The Blacksburg Middle School team traveled to Franklin County on Saturday for a “mini tournament” with Andrew Lewis and host, Franklin County. The game times were moved twice due to poor field conditions over the last month. The tournament was originally scheduled to include Staunton River, but they backed out due to changing game times.
In the first game, the Bruins jumped out on Andrew Lewis 9-1, but could not hold the lead and lost 10-9 in the last inning.
The Bruins got on the board quickly in the top of the 1st when lead off batter, Luke Goforth reached on an error by the shortstop. After a strike out, Goforth stole 2nd and advanced to 3rd on a passed ball. He scored on an infield RBI sacrifice by Cole Epperley. A fly out ended the inning with Blacksburg leading 1-0.
Blacksburg pitcher, Wesley McCoy, held Lewis scoreless in the bottom of the 1st, facing just five batters. Blacksburg was also held scoreless in the top of the 2nd. Parker White drew a walk with two outs, but was stranded.
In the bottom of the 2nd, Lewis drew two walks to start the inning, and then McCoy struck out the next batter for the much needed out. A double scored a run, but then McCoy struck out a batter and forced a line out to get himself out of a jam, and the game was tied after two complete innings at 1-1.
The Bruin’s offense unloaded for eight runs in the top of the 3rd to build a 9-1 lead. Zach Cregger and James Wilkes got things started by reaching base on consecutive Andrew Lewis infield errors. After a fly out, Stephen Case reached on an error, allowing Cregger to score (2-1). Epperley then singled to load the bases. Wilkes scored on an Andrew Lewis passed ball (3-1). Collin Colver then hit a RBI double to CF to score Case (4-1). McCoy drew a walk to re-load the bases. After a strike out, Parker White singled to CF, scoring Epperley (5-1) and White (6-1) on the two RBI hit. Ryland Bennett kept the rally going, singling to CF, scoring McCoy (7-1). Cregger then reached base for the second time in the inning, this time a single to RF, which scored White (8-1) with the RBI hit. Wilkes also reached base for the second time in the inning, singling to RF, and scoring Bennett (9-1). A player was caught stealing to end the inning, but not before Blacksburg built a large lead.
McCoy continued to be effective on the mound in the bottom of the 3rd, despite giving up a lead off walk and then a triple. McCoy picked off the first base runner and then struck out the third batter to capture two quick outs. A wild pitch allowed the runner on 3B to score, notching the game at 9-2. McCoy then forced the next batter to fly out to LF to end the inning.
In the bottom of the 4th, Stephen Case drew a walk with one out, but he was stranded as the Andrew Lewis pitcher only faced four Bruin hitters.
In the bottom of the 4th, Lewis rallied, scoring two runs off a lead off single, and two consecutive walks. Blacksburg made a pitching change as McCoy’s pitch count rose to above 70 pitches. Luke Goforth entered the game in relief. Lewis drew an RBI walk (9-3) and then Goforth forced two consecutive fly outs to hold the Wolverines in check and get Blacksburg out of major jam with bases loaded. Lewis did score a run on a tag up from third (9-4), and then Lewis drew a walk to load the bases again, but Goforth forced an infield fly to hold Lewis to just two runs.
Blacksburg was held scoreless in the top of the 5th, sending just four batters to the plate. White did reach on an error, but was stranded.
In the bottom of the 5th, Andrew Lewis would rally to win the game. A single, then an out, followed by a single, and a walk would load the bases for the Wolverines. Lewis scored on a wild pitch (9-5), but then Goforth struck out the next batter to notch the 2nd out of the inning. A two out single to CF drove home two runs for Lewis (9-7) and then Goforth forced a potential game ending ground ball, but the runner reached first base on a Bruin error. With two base runners on 1B and 2B, a single then scored a run (9-8) for Lewis. The next batter hit an RBI single, scoring the runner from 2B to tie the game at 9-9. With runners on the corners and still two outs, the next Lewis batter drew a walk to load the bases. A Bruin error allowed the batter to reach first base and a run to score as the Wolverines completed the comeback, winning 10-9.
Despite the loss, the game was a good one for the young Bruins, facing one of the better MS teams in the Timesland. Offensively, Blacksburg was led by Parker White who was 1/3, and reached base three times. He also had two RBIs. James Wilkes, Cole Epperley, Zach Cregger, Ryland Bennett, and Colin Colver each added a hit.
Starting pitcher Wesley McCoy pitched three innings; scattering 3 hits, walked seven batters, and struck out two.
In game two of the tournament, Blacksburg faced host Franklin County and lost 10-0. The young Bruins seemed flat and didn’t recover from the tough, hard fought loss in the first game.
Blacksburg only produced two hits and six base runners overall. The Bruins notched hits by Craig Weaver and Cole Epperley, while Stephen Case drew a walk. Eric Heinz and Colin Colver reached base on a fielder’s choice. Zach Cregger was HBP.
The Bruins are now 2-2 on the season and return home to face Radford MS on Wednesday March 25th at 5:30 @ Old BHS.
Tag(s): Blacksburg Middle School