The Blacksburg Middle School team traveled to Radford for a rematch of their double header that they played just this past weekend. Radford won a pitching duel in the first game 2-1 while the Bruins came back to get the night cap game, 4-2 to split the double headers. Blacksburg was relatively quiet at the plate, but it's pitching was excellent.
In the first game, Blacksburg was held to just one hit by Radford's Taylor. In the top of the 1st, he walked Blacksburg's lead off batter Luke Goforth, but then struck out the next batter and got the third Bruin batter to hit into a double play to end the inning.
Blacksburg's Collin Collver pitched for the Bruins. He retired the side in the bottom half of the inning, facing just five batters. Collver gave up two singles, but forced a ground out to end the inning and holding Radford scoreless.
Blacksburg pushed an unearned run across in the top of the 2nd to take the lead 1-0. Wesley McCoy led off with a walk to get himself on base. After a ground out, which advanced McCoy to 2B, McCoy moved himself to 3B on ball that was in play. Grant Johnston reached on an error, which scored McCoy from 3B. Two ground outs ended the inning for the Bruins.
Collver retired the Radford Bobcats in consecutive order in the bottom of the 2nd, striking out the first two batters, and forcing a fly out.
Blacksburg was also retired in consecutive order in the top of the 3rd, striking out and with two ground outs.
The pitching duel continued into the bottom of the 3rd as Collver retired the side in order yet again, or six consecutive batters and seven if one counts the last out of the 1st inning.
Blacksburg threatened in the top of the 4th, but just couldn't get the hit they needed to score a run. With one out, Cole Epperely was hit by a pitch to get on base. McCoy then singled to break up the no hitter and move Epperley to 2B. Craig Weaver sacrificed Epperely to 3B and advanced McCoy to 2B, but a ground out ended the inning and the scoring threat for Blacksburg.
Radford singled to lead off the bottom of the 4th and then a fly out recorded the first out of the inning. A ground ball single advanced the lead off runner to 2B. A third single loaded the bases for Radford, and then a double to left field scored two runs for Radford to take a 2-1 lead and win the ball game.
Wesley McCoy had the lone hit for Blacksburg. The Bruins did not commit an error in the field.
Collin Collver pitched an excellent game for the Bruins but had little run support. He scattered six hits over three and a third innings, allowing just two runs. He struck out 3 batters and did not allow a walk.
In the second game of the double header, Blacksburg went three up and three down in the top of the 1st inning.
Luke Goforth took the mound for Blacksburg and held Radford scoreless in the bottom of the 1st inning. With one out, Radford doubled, but then Goforth struck out the next batter and after a walk, got the last batter to line out to end the inning.
Blacksburg sent four players to the plate in the top of the 2nd. After two strike outs, Ryland Bennett singled but then a fly out ended the inning and he was stranded.
Radford was kept scoreless again in the bottom of the 2nd. Goforth walked the lead off batter, but then forced a fly out to record the first out of the inning. A single to left field put runners at 1B and 2B with one out. Another walk loaded the bases. Goforth got Blacksburg out of the jam by striking out the next batter and then forced a fly out to end the Radford scoring threat.
In the top of the 3rd inning, Blacksburg scored three runs to jump out to a 3-0 lead. Jake Duncan led off the inning, reaching via an infield error. Christian Vance drew a walk and now the Bruins had two runners on base with no outs. Ryan Oosterhuis drew a walk to load the bases for Blacksburg. A player was caught stealing home and then Luke Goforth grounded out, but the play produced an RBI, scoring Vance. Chris Wysocki reached on an error, scoring Oosterhuis. Cole Epperley drew a walk and then stole 2B. Wysocki scored on wild pitch and a Bruin was picked off at 3B to end the inning. However, Blacksburg had managed to score three runs without a hit.
In the bottom of the 3rd, Radford scored to runs to close the gap to 3-2. A lead off single got things going for Radford, and then McCoy struck out the next two batters. McCoy struck out the next batter which should have ended the inning, but the Radford runner beat out a dropped third strike. The dropped third strike error allowed Radford to score a run (3-1). After a walk that reloaded the bases, Radford singled to left field, scoring a run on the play (3-2). McCoy came right back and recorded his 4th strike out of the inning to end the scoring threat.
In the top of the 4th and with one out, Devin Stosser ripped a triple to left field. Bennett then hit an RBI single (4-2), recording his second hit of the game. A ground out and strike out ended the inning for Blacksburg.
McCoy shut the door on the Bobcats in the bottom of the 4th, retiring the side in order. McCoy struck out the lead off batter and then forced a ground out and line out to end the game for the Bruins.
Offensively, Blacksburg was led by Ryland Bennett, who was 2/2 and an RBI. Devin Stosser added a triple for the Bruins, who had just three hits. Blacksburg was flawless in the field, committing no errors.
Radford scored two runs off four hits.
Luke Goforth and Wesley McCoy each pitched two innings for Blacksburg, scattering four hits. Goforth gave up two hits, walking three batters, and striking out one Bobcat. McCoy scattered two hits, walking one batter, and striking out five batters. McCoy recorded the win for Blacksburg.
Head coach Brad Epperley said after the game, "Ultimately in the first game, we had a good pitching and defensive game but didn't have the offensive energy that we needed. In the second game, we re-grouped and once again played good defense and did a better job of taking advantage of our opportunities."
With the split of the double header, the Blacksburg Middle School team is now 3-2-1 on the season. They host Galax on Saturday in a double header.