Christiansburg visited Blacksburg on Saturday for the second DH with the Bruins this year, and their fifth game overall. The series has been back and forth and today would be no different as the teams split the DH at old Blacksburg HS.
In the first game, Christiansburg had four hits and capitalized on a few Blacksburg walks and miscues to win 4-1. The Blue Demon's pitcher, Zack Durham, kept Blacksburg off balance, tossing a one hitter and giving up just one earned run.
Blacksburg started Andrew Babcock on the mound in his first start of the season. Babcock retired the first batter via a fly out, and then a Blue Demon reached via an infield error to put a runner on base. A single to center field, advanced the runner on first to 2B. A walk loaded the bases for Christiansburg. A second walk plated the first run of the game as the Blue Demons took a 1-0 lead. A passed ball permitted another run to score, putting Christiansburg up 2-0. Another walk reloaded the bases and then the runner on 3B scored on a wild pitch (3-0). Babcock buckled down and struck out the next two batters to minimize the damage and leave the Blue Demons with bases loaded.
Blacksburg was retired in consecutive order in the bottom half of the inning by strike out, fly out and strike out.
In the top of the 2nd, Christiansburg threatened again with a lead off single and then a walk to put two runners on with no outs. Blacksburg made a pitching change, bringing in Grant Johnston from right field. Johnston shut the door on the Blue Demons by forcing a ground out, strike out, and a ground out and stranded the two led off batters.
In the bottom of the 2nd, Blacksburg got it's first baserunner when Wesley McCoy reached on an error by the right fielder on a hard line drive. Johnston reached on a fielder's choice, forcing McCoy out at 2B. Chris Wysocki then reached bases on a fielder's choice, forcing Johnston out at 2B. A strike out ended the inning for Blacksburg.
In the top of the 3rd, Johnston picked up right where he left off by retiring the Christiansburg side in consecutive order with a ground out, line out, and strike out.
Blacksburg got a second runner on base in the top of the 3rd. After a ground out, Collin Collver reached on a walk. However, a strike out and then line out ended the inning for Blacksburg.
Johnston faced just four batters in the top of the 4th, with one reaching via an infield error.
Blacksburg would fight back in the bottom of the 4th and score a run to close the gap to 3-1. Craig Weaver led off the inning by reaching on an infield error. After a fly out and strike out, things didn't look good for the Bruins, but Johnston drew a walk and then Chris Wysocki hit a hard single to center field, scoring Weaver. However, a strike out ended the inning for the Bruins. At the end of four complete innings, Christiansburg led 3-1.
The Blue Demons added a run in the top of the 5th to extend their lead to 4-1. With one out, the pitcher, Durham, singled to left field and then stole 2B. A second single to left field advanced Durham to 3B. A RBI ground out scored a run from 3B, making the score 4-1. Johnston got the next runner to ground out to end the inning.
Blacksburg attempted to rally in the bottom of the 5th when Stephen Case drew a lead off walk. Case then stole 2B and advanced to 3B on a ground out. Andrew Babcock hit a RBI ground out to score Case from 3B to pull within two runs of Christiansburg at 4-2. Back at the top of the order, Blacksburg grounded out to end the rally and the game.
Offensively, Blacksburg scored two runs off one hit, a single by Chris Wysocki to center field. Craig Weaver and Stephen Case both scored runs for the Bruins. Chris Wysocki and Andrew Babcock each had an RBI.
Andrew Babcock started the game for Blacksburg, pitching one inning, scattering two hits, walked four, and recorded two strike outs. Of the three runs he surrendered, two were earned.
Grant Johnston pitched four innings for Blacksburg. He scattered two hits, gave up one run, didn't walk anyone, and stuck out three Blue Demon batters.
Christiansburg's Zach Durham got the win, pitching a one hit, complete game for the Blue Demons.
In the second game of the DH, the two teams would battle back and forth until Blacksburg rallied and pulled the game out in extra innings, 3-2. Collin Collver started the game on the mound for the Bruins and retired Christiansburg without allowing a run. The Blue Demons threatened however, when a single got things going with two outs. A batter reached on an infield error and the first runner advanced to 3B. But, Collver got the next batter to line out to short stop to end the inning and stop the scoring threat by Christiansburg.
Blacksburg jumped out on top 1-0 in the bottom half of the frame. Luke Goforth led off for Blacksburg with a walk and then Cole Epperley singled to move Goforth to 2B. A Blacksburg runner was caught stealing and then Collver drew a walk. Wesley McCoy drew a walk to load the bases for Blacksburg. Chris Wysocki then hit an RBI single to left filed, scoring Collver. A fielder's choice and a strike out ended the inning, stranding two base runners for Blacksburg.
Collver was dominant in the top of the 2nd, retiring the side in consecutive order on just seven pitches. The Bruins were also retired in order to end the 2nd inning.
Collver struck out the first batter in the top of the 3rd. A Christiansburg batter hit a single, but then Collver picked him off at 1B. He then forced a fly out to end the inning. Remarkably, he accomplished this feat in throwing just five pitches.
Blacksburg was held in check in the bottom of the 3rd, retired in order for the second inning in a row.
Christiansburg tied up the game in the top of the 4th. The lead off batter drew a walk and then Collver forced a fly out. A single advanced the runner to 3B, and then another single recorded an RBI run to tie the game at 1-1. After a walk, Blacksburg made pitching change, going to Wesley McCoy. McCoy struck out the next two batters to end the inning and the scoring threat.
In the bottom of the 4th, McCoy lead off with a single, but was forced out at 2B on a fielder's choice by Chris Wysocki. Ryland Bennett then reached base on a fielder's choice, forcing Wysocki out at 2B. Devin Stosser reached on an infield error to put a second Blacksburg runner on base, but then a fly out ended the inning for the Bruins.
Christiansburg scored a 2nd run in the top of the 5th to take the lead 2-1. With one out, Christiansburg singled to left field and then a ground out advanced the runner to 3B after he stole 2B. An RBI single to center field scored the run for the Blue Demons and then McCoy forced a fly out to end the inning
Blacksburg battled right back in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game at 2-2. With one out, Christian Vance reached on an infield error. Goforth then hit an infield single to advance Vance to 2B. Epperley reached on a fielder's choice as Vance was out at home advancing on the play and Goforth scored on an error by the short stop and tied the game at 2-2. Austin Nickle reached by an infield error, but then a fly out ended the inning for Blacksburg.
With the game tied at 2-2 after regulation play, the two teams went into extra innings. McCoy faced four batters in the top of the 6th, with the first batter reaching on a infield error. McCoy then forced a foul ball fly out, struck out the next batter, and then forced a ground out to end the inning.
Wysocki led off the bottom of the 6th by reaching on a cirtical infield error. He advanced to 2B on a passed ball. Standing on 2B with no outs, Wysocki couldn't advance on two consecutive fly outs. However, he then stole 3B. Cordell Croy reached on another Christiansburg infield error and Wysocki came home to score the winning run, 3-2.
Offensively, Blacksburg scored three runs on four hits, with one run being earned. Luke Goforth, Cole Epperely, Wesley McCoy, and Chris Wysocki each recorded a hit for the Bruins. Chris Wysocki had the lone Bruin RBI and scored the winning run.
Collin Collver pitched three and one thirds inning for Blacksburg, scattering four hits and giving up just one run, which was earned. He walked two batters and struck out one Blue Demon batter.
Wesley McCoy got the win for Blacksburg, pitching two and two thirds innings. He scattered two hits, gave up one earned run, struck out three batters and did not allow a walk.
By splitting the DH with Christiansburg, the Blacksburg Middle School team improved to 8-7-1 on the season.