After upsetting # 3 seed Cave Spring on Monday, # 6 seed Patrick County traveled to # 2 seed Blacksburg for the second round of the Conference 32 Tournament. The game was slightly delayed due to lighting and once it got underway, a lighting bolt shot determined the outcome in the bottom of the 7th.
Blacksburg sent Morgan McCoy to the mound in order to keep their season alive, and he kept Patrick County hitless for the first two innings of play. Meanwhile, the Bruins produced just two hits, a single by McCoy in the bottom of the 1st and a triple by Jacob Sparrow in the bottom of the 2nd.
McCoy gave up his first hit, a single, in the top of the 3rd but the player was stranded.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Bruins plated a run to take a crucial 1-0 lead in a game that looked like the makings of a classic pitcher’s duel. Jake Verniel led off the inning with a single, but was forced out at 2B on a fielder’s choice by Jon Hinson. Hinson advanced to 2B on a balk call and then McCoy recorded his second hit of the game, a single to left field, which scored Hinson (1-0). Blacksburg drew back-to-back walks with Ethan Goforth and Jake Schirmer to load the bases. However, a strike out and fly out ended the inning for Blacksburg and left the bases loaded.
Neither team scored in the 4th inning. Patrick County produced a base runner via a walk, while Blacksburg’s Seb Cianelli and Jon Hinson both reached base via an infield errors. Both runners advanced to 3B and 2B respectively, but were stranded.
In the top of the 5th, Patrick County tied the game 1-1. A single led off the inning, but McCoy came right back and forced two fly outs. Two consecutive singles scored a run for Patrick County. With two runners on base, McCoy struck out the next batter to end the inning and keep Patrick from scoring any more runs.
Goforth tripled to lead off the bottom of the 5th. A strike out and then throw out at home on a fielder’s choice to 2B recorded the second out. A fly out ended the inning for the Bruins.
McCoy retired Patrick in consecutive order in the top of the 6th on just 9 pitches. All three players grounded out.
In the bottom of the 6th, Jake Verniel recorded his second hit of the game when he hit a single with two outs. However, he was stranded on a ground out to the pitcher.
McCoy retired Patrick in consecutive order for the second straight inning, this time on 8 pitches. The first batter flew out, then McCoy struck out the next batter, and he then forced a fly out.
In the bottom of the 7th, Blacksburg did not start well, recording two outs on two pitches. Jake Schirmer was then HBP and Patrick County called time to talk to the pitcher, who had pitched the entire game for Patrick. After the meeting at the mound, Adam Linkous send the first pitch over the left field fence for a walk off, two run HR (3-1).
Morgan McCoy went the distance for Blacksburg, scattering five hits over seven innings. He walked one batter and struck out six. With the win, McCoy improved to 3-3 on the season.
Offensively, Blacksburg produced three runs off seven hits and played error free defensive baseball. The Bruins were led by Jake Verniel, who was 2/3. Morgan McCoy was 2/4 while Ethan Goforth, Adam Linkous, and Jacob Sparrow each had one hit.
Patrick County scored one run off four hits and had two errors in the field.
With the win, Blacksburg improves to 13-8 on the season, and advances to play the #1 seed Hidden Valley in Roanoke on Friday @ 5:00 pm.