In advancing to the quarter finals, the Blacksburg Minors faced Montgomery County, who had saved their best pitcher for this game. They were able to do so based on their initial draw of opponents. The game featured great pitching and great defense by both teams. In fact, this writer cannot remember the last time there was a final score of 1-0 in a minors game.
As the visitors, Blacksburg batted first. In the top of the 1st with one out, Brett Babcock tripled to right field. Tate Harrison then drew a walk and stole 2B in a 1st and 3rd scenario. After a fly out, Babcock scored on a passed ball, which would ultimately be the only run of the game. Blacksburg's last out was a player caught stealing.
Tate Harrison started the game for Blacksburg on the mound and retired the Montgomery County side in consecutive order on just 14 pitches.
Over the next three innings, neither team would even come close to putting a runner in scoring position, must less score a run. Dustin Chermak drew a walk in the top of the 2nd, which was Blacksburg's only base runner. Montgomery County had a single in the bottom of the 2nd and drew a walk in the bottom of the 3rd, but neither batter advanced past first base.
Tate Harrison pitched one hit baseball through three innings, giving up just one hit, and recording six strikeouts.
Blacksburg inserted Bennett Shealor to pitch in the 4th inning. He retired the side in consecutive order with three strike outs.
In the top of the 5th with two outs, Raymond Ladd singled for Blacksburg's second hit of the game. He was stranded, however.
Shealor was dominant again in the bottom of the 5th as he retired the side in order, one by strike out and forced two ground balls.
Blacksburg could not produce any base runners in the top of the 6th and had to pitch and play good defense in the bottom half of the inning to preserve the win. Montgomery County drew a lead off walk and then a player singled hard to right field, putting runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs. Blacksburg made a pitching change, going to Raymond Ladd. After starting with two consecutive balls, Ladd threw three straight strikes and struck out the batter. He then struck out the next batter on three straight pitches. He then forced a pop up in foul territory that was caught by catcher Bennett Shealor for the last out of the inning and the game. Blacksburg won in dramatic fashion as the players celebrated.
Montgomery County's 10 year old pitcher, JT Foster, pitched all six innings, holding Blacksburg to just two hits.
With the win, the Blacksburg Minors advance to the semi-finals and face Christiansburg, who beat Pulaski West 4-0 in the finals of the winner's bracket.