The Blacksburg Minor All-Stars drew Pulaski East (Dublin) in their first round of the Dixie District 3 All-Star Tournament and the game would turn out to be a back and forth slugfest.
Neither team scored in the first inning. Blacksburg sent Tate Harrison to the mound and he kept Pulaski scoreless, facing just five batters.
In the top of the 2nd, Blacksburg would score two runs to take 2-0 lead. Brett Babcock led off the inning with a single to left field and then Raymond Ladd singled to left field, advancing Babcock to 3B. After an out, Babcock scored on a passed Ball to put Blacksburg up 1-0. Conner Deane then hit a single, advancing Ladd to 2B. Brady Semnter reached on a fielder’s choice RBI, scoring Ladd. Two consecutive outs ended the inning for Blacksburg.
Pulaski fought back in the bottom of the 2nd, scoring two runs off a walk, a fielder’s choice, a single and an outfield error. Tate forced a infield ground ball to Deane at 3B and struck out the last batter to end the inning.
Blacksburg’s bats kept producing runs, scoring two more in the top of the 3rd to re-take the lead 4-2. With one out, Eli Sterling reached base on an error and then stole 2B. Harrison then singled, advancing Sterling to 3B, but he scored on an error by the center fielder. Bennett Shealor then reached by an error, scoring Harrison.
The Pulaski All-Stars battled back yet again, this time scoring four runs to take the lead 6-4. Harrison started off by striking out the lead off batter, but then a single, a walk, and another single loaded the bases for Pulaski. Tate then forced a ground ball to Ladd at 1B, who got the big force out at home for the second out. Then a Pulaski hitter managed to send a ball barely over the first base bag for a double, that scored two runs. Pulaski scored two more runs on consecutive singles and after three innings, they led 6-4.
Neither team scored in the 4th inning. Trevor VandeVord was inserted to pitch for Blacksburg and he faced just four batters and giving up just one hit.
In the top of the 5th, Blacksburg scored a run to narrow the lead to 6-5. Semtner led of by drawing a walk and he was forced out at 2B on a fielder’s choice by Sterling. Harrison then singled to center field, advancing Sterling to 3B. Interference was called and Sterling scored (6-5). Shealor then hit a rocket line drive at the third baseman, which was somehow caught and ended up being a game changing play. A second hard hit ground ball to 3B by VandeVord and a great play by the Pulaski third baseman was the third out of the inning.
Pulaski scored three more runs in the bottom of the 5th to extend their lead to 9-5.
Blacksburg threatened in the top of the 6th, but could not rally. Babcock led off by drawing a walk and Ladd followed with a walk of his own. However, a strike out, a foul pop up and ground out ended the inning and game for Blacksburg.
Offensively, Blacksburg was led by Tate Harrison, who was 2/3. Brett Babcock and Raymond Ladd were each 1/2.
With the loss, the Blacksburg Minors go to the losers bracket and face Pulaski West on Sunday.