Blacksburg traveled to Jefferson Forrest for a “mini tournament involving the host, Jefferson Forest, Pulaski, and Liberty.
Blacksburg squared off with Division 4A opponent Jefferson Forest in the late nightcap. The Cavaliers came out swinging, scoring two runs on Blacksburg in the bottom of the 1st to take an early 2-0 lead.
The Bruins, however, responded immediately and scored six runs to take a 6-2 lead in the top of the 2nd and did not look back. Jake Schirmer led off the inning by drawing a walk, and then Ben Anstrom singled to CF. Tyler Davis drew a walk to load the bases for Blacksburg. Jake Verniel drew a RBI walk, scoring Schirmer (2-1). After the first out of the inning, Seb Cianelli then beat out an infield single, which enabled Anstrom to score to tie the game (2-2). Morgan McCoy then hit a sac fly, scoring Davis, giving Blacksburg the lead 3-2. Ethan Goforth then hit a two RBI triple, scoring Verniel and Cianelli. Goforth then scored on an error by the pitcher (6-2). A fly out to RF ended the big inning for Blacksburg.
Adam Linkous pitched the first two innings for the Bruins and kept the Cavaliers scoreless in the bottom of the 2nd. He walked the first batter and then surrendered a single, but buckled down and struck out the next batter and forced two outs to end the scoring threat.
Ben Anstrom and Jake Verniel hit singles in the top of the 3rd, but were stranded.
Jefferson Forrest fought back in the bottom half of the frame, scoring two runs to narrow the Blacksburg lead to 6-4. But, Blacksburg tacked on two more runs in the top of the 4th to extend their lead to 8-4. Cianelli led off the inning by drawing a walk and then McCoy hit an RBI double to score Cianelli. Goforth drew a walk to get on base and then Linkous singled to LF, which loaded the bases for the Bruins. Schirmer hit a sac fly RBI, scoring McCoy (8-4). A strike out and fly out ended the inning for Blacksburg.
The Cavaliers didn’t give up and fought back a second time in the bottom of the 4th, scoring four runs, tying the game 8-8.
Both teams were scoreless in the 5th inning.
Blacksburg jumped on Jefferson Forest again in the top of the 6th, scoring four runs to re-take the lead 12-8. Linkous and Schrimer started the inning with consecutive singles, and then Anstrom reached via an error to load the bases, with no outs. Davis hit a RBI sac fly, scoring Linkous (9-8). Verniel bunted for an RBI single, which scored Schirmer (10-8). After a strike out, Cianelli singled to CF, scoring Anstrom and Verniel (12-8). A ground out ended the inning.
After holding the Cavaliers scoreless in the bottom of the 6th, the Bruin’s offense continued it’s potent attack, scoring three more runs. Goforth led off the inning with a walk and then Linkous singled to CF. After a strike out, Anstrom and Davis reached base on consecutive infield errors by Jefferson Forest, scoring Goforth and LInkous (14-8). Verniel hit a sacrifice, scoring Anstrom (15-8). A strike out ended the inning for Blacksburg.
Jake Verniel pitched the last inning and despite hitting a player with a pitch and giving up a single, he held Jefferson Forest to no runs. He struck out the second batter of the inning, forced an infield fly, and then struck out the last batter to end the game for Blacksburg.
Morgan McCoy got the win on the mound for Blacksburg. He pitched 2 2/3 innings, scattering just three hits, struck out five and did not walk anyone. Adam Linkous started on the mound for Blacksburg, pitching 2 1/3 innings. He gave up 3 hits, waked five batters and struck out four. Tyler Davis pitched an inning, giving up five hits and walked one batter.
Offensively, the Bruins scored 15 runs on 12 hits. Adam Linkous led the attack, going 3/5. Sebi Cianelli, Ben Anstrom, and Jake Verniel each had two hits. Cianelli, Verniel, and Tyler Davis had three RBIs.
With the win, Blacksburg advanced to the championship game of the tournament, which was moved to Pulaski due to rain and field conditions at Jefferson Forest. Pulaski had beaten Liberty in the first game of the tournament to reach the championship game.
Jake Verniel got the win on the mound; pitching a five inning, complete game which ended early due to lighting. Verniel kept the Cougars scoreless through the first two innings while Blacksburg scored four runs in the bottom of the 2nd to take the early lead, 4-0. Jake Schirmer led off by getting HBP and the Ben Anstrom doubled to RF to put runners at 2nd and 3rd with no outs. Tyler Davis then hit a ground ball single, scoring Schirmer. Verniel drew a walk and then after an out, Seb Cianelli hit a sacrifice Fly, scoring Anstrom (2-0). Verniel advanced to 2B on an error by the catcher (passed ball) while Davis took home. Verniel scored on another passed ball error and then a Bruin batter flew out to end the inning for Blacksburg.
Pulaski picked up a run in the top of the 3rd off a walk and then a double.
Blacksburg was held scoreless until the bottom of the 5th when they scored a run to extend their lead to 5-1. Verniel singled to lead off the inning and after a ground out, he reached 3B on a throwing error. Cianelli reached 1B on an infield error, scoring Verniel (5-1). Ethan Goforth hit a double, but was stranded.
Pulaski fought back in the top of the 5th, scoring three runs to narrow the score to 5-4. Schirmer led off the bottom half of the frame with a single but then the game was interrupted by lighting. After several attempts to re-start the game, more lighting forced the umpires to call the game.
Offensively, Blacksburg scored five runs on five hits. Morgan McCoy, Ethan Goforth, Ben Anstrom, Tyler Davis, and Jake Verniel each had a hit for the Bruins. By winning the tournament, Blacksburg improved to 6-0 on the season.
Head Coach Danny Shouse was pleased with winning the tournament, especially by beating home his team rival Pulaski. “I’m really proud of the team. We need to just go on and take these games.”
“We booted a couple balls under the lights against Jefferson Forest that we got to have. We can’t blame the lights. We laid down a couple bunts in a row that got us on base, and we executed well when we needed to. No teams are expecting two strike bunts. I love it because you have to execute