The Blacksburg Middle School team played their first tournament of the year, a three day jamboree held in Pulaski’s Randolph Park. The tournament is set up for teams play in pool play on Friday / Saturday and then are seeded for a single elimination tournament on Sunday. The Bruins pool play draw was against Princeton, Pikeview, and Carroll County.
In the first game of the pool play, the Bruins bounced back immediately from their prior outing, pounding out 10 hits in way to routing Princeton 20-1. Blacksburg jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Luke Goforth started off the game by reaching on an error and then advanced to 3B on a ground out. Cole Epperley hit an RBI single, scoring Goforth. Wesley McCoy was HBP, which advanced Epperley to 2B. Grant Johnston drew a walk to load the bases for Blacksburg. Davis Roberson reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring Epperley and notching an RBI for himself. A strike out ended the inning and left bases loaded.
Princeton scored a run of their own in the bottom half of the frame to cut the lead to 2-1.
Blacksburg came alive in the top of the 2nd as they scored nine runs to extend their lead to 13-1. Cordell Croy lead off with a single, followed by a Collin Collver single. Stephen Case drew a walk to load the bases. Goforth was HBP, which scored Croy (3-1). Collver then scored on a wild pitch (4-1) and each runner advance a base. Craig Weaver then drew a walk to re-load the bases for Blacksburg. Case then scored on a wild pitch (5-1) as runners advanced again. Epperley was HBP, which re-loaded the bases for the third time in the inning. Wesley McCoy then pounded out a RBI single, scoring Goforth (6-1) and loaded the bases for the fourth time. Grant Johnston drew an RBI walk, scoring Weaver (7-1). Epperley scored on a passed ball (8-1) as the runners each advanced a base. Roberson hit a RBI single to right field, scoring McCoy (9-1). Jacob Lucas hit a RBI ground out to short stop, scoring Johnston (10-1). Batting back around to where the inning started, Croy hit his second single of the inning, scoring Roberson (11-1). Collver then had his second hit of the inning as well, a double, advancing Croy to 3B. Croy then scored on a wild pitch to make the score 12-1. After a fly out, Collver scored by tagging up to score the 13th run of the inning. A ground out then ended the inning for Blacksburg.
Collin Collver pitched the first two innings for Blacksburg and in the bottom of the 2nd, he retired the side by facing just three batters. After a strike out, a single put Princeton runner on base and then Collver picked him off at first and then forced a ground ball to end the inning.
Cole Epperley led off the top of the 3rd and was HBP. McCoy drew a walk and then Johnston singled to load the bases yet again. Roberson reached on an error, scoring Epperley and McCoy (15-1). Lucas was HBP and Blacksburg had load bases for the sixth time in the game. Croy drew an RBI walk, scoring Johnston (16-1) and loaded up the bases for the seventh time. Collver then hit an RBI single to right field, scoring Roberson. With bases loaded, Case hit an RBI single, scoring Lucas (17-1). With bases still loaded, Jake Duncan drew an RBI walk to score Croy (18-1). Remarkably, Blacksburg had loaded the bases for the ninth time in the game as Ryland Bennett reached on a fielder’s choice to notch the Bruins 20th run. Parker White drew a walk to load the bases for the tenth time in the game, but two consecutive outs ended the inning for Blacksburg.
Craig Weaver pitched the bottom of the 3rd inning, giving up just one hit to end the game by 10 run rule.
Collin Collver got the win on the mound for Blacksburg, scattering just two hits over two innings and giving up one earned run. He Struck out three and walked one batter.
Offensively, Blacksburg was led by Collin Collver, who was 3/3 and 1 RBI. Cordell Croy was 2/2 with two RBI. Blacksburg had 10 hits overall, with Cole Epperley, Wesley McCoy, Grant Johnston, Davis Roberson, and Stephen Case each adding a hit.
With the win, Blacksburg improved to 4-4-1 and advanced in the tournament to play Pikeview, and won 8-3 (no stats for this game). With the win, the Bruins improved to 5-4-1 on the season.
In the third game of pool play, Blacksburg fell to Carroll County 6-1. Blacksburg led off the game with Luke Gofoth drawing a walk, but he was stranded.
Austin Nickle started no the mound for Blacksburg. Carroll County scored two runs in the bottom half of the 1st, off two Blacksburg infield errors and then a double, to take the lead 2-0.
In the top of the 2nd, Chris Wysocki singled and Jacob Lucas reached on an error, but both runners were stranded.
Carroll County added two more runs in the bottom of the 2nd, drawing a walk, getting HBP, and then a single. A runner also stole home for a run. After two complete inning, Carroll led Blacksburg 4-1.
Neither team scored or produced a hit in the 3rd inning as only six batters went to the plate. Nickle struck out the first batter and then forced two ground outs.
In the top of the 4th, Wesley McCoy drew a walk with one out, but was stranded at 3B after he advanced on a ground out.
Carroll was held scoreless again in the bottom of the 4th as Nickle only face four batters, one of which reached on an infield error.
In the top of the 5th, Collin Collver was HBP with two outs. Cordell Croy then singled to right field, advancing Collver to 2B. A double steal put runners on 3B and 2B respectively, but both were stranded on a ground out.
Nickle started the 5th for Blacksburg. After surrendering a walk, a batter reached via an infield error, which advanced the runner on 1B to 3B. The Bruins made a pitching change, going to Luke Goforth. With a 1st and 3rd situation, Blacksburg caught a runner stealing 2B, but the runner on 3B stole home on the play (5-1). Two more walks loaded bases, and then Goforth struck out a batter to get the 2nd out of the inning. Another walk forced home a run (6-1) and then Goforth struck out the last batter to end the inning.
Blacksburg tried to rally in the top of the 6th, but came up short. With one out, Cole Epperely singled to center field and then Wesley McCoy singled, but an out was recorded at 2B. With two outs, Grant Johnston singled to left field, and then a line out ended the inning unfortunately for Blacksburg.
Offensively, Blacksburg registered five hits, with Cole Epperely, Wesley McCoy, Grant Johnston, Chris Wysocki, and Cordell Croy each getting a hit. Wysocki scored the lone run for Blacksburg.
Starting pitcher Austin Nickle pitched four innings, giving up just two hits and three earned runs. He struck out four and waked two. Luke Goforth pitched the 5th inning, did not allow a hit, but waked four batters and gave up one earned run.
With the loss, Blacksburg fell to 5-5-1 on the season, and ended pool play at 2-1.