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Blacksburg Middle Sweeps Galax in DH

04/13/2014, 1:17am EDT
By D. Gresh

Bruins win 4-3 and 13-12


On a beautiful Saturday in Blacksburg, Va., the Galax Maroon Tide visited old BHS for a double header between the two middle school programs.  Both games were very evenly matched as both teams played some great baseball.  
In the first game, Blacksburg came from behind to win 4-3.  After Blacksburg pitcher Grant Johnston retired the side in top of first in consecutive order, the Maroon Tide struck scored first in top of the 2nd.  The leadoff batter reached on an infield error and continued to 2B on the play.  The next batter was hit by a pitch, putting two runners on base for Galax.  A RBI single scored a run (1-0) with no out, and the runner on 1B advanced to 3B.  The runner on 3B would steal home to make the score 2-0.  Another Galax hitter was hit by a pitch and then a single scored another run to push the lead to 3-0.  Johnston got the next batter to fly out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the first, Blacksburg sent five batters to the plate as Chris Wysocki drew a walk, and Wesley McCoy was hit by a pitch, but both runners were stranded by the Bruins. 
In the bottom of the 2nd, Johnston led off by drawing a walk, and after an out, Jacob Lucas hit a hard line drive to right field to score Johnston all the way from 1B.  The next Bruin hit into a double play to end the inning, but the Bruins had cut the lead to 3-1.  
Johnston was very effective in the top of the 3rd as he only faced three batters.  After a lead off single, he retired the next three Maroon Tide players in consecutive order.  
Blacksburg went to work in the bottom of the 3rd and picked up another run to narrow the score to 3-2.  Colin Collver led off with a single to center field and then Luke Goforth reached on a fielder's choice.  Wysocki grounded out to 2B, advancing Goforth to 3rd, who then alertly came home on an error by Galax holding the ball.  A play at the plate resluted Goforth in being called safe (3-2).  Cole Epperely then singled, followed by a Wesley McCoy single, which advanced Epperley to 3B.  A player was thrown out a home to end the inning. 
Blacksburg made a pitching change in the top of the 4th, inserting Wesely McCoy into pitch. He walked the first batter he faced, and then forced a fly out for the 1st out of the inning. McCoy struck out the next batter out and then also struck out the next batter but the runner reached 1B on a dropped 3rd strike rule.  The runner on base had advanced to 3B, but was stranded as McCoy got the next Galax hitter to fly out to end the inning.
The Bruins would tie the game and then score the go ahead run in the bottom of the 4th. Craig Weaver led off with a hard single to left field and then Johnston drew a walk.  Davis Roberson sacrificed Weaver to 3B and Johnston to 2B.  Jacob Lucas came through with his second big of the game with a hard, deep single to center field, scoring Weaver and Johnston to take the lead 4-3.  After a ground out Collver recorded his second hit of the game, but a fly out ended the inning.  
In the top of the 5th, McCoy shut down the Maroon Tide to end the game for the Bruins. He forced a ground out for the first out of the inning.  After a single, he struck out the next batter and got the 4th hitter of the inning to ground out to end the game.
Offensively, Blacksburg was led by Jacob Lucas who was 2/2 with 3 RBIs.  Collin Collver was also 2/2.  Chris Wysocki had an RBI while Craig Weaver, Wesley McCoy, and Cole Epperley each added a hit.  The Bruins scored four runs on seven hits.  All four runs were earned.
Grant Johnston pitched three innings for Blacksburg, scattering three hits, striking out three, and did not give up a walk.  Of the three runs scored while he was pitching, only one run was earned.  Wesley McCoy got the win for Blacksburg, pitching two innings for the Bruins.  He gave up one hit, struck out three, and walked one batter. 
In the second game of the double header, both teams combined for a football like score, as Blacksburg took advantage of seven Galax errors and prevailed 13-12.  Galax rallied at the end, but came up just short as Wesley McCoy shut the door on the Maroon Tide with the game on the line. 
Collin Collver started on the mound for Blacksburg, pitching the first two innings for the Bruins.  The first two Galax players drew walks and with no outs, a single scored the first run of the game (1-0).  A Maroon Tide player was caught stealing home and then Collver forced a ground out, but the ball in play recorded an RBI for Galax as they scored their second run of the game, to go up 2-0.   Collver came right back and forced another ground out to end the inning.
