Hidden Valley visited Blacksburg on Friday for the much anticipated rematch of the 14-13 slugfest from a month ago. However, this time, the game would be exactly the opposite. Who would have ever thought a pitcher could throw a two hitter and lose? That's because the opposing pitcher, Jake Verniel, put the team on his back and threw a one hitter to beat the undefeated Titans.
Verniel was masterful the entire game. He did not give up a hit until the 6th inning, and no batter ever got past 2nd base. Verniel kept Hidden Valley in check with a variety of curve balls, sliders and low fast balls. His locations were near perfect. Not only did Verniel not walk anyone, but hasn't walked anyone all season. With the win, he has most likely ascended to the top of Blacksburg's pitching staff with his 3-0 record and one of the best ERAs in the Timesland.
The pitching duel between the teams continued into the 6th inning, with neither team getting a hit. In the bottom of the 6th, and with one out, Morgan McCoy broke up the Hidden Valley no hitter with a bloop single to right field. Ethan Goforth then singled to left field. The left fielder in an attempt to get McCoy at 3B, sailed the throw into the Hidden Valley dugout, permitting McCoy to score on the throwing error. The inning ended on a failed steal attempt home and a ground out.
The 1-0 win over Hidden Valley was a big win for this year's team as they will most likely see each other in the Conference 32 tournament at the end of the season.
Head Coach Danny Shouse was very pleased with the team's win. Shouse said, "I've never seen a pitcher win a game with that kind of performance before...It's the best I've ever seen and it was unreal. Jacob Sparrow made a great deep running catch in the outfield and one of the more pivotal plays was the play at first base where the runner missed the bag and we alertly touched it afterwards. The defense we had out there today was solid. Overall, a big win and I'm proud of the boys. We haven't lost at home yet and that's the best thing of all."
With the win, Blacksburg improves to 9-4 on the season and travels to Carroll County on Tuesday. They finish the week with a rematch with Pulaski on Friday, who beat the Bruins earlier in the season.