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Blacksburg Middle School Finishes Tournament Runner-Up

04/29/2014, 12:04pm EDT
By D. Gresh

Bruins Revenge their DH loss to Christiansburg by winning 5-1


Sunday began with all the teams seeded based on their previous two days performance.  Carroll County, who finished 3-0 in pool play, was not able to play on Sunday because they are an official school team. Consequently, Blacksburg was seeded as # 1, and was scheduled to play the winner of #5 Radford and # 4 Christiansburg.  
After beating Radford in the single eliminaton side of the bracket, rival Christiansburg advanced to play Blacksburg in the tournament. The Bruins set out to get revenge of a DH sweep at the hands of the Blue Demons the previous week.  The team came out focused and ready to play.   
Collin Collver started on the mound for Blacksburg and after two quick outs, gave up two singles, but then retired the next batter via a strike out to end the inning and keep Christiansburg from scoring.
Blacksburg picked up a run in the bottom half of the frame to take an early 1-0 lead.  After a lead off out, Craig Weaver singled to left field.  Cole Epperley then was HBP and both players advanced one base on a passed ball.  Wesley McCoy then drew a walk to load the bases.  Grant Johnston reached on a fielder’s choice, forcing Weaver out at home.  With the bases still loaded, Chris Wysocki drew a RBI walk, scoring Epperley to take a 1-0 lead.  A fly out ended the inning and left bases loaded.  But, the Bruins had taken the early lead and seized momentum in the game.
In the top of the 2nd, Collver faced just five batters, giving a double and hitting a player with a pitch.  He forced two two outs and a ground out to end the inning and keep Christiansburg from crossing home plate.
Blacksburg went to work again in the bottom of the 2nd.  Jacob Lucas led off with a single to left field and then Collver reached on an error by the short stop.  Lucas stole 3B, and then Cordell Croy reached on a fielder’s choice as Lucas was out at home.  Collver and Croy each advanced one base on a balk call on the pitcher.  Luke Goforth hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Collver (2-0).  Weaver then hit an RBI single, scoring Croy (3-0).  A ground out ended the inning, but not before Blacksburg took a solid lead in the game.
Collver was dominant in the bottom of the 3rd, retiring the side in consecutive order with a ground out and two strike outs.
Blacksburg picked up another run in the bottom half of the inning as Grant Johnston led things off by reaching on an error by the pitcher.  After two consecutive outs, Lucas hit a single to left field, scoring Johnston (4-0), who had moved himself around the bases on the previous two ground outs.  A ground out ended the inning.
Christiansburg scored a run in the top of the 4th after the lead off batter reached base on an infield error. After a ground out, which advanced the runner to 2B, a balk call advanced him to 3B.  The runner scored from 3B on a fly ball after tagging up (4-1) to score the unearned run.  
In the bottom of the 4th, Craig Weaver drew a two out walk.  Cole Epperley then singled to left field, advancing Weaver to 2B.  However, a fly out ended the inning for Blacksburg.
Grant Johnston came into to pitch in the top of the 5th inning.  After a single and a runner reaching via an infield error, Johnston forced two consecutive fielder’s choice outs.  He walked the next batter to load the bases, but then got himself out of the jam by forcing a fly out to end the inning and the scoring opportunity for Christiansburg.  
In the bottom of the 5th, Johnston tripled to lead off the inning.  Chris Wysocki reached on an error, which scored Johnston (5-1).  Three consecutive out ended the inning for Blacksburg.  
Johnston shut the door on Christiansburg in the of the 6th, by retiring the side in order to end the game 5-1.  
Offensively, Blacksburg was led by Craig Weaver, who was 2/2 with one RBI and Jacob Lucas was 2/3 with an RBI.  Blacksburg has six hits overall, with Cole Epperely and Grant Johnston each adding a hit.
Collin Collver was the winning pitcher for Blacksburg.  He pitched 4 innings for Blacksburg, scattering just three hits and giving up one unearned run.  He struck out four batters and only walked one.  Grant Johnston came in as relief, pitching the last two innings.  He only gave up one hit, striking out one and walking one batter.  