Blacksburg busted the game open in the bottom of the 1st, scoring eight runs on four hits and three Galax errors, to take an 8-2 lead.  Luke Goforth led off for the Bruins and singled to left field.  Collin Collver the singled to right field, advancing Goforth to 3B, and scored as Galax was hesitant with the baseball.  Cole Epperley singled to left field and advanced Collver to 3B.  With a 1st and 3rd situation, Epperley stole 2B and then Collver scored on a wild pitch (2-2).  Epperley moved to 3B on the the play.  Wesley McCoy recorded Blacksburg's 4th hit in a row, a single to center field, recording an RBI in scoring Epperley (3-2).  A strike out later then brought Ryland Bennett to the plate and he reached based on an error, scoring McCoy (4-2).  Stephen Case then reached on an error. A fly out recorded the 2nd out of the inning.  Christian Vance then drew a walk and Ryan Oosterhuis reached on another Galax error, scoring Bennett (5-2) and Case (6-2).  Goforth batted for the 2nd time in the inning, reaching on an error, scoring Vance (7-2) and Oosterhuis (8-2).  A line drive ended the inning for Blacksburg, but not before the huge change in momentum moved in favor of the Bruins.
Collver was perfect in the top of the 2nd for Blacksburg, retiring the side in order on just nine pitches.
Cole Epperley led off the bottom of the 2nd with a line drive past the SS.  After a strike out, Devin Stosser drew a walk and then Bennett reached on an error, scoring Epperley (9-2).  A ground out ended the inning for Blacksburg.  
Ryland Bennet pitched the 3rd inning for Blacksburg.  Galax fought back, picking up four runs on just one hit.  The Bruins two errors and two walks helped the Maroon Tide pick up some unearned runs.  With one out, Galax singled to put a runner on base.  A fly out recorded the 2nd out of the inning.  The next batter reached on an outfield error and then a walk to load the bases for Galax.  The runner on 3B scored on a passed ball (9-3) and a walk re-loaded the bases yet again.  A balk call advanced all the runners one base, including forcing a run home (9-4).  Then Galax stole home on two consecutive pitches to narrow the Bruin lead to 9-6.  A dropped third strike was alertly thrown out at first by the catcher, Luke Goforth.  
Blacksburg went back to work, scoring two more runs to extend their lead to 11-4.  With one out, Vance drew a walk to get things started.  Ossterhuis reached on an error, advancing Vance to 3B. Goforth drew a walk to load the bases for the Bruins.  Vance then scored on a wild pitch (10-6). A fly out resluted in the 2nd out of the inning for Blacksburg and then Epperley was hit by a pitch.  McCoy reached on an infield error, scoring Ossterhuis (11-6).  A player was caught stealing home for the last out of the inning. Amazingly, Blacksburg picked up two runs without getting a hit.
Galax bounced right back yet again, scoring three runs to make the score 11-9.  Bennett started the top of the 4th for Blacksburg.  He retired the lead off batter via a ground out. Two Galax players drew walks and Blacksburg made another pitching change, this time going with Craig Weaver.  Weaver recorded a ground out recorded the 2nd out of the inning for the Maroon Tide.  Back-to-back singles scored two runs for Galax (11-8) and then after a walk, a single scored another for the Maroon Tide (11-9).  Blacksburg went to the bull pen again, this time to Luke Goforth, who forced a ground out ended the inning for Galax.
Fittingly, Blacksburg scored two more runs to extend their lead 13-9.  Stosser, Craig Weaver, and Case all three drew walks to load the bases for Blacksburg.  After a strike out, a player was caught stealing home for the 2nd out of the inning.  Vance then singled to right field, scoring Weaver(12-9).  Case then scored on a passed ball (13-9), but another runner was thrown out at home, attempting to steal.  
Galax would rally in the top of the fifth, but come up just short.  Luke Goforth started on the mound for Blacksburg and Galax's lead off batter reached on a infield error and then a walk put two runners on with no outs.  Another single loaded the bases for Galax, still with no outs.  An RBI single to center field scored two runs for Galax (13-11). With 1st and 3rd situation, Galax stole 2B, and the runner at 3B scored (13-12) on the throw attempt to 2B. The next batter was hit by a pitch, and then a runner reached on an outfield error.  Head Coach Brad Epperely went to Wesley McCoy in an attempt to save the game and he did just that.  McCoy forced a ground out back to himself and the runner on 2B advanced to 3B.  With the tying run on 3B, McCoy struck out the next batter to earn the save for the Bruins, as Blacksburg held on in dramatic fashion to win the game, 13-12.
Offensively, Blacksburg was led by Cole Epperley, who was 2/2 and scored two runs. Blacksburg had six hits overall, scoring 13 runs, 5 of which were earned.  In the addition of Epperley, Luke Goforth, Collin Collver, Wesley McCoy and Christian Vance each had a hit for Blacksburg.  Collver, McCoy and Vance each and an RBI.
Collin Collver earned the win for Blacksburg, while Wesley McCoy got the save.
Galax scored 12 runs off 7 hits; 6 of which were earned.  
Head Coach Brad Epperley was pleased with his teams sweep of Galax, improving the team's record to 5-2-1 on the season.  Epperley said "In the first game, we battled, did not play our best, missed a couple signs...Good teams find a ways to win...Had a couple key hits that prevailed for us and found a way to get it done at the end. 
In the 2nd game, our bats came alive a little bit and we were able to develop some pitching and at the end of the day, the boys found a way to win.  Close games tend to become very valuable down the road somewhere and we were able to pitch five different pitchers and the defense got it done."

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Tag(s): Blacksburg Middle School