Blacksburg JV traveled to Hidden Valley for a rematch of their earlier season defeat. Head Coach Jonathan Hagee was very eager to see what kind of strides his team had made since the previous game where the Bruins were clearly over matched. He didn't have to wait long to find out.
After a scoreless first inning, Blacksburg would score first. With two outs in the top of the 2nd, Pete Quinn singled to get on base. CJ Linares then singled and Quinn was able to come around and score on throwing errors by Hidden Valley. A ground out ended the inning, but the Bruins had made a statement early by going up 1-0.
Blacksburg's starting pitcher Billy Quinn was very effective on the mound. In the bottom of the 2nd, the lead off batter grounded out and then the next batter reached on an error. However, Quinn came right back and forced two outs to end the inning and strand the runner.
Blacksburg busted the game open in the top of the 3rd by scoring three more runs to extend their lead 4-0. Matt Larkin led off by drawing a walk and then Seb Cianelli drew another walk. After a strike out, Jack Madigan walked to load the bases for the Bruins. Andrew Roberson hit a RBI ground out scoring Larkin from 3B (2-0). Billy Quinn then helped himself with a two RBI single to centerfield, scoring both Cianelli and Madigan(4-0). A ground out ended the inning for Blacksburg, but not before they had made a big statement in extending the lead to 4-0.
Hidden Valley picked up a run in the bottom of the 3rd. With one out, a player reached on a Bruin infield error and then after a Quinn strike out, a single scored an unearned run. Quinn struck out the next batter to end the inning.
With two outs in the top of the 4th, Larkin singled to center field and then Cianelli singled to left field, advancing Larkin to 3B. However a fly out ended the inning, stranding both runners.
Hidden Valley chipped away at Blacksburg's lead by picking up another run in the bottom of the 4th. With two outs, the Titans rallied. Three consecutive singles scored a run and then Quinn forced a fly out to end the inning and minimize the damage by stranding two Hidden Valley runners.
Blacksburg responded immediately in the top of the 5th. Madigan led off the inning by drawing a walk and then moved himself all the way to 3B by advancing to 2B on a wild pitch, and then stealing 3B. After a Bruin strike out, Pete Quinn hit an RBI single to score Madigan from 3B. A second ground out ended the inning for Blacksburg.
In the bottom of the 5th, Quinn retired the side on just seven pitches. After a lead off single, he forced a fly out and then a ground ball double play to end the inning.
Blacksburg extended their run to 6-2 in the top of the 6th. Justin Snyder led off by drawing a walk and after an out, Cianelli had his second hit of the game, which advanced Snyder to 2B. Ryan Anderson singled to center field to load the bases for Blacksburg. Madigan hit an RBI single to left field, scoring Cianelli to plate the run (6-2). Hidden Valley ended the inning tagging out a runner who was advancing an extra base.
In the bottom of the 6th, Hidden Valley got their offense going. Blacksburg made a pitching change. A single and then a player was HBP to put two runners on with no outs. A walk then loaded the bases for the Titans. The runner on 3B scored on a wild pitch (6-3) A walk loaded the bases and then a double scored two runs (6-5). With still no outs, a Titan drew a walk. Blacksburg made another pitching change and after a walk, then a home run cleaned off the bases for Hidden Valley (9-6). Blacksburg was finally able to get three outs over the course of the next five batters.
Blacksburg was retired in order in the top of the 7th to end the game. Hidden Valley did not bat in the bottom of the 7th.
Offensively, Blacksburg was led by Seb Cianelli who had two hits. Ryan Anderson, Jack Madigan, Andrew Roberson, Billy Quinn, Pete Quinn, CJ Linares, and Matt Larkin all had hits for Blacksburg.
Billy Quinn was strong through five innings. Overall, he gave up six hits, allowed two earned runs, struck out four batters, and one walk.
Head Coach Jonathan Hagee was disappointed after the game as he felt this one slipped away from him. Not only had the team played very well into the bottom of the 6th, but Hagee was without one of his top pitchers, Michael Olzsewski, due to a hip injury. Hagee said, "You can say enough about what Billy did on the mound and for us to take 6-2 lead in the 6th inning. It speaks to the strides we’ve made. I think we played the best game of the season even though it didn’t work out for us. I’ll take our fourteen players over anyone else’s fourteen and I don't care what anyone says. We have to go back to work and get ready for carroll county.
I”m proud of the way we played and I'm extremely disappointed for our gus. We thought it was ours for the taking and the way it got a way from us hurts, but as resilient as our players are, I know they will bounce back and work hard."
With the loss, the Blacksburg JV team falls to 7-3 on the season and hosts Carroll County on Tuesday.