With the win, Blacksburg improved to 6-5-1 on the season and advanced to the Championship game vs Pulaski, who was the # 2 seed in the Sunday bracket.  The Cougars beat the # 3 seed Graham, who beat the # 6 seed, Tazewell, earlier in the day. 
In the championship game vs # 2 seed Pulaski, Blacksburg sent Wesley McCoy to the mound to start the game.  The Cougars picked up a run in the top of the 1st with two outs in the inning.  A single and then a crucial infield error, permitted a second player to reach base instead of ending the inning.  A double then scored the unearned run.  
Blacksburg only sent four players to the plate in the bottom half of the inning, with Cole Epperely getting HBP.  
Pulaski added two more runs in the top of the 2nd.  A single got things started, and then a player was HBP. After an out, a walk loaded the bases.  An infield error allowed a runner to reach base and score a run (2-0). A sacrifice fly then scored another run (3-0) and then McCoy forced a line out to end the inning.    
Blacksburg was held scoreless in the bottom of the 2nd.  With one out, Chris Wysocki singled to left field but was stranded. 
Pulaski scored three more runs in the top of the 3rd to extend their lead to 6-0.  A lead off double, then another infield error, and a single produced a run (4-0).  After an out, a passed ball, two walks, and a line out, another run scored (5-0).  A second line out to the outfield scored another run (6-0).  A fly out ended the inning.  
Blacksburg battled back in the bottom of the 3rd.  With one out, Colin Collver was HBP and then Cordell Croy drew a walk.  Ethan Goforth then drew a walk to load the bases.  Craig Weaver reached on a fielder’s choice, forcing Collver out at home.  Cole Epperely was HBP, which scored Croy (6-1).  Wesley McCoy reached base on an error by the short stop, scoring Goforth (6-2) and Weaver (6-3).  A strike out ended the inning.  However, the Bruins had fought back to gain some much needed momentum.
Pulaski picked up a run in the top of the 4th.  With one out, Grant Johnston was inserted to pitch. Another infield error permitted a batter to reach base and that runner stole 2B, advanced to 3B on an error and scored on a ground out (7-3).
Blacksburg was retired in order in the bottom of the 4th.
In the top of the 5th, Pulaski added yet another run.  A lead off single to left field got things started for the Cougars and after a strike out, another single advanced the runner to 3B.  A double to CF scored a run (8-3), and then Johnston retired the next two batters by fly outs.
Blacksburg battled back yet again, this time in the bottom of the 5th.  Collver led off the inning and was HBP.  Cordell Croy drew a walk and the Bruins had two runners on base with no outs.  Both runners advanced a base on a passed ball. Back to the top of the order, Luke Goforth hit a RBI ground out to score Collver (8-4).  After a fly out, Epperley was HBP.  Epperely stole 2B and Croy stole home to score a run for the Bruins (8-5).  A strike out ended he inning for Blacksburg.
Pulaski busted the game open in the top of the 6th.  A triple led off the inning, followed by a single and another triple, which scored two runs (10-5).  An infield error scored another run (11-5) and then, a walk, another infield error put runners on base.  A triple cleaned the bases as the hit scored thee runs for Pulaski (14-5).  After an out, Blacksburg inserted Andrew Babcock to pitch.  A walk put a runner on base an infield error that would have ended the inning, permitted a run to score (15-5).   Babcock then struck out the next batter to end the inning.  
Blacksburg tried to rally in the bottom of the 6th.  Johnston singled to lead off the inning and then stole 2B and 3B.  Wysocki hit an RBI single to score Johnston (15-6).  After two consecutive outs, Collver drew a walk to put a second Bruin runner on base.  However, a strike out ended the inning and the game for Blacksburg.
Despite losing the Bruins finished the tournament as “runner up.”  Offensively, Blacksburg was led by Chris Wysocki, who was 2/3 with an RBI.  Blacksburg only had three hits in the game, with Grant Johnston having the only other hit.  
Wesley McCoy pitched 3.1 innings, scattering five hits and giving up just one earned run. He walked three batters. 
Grant Johnston pitched 2.1 innings, scattered seven hits, and gave up seven runs, with only three being earned.  He had two walks and one strike out.
Andrew Babcock pitched 1/3 of an inning, walking one batter and striking out one.  
With the loss, the Bruins now stand at 6-6-1 on the season.  

Tag(s): Blacksburg Middle School