Christiansburg Varsity visited Blacksburg on Monday for a make up game rained out earlier in the season. The Bruins were seeking revenge for an earlier season loss to the Blue Demons. The Bruins wore special camo jerseys in honor of a fallen BHS student, Kevin Kendall, Jr, otherwise known as "KJ." "Camo for KJ" is a scholarship program that has been started in his name, honoring special BHS graduates.
Despite being out hit 15-5, the Bruins were very opportunistic and managed to have the bigger number where it counted most...The scoreboard!
Blacksburg started Sophomore Jake Verniel on the mound. Christiansburg picked up a run in the top of the 1st to take a quick 1-0 lead. A lead off double got things started and then Verniel forced two straight ground outs. The runner advanced to 2B on one of the groundouts and then scored on a single. Verniel forced a line out to end the inning.
The Bruins fought back in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game at 1-1. Jon Hinson led off with a single. Morgan McCoy and Ethan Goforth both reached on errors to load the bases. Adam Linkous made Christiansburg pay for their poor fielding with a single to right field, scoring Hinson. A fly out, an out at home, and a strike out ended the inning for Blacksburg.
The game stayed tied through the 2nd inning as both pitchers controlled the opposing team's offense.
Christiansburg added a run in the top of the 3rd to pull ahead 2-1. A single led off the inning and then a single bunt put two runners on with no outs. Verniel came back with a strike out. Another single scored a run (2-1) and then Verniel forced a fly out and a ground out and stranded two Blue Demon base runners.
Blacksburg sent just four batters to the plate in the bottom half of the inning, with McCoy registering a lead off single, but was stranded.
Both teams were scoreless in the 4th, as Verniel faced just five batters, giving up two singles but both runners were stranded. Christiansburg's Aaron Jackson retired Blacksburg in consecutive order.
Christiansburg broke the game open in the top of the 5th, scoring two more runs to extend their lead 4-1. A lead off single put a runner on base, and then a second single put two runners on with no outs. A third consecutive single scored a run for the Blue Demons (3-1). An outfield error permitted another run to score (4-1) and there were still no outs. Verniel buckled down and got a huge double play ball on a ball hit back to him at the pitcher's mound, as he got the force out at home and then Blacksburg alertly got the out at first base for the double play. Verniel then forced a fly out to leave Christiansburg's two runners stranded.
Blacksburg fought back in classic form in the bottom of the 5th, scoring five runs to take the lead 5-4. Verniel led off with a walk and then Hinson reached on a fielder's choice, forcing Verniel out at 2B. McCoy singled to center field, advancing Hinson to 2B. Ethan Goforth drew a walk to load the bases and then Hinson scored on a wild pitch (4-2) while the other runners each advanced a base. Adam Linkous drew a walk to re-load the bases. Still with just one out, Tyler Davis responded with a big two RBI single to left field, scoring McCoy and Goforth and tying the game at 4-4. Linkous had advanced to 3B on the single and then Tyler Barry hit a sac fly to score Linkous (5-4) as Blacksburg took the lead for the first time in the game. A runner was called out advancing an extra base to end the inning for Blacksburg.
In the top of the 6th, Christiansburg doubled with one out to put a runner in scoring position. A fly out recorded the second out and then a single advanced the runner on 2B to 3B. A ground out ended the inning and stranded both runners as Blacksburg had prevented a significant scoring opportunity by the Blue Demons.
Blacksburg did not score in the bottom of the 6th. Jacob Sparrow was HBP and Hinson drew a walk, but both runners were stranded.
In the top of the 7th and with one out, Christiansburg hit a solo Home run to tie the game at 5-5. A ground out, a single, and then player caught stealing 2B, ended the inning.
The game was for the taking in the bottom of the 7th and Blacksburg did just that. Ethan Goforth led off with a double to left field. He then advanced to 3B on a wild pitch. After a strike out, Tyler Davis and his .404 batting average, hit a sacrifice bunt, scoring Goforth from 3B to win the game.
Blacksburg overcame some incredible odds, beating Christiansburg despite being out hit 15 to 5 and committing twice as many errors (4 vs 2). Christiansburg stranded nine base runners in the game. Blacksburg hit when they had to, such as the bottom of the 5th with bases loaded that scored two runs. Earlier that inning, the Blue Demons also had bases loaded with no outs, but Verniel forced a double play and then a fly out to prevent Christiansburg from scoring any runs.
Offensively, Blacksburg was led by Morgan McCoy who was 2/4. John Hinson, Ethan Goforth, Adam Linkous and Tyler Davis each had a hit. Davis had three RBIs.
Jake Verniel pitched 6 1/3 innings, scattering fourteen hits, and gave up four earned runs. He struck out two batters and still has not walked anyone all season, despite pitching 21 innings and facing 106 batters.
Morgan McCoy pitched the last two outs for the Bruins, giving up one hit, and got the win on the mound.
With the win, Blacksburg improves to 14-4 on the season and travels to Patrick Henry on Tuesday. The Bruins remain undefeated at home.