Blacksburg traveled to Roanoke on Friday to play it's second game of a two game season series with Cave Spring. After beating the Knights 2-1 in Blacksburg early in the season, this game would be a good measuring stick for how the Bruins have improved over the course of the season.
After racking up eleven runs vs. PH on Tuesday, the Bruins continued right where they left off, scoring a run in the top of the 1st. Seb Cianelli led off with a single to left field to get thing started for Blacksburg. After an out, Jack Madigan doubled to left field, scoring Cianelli from 1B (1-0). Despite the good start, two quick outs ended the inning for Blacksburg, but the Bruins had grabbed momentum and a quick lead in the game.
Billy Quinn took the mound for Blacksburg and faced just five batters and kept Cave Spring scoreless. Quinn struck out the lead off batter, forced a line out and then after two walks, got himself out of the jam by forcing a ground out to Cianelli at short stop.
Blacksburg added another run in the top of the 2nd to extend their lead 2-0. With one out, CJ Linares reached base via an infield error. Justin Snyder also reached base due to an infield error. After an out, Blacksburg was back at the top of the order and Cianelli delivered a two out RBI single to center field, scoring Linares (2-0). Snyder advanced to 3B on the play, but he and Cianelli were stranded after a line out ended the inning for Blacksburg.
Cave Spring responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the 2nd, cutting the lead to 2-1. Two consecutive singles and then a fielder's choice ball in play scored a run for the Knights.
The Bruins busted the game open in the top of the 3rd inning, scoring six runs to extend their lead to 8-1. Madigan led off the inning and drew a walk. Andrew Roberson also drew a walk to put two Bruin runners on base with no outs. Billy Quinn then singled to right field, scoring Madigan (3-1) on the play. Roberson had advanced to 3B and then scored (4-1) when Pete Quinn delivered an RBI single to center field. Linares kept the offensive stride going with a single of his own, which loaded the bases for the Bruins. After a strike out, Hunter Radford tripled to center field and cleaned off the bases, scoring three runs and racking up three RBIs (7-1). Cianelli lined out to right field, but Radford tagged up and scored from 3B (8-1) on the RBI out. A line drive out ended the big inning for Blacksburg.
Quinn dominated the bottom of the 3rd, retiring the side in order on just ten pitches.
Blacksburg was held scoreless for the first time in ten innings, dating back to the beginning of the PH game.
The Knights picked up a run in the bottom of the 4th to cut the lead to 8-2. Two consecutive singles put runners on base and then a double to right field scored a run for Cave Spring. Quinn responded well to the situation, striking out the next batter and then forcing a fly out and ground out to end the once promising inning for the Knights.
The Bruins did not score in the top of the 5th. Pete Quinn reached base on an error by the Cave Spring short stop and after an out, Snyder reached on a sac bunt, which advanced Quinn to 2B and then to 3B on the throwing error to 1B. Radford was intentionally walked to load the bases and then Cave Spring's gamble paid off with a double play ground ball to end the inning for Blacksburg.
Quinn kept Cave Spring scoreless in the bottom of the 5th. Two consecutive singles once again set the table for the Knights, but then Quinn recorded two ground outs, walked the bases loaded, and the struck out the next batter to strand three Knights and leave the bases loaded for Cave Spring.
Michael Olszewski and Andrew Roberson drew walks in the top of the 6th, but both runners were stranded.
Quinn faced just four batters in the bottom of the 6th, surrendering a walk, and stranding the runner.
Blacksburg was retired in order in the top of the 7th via ground out, fly out, and ground out.
Jack Madigan was inserted to pitch in the bottom of the 7th and returned the favor and retired the Cave Spring side in order on just nine pitches and sealing the win for Blacksburg. Madigan struck out the lead off batter, and then forced two routine infield ground outs.
Billy Quinn pitched six innings for the Bruins, scattering seven hits, walking four, and striking out five batters. He gave up two runs, both of which were earned.
Offensively, Blacksburg produced eight runs off seven hits. Seb Cianelli was 2/4 with two RBIs. Jack Madigan, Billy Quinn, Pete Quinn, CJ Linares, and Hunter Radford each added a hit. Radford had three RBIs while Linares scored two runs.
Head Coach Jonathan Hagee said after the game, "Billy came out and gave us another quality start. He's a gamer and has been absolutely outstanding for us all year, as the whole pitching staff has been. We're swinging it really well offensively and with our pitching staff and the way we play defense, we're going to be tough to beat here at the end of the season. This team is so mentally tough and plays really hard."
"Cave Spring is a name program in the area and around the state. Any time you can sweep them you know you've had a good season. We're looking forward to our last game of the season against Salem. We're glad to finish the season at home and to have the opportunity to try to avenge our early season loss to them. I really like the way we're playing right now and just can't say enough about how proud I am of this team."
With the win, the Blacksburg JV team improves to 12-3 on the season and hosts the Salem Spartans on Tuesday in Blacksburg.