Carroll County traveled to Blacksburg on Friday for their first regular season meeting. Carroll drew blood first, scoring one run to pull ahead 1-0. The Cavaliers capitalized on two singles, a Blacksburg infield error, and a batter hit by pitch.
Blacksburg responded immediately, scoring a run of their own. Morgan McCoy led off the game with a single to right field. Jon Hinson reached on a fielder's choice and Ethan Goforth reached on error. After a strike out, the Carroll catcher made an error, allowing Hinson to score. A ground out then ended the inning.
Jake Verniel, who started on the mound for the Bruins, retired the side in consecutive order in the top of the 2nd.
Blacksburg blew the game open in the bottom of the 2nd. Tyler Davis reached on an error followed Tyler Barry reaching base on a fielder’s choice. Jake Verniel reached on an error. Grayson Shelton was inserted in to run for the pitcher, Verniel. With the bases loaded, Ben Anstrom reached on an error, scoring Davis (1-1). Back at the top of the line up, Morgan McCoy drew a RBI walk, scoring Barry (2-1). Hinson reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring Shelton (3-1). Goforth then reached on an error, scoring Anstrom and Hinson (5-1). A player was caught stealing to end the inning, but Blacksburg had taken a commanding lead 5-1.
In the top of the 3rd, Verniel faced only four batters, giving up just one single and forcing three ground balls.
The Bruins picked up two more runs in the bottom half of the frame to extend their lead 7-2. With two outs, Davis doubled to left field and then Barry reached on an error, but scoring Davis in the process (6-1). Verniel singled to center field and advanced Barry to 3B. Anstrom reached on an error, scoring Barry (7-1). A strike out ended the inning.
Verniel continued his dominance of Carroll County, face just three batters. A player reached by an error, but then Verniel struck out the next batter and forced a double play ground ball to end the inning.
Hinson led off the bottom of the 4th by reaching on an error. Goforth then doubled to left field, scoring Hinson (8-1). Adam Linkous tripled to right field, scoring Goforth (9-1). Jake Schirmer hit a ground ball for an out, but recorded an RBI, scoring Linkous from 3B (10-1). Two fly outs ended the inning.
Adam Linkous came into the pitch the 5th inning. He faced six batters, giving up a single and two walks. However, the runners were stranded.
In the bottom of the 5th, Verniel led off with a single followed by a single by Dylan Surface. After two outs, Goforth singled to left field to load the bases, but a player was thrown out at home plate to end the inning.
Linkous pitched the top of the 6th. Facing six batters again, he surrendered a hit and walked two batters. However, he was able to pitch out of the jam by getting a fly out to end the inning.
Blacksburg was held scoreless in the 6th. Caden Croy singled, but was left stranded.
Carroll County scored two runs in the top of the 7th, but Everett Vick shut the door on Carroll County by ending the game on a ground out.
With the win, Blacksburg improves to 6-3 on the season. Offensively, the Bruins were lead by Jake Verniel and Ethan Goforth, who each had two hits. Morgan McCoy, Jon Hinson, Ethan Goforth, and Adam Linkous each had an RBI. Blacksburg scored 10 runs on 9 hits. Two of the runs were earned.
Jake Verniel got the win for Blacksburg and is now 2-0 on the season. He scattered 3 hits, struck out two, and did not walk anyone. Adam Linkous pitched two innings in relief, giving up 2 hits and 4 walks. Everett Vick closed the game for Blacksburg, giving up 2 hits, 2 runs, only one of which was earned.
After the game, Head Coach Danny Shouse was please with the win, but feels his team still has work to do. "We were flat today. We manufactured some runs, but overall a win is a win. I’d Like to see us get more aggressive. I told the boys to enjoy your weekend because a whole new practice starts Monday."
Blacksburg plays in a tournament next week at Jefferson Forrest.