lead 13-8. Goforth started off the inning with a single, and then Linkous had a single of his own. Jake Schirmer walked to load the bases. Tyler Barry singled to left field, recording an RBI for scoring Goforth (8-4). Tyler Davis then hit a grand slam HR to clear the bases, and tying the game at 8-8. Anstrom continued the rally with a single, and then Jake Verniel hit a two RBI home run clearing the bases again and putting the Bruins up 10-8. McCoy singled and advanced to 2B on a Hinson sacrifice. Goforth, batting for his 2nd time in the inning, drew a walk. Linkous singled to left field, scoring McCoy (11-8) and advancing Goforth to 3rd. Schrimer then singled, scoring Goforth (12-8) and a Bruin was thrown out advancing to 3B. Barry was hit by a pitch, advancing Schirmer to 2B. Tyler Davis then recorded his 2nd hit of the inning with a single to left field, scoring Schirmer and extending the Bruins lead to 13-8. A strike out ended the inning for Blacksburg, but not before the Bruins took a commanding 13-8 lead late in the game.
McCoy continued his good pitching, facing just four batters in the bottom of the 5th, giving up just one single and shutting down the Titans.
In the top of the 6th, Verniel led off the inning with a walk, but was forced out at 2B on a fielders choice by McCoy. Hinson reached on another fielder's choice, forcing Mccoy out at 2B. Goforth drew a walk and then a strike out ended the inning. Blacksburg still led 12-8.
Blacksburg would make a pitching change in the bottom of the 6th and Hidden Valley rallied to score four runs to pull within one at 13-12. With one out, a player was HBP. The next Titan reached on an infield error. A second player was HBP to load the bases for the Titans. A third player was then HBP, scoring a run (13-9). A player then reached on an another infield error, scoring a run (13-10). The next Titan drew a walk, recording an RBI and narrowing the lead to 13-11. A single scored a runner from 3B, and the score was now 13-12. Blacksburg forced a double play ball to end the inning with bases loaded.
In the top of the 7th, Blacksburg did not score. They did get two runners on base as Schrimer and Barry were HBP, but then a fly out and double play ball ended the inning for the Bruins.
In the bottom of the 7th, the game would end in dramatic fashion. A Titan led off with a single, followed by a second single, putting two runners on with no outs. The next batter reached on yet another infield error, which loaded the bases with no outs. Blacksburg made a pitching change, going to Sophomore Jake Verniel. Uttermark recorded his 4th hit of the night, a single to center field, scoring run and tying the game at 13-13. Verniel struck out the next batter for Hidden Valley to record the first out of the inning. However, the next batter hit an infield single to end the game 14-13.
Hidden Valley was able to sneak away with the win and retain their long standing dominance over Blacksburg. In doing so, the Titans scored 14 runs off 11 hits and only made one error in the field. Amazingly, only 3 on the 14 runs were earned. The Titans drew 9 walks. Matt Uttermark was 4/4 with two doubles and two singles and 7 RBIs.
Blacksburg scored 13 runs off 12 hits, but made 7 errors in the field. All 13 runs of Bruins were earned. Blacksburg drew 6 walks.
Morgan McCoy scattered 6 hits over 5 innings. He walked 5 batters and struck out five. Offensively, Blacksburg was led by Tyler Davis with was 2/4 with 5 RBIs, including a home run. Jake Verniel hit a home run as well and was 2/3 with 2 RBIs. Ethan Goforth and Adam Linkous both added two hit each, with Goforth having 2 RBIs. Jon Hinson, Ethan Goforth, Jake Schirmer, and Jake Verniel each scored two runs.
After the game, Head Coach Danny Shouse was very direct in his thoughts about his team's performance. "We are not mentally tough...We score 10 runs in one inning and can't finish? We gotta get tough. We're a great ball team and we played a super ball team tonight. When you score 13 runs, you should win, especially on the road. When the score was 8-3, we were hanging our heads and pouting. Anyone who follows high school baseball knows HV is an elite ball team...We got to get some spunk and grow up a little bit. We let this game get away with errors. We did it against Cave Spring and did it again tonight. We were right there...We just have to finish. We play 7 innings not 4. Put it a bottle, shake it up and you got what you got....too many mistakes. We are going to go back to work tomorrow and get ready for Carroll County, which is 4A and we can get a lot of points for that game. This one is over and we have to focus going forward."
With the loss, the Bruins fall to 5-3 on the season and face Carroll County on Friday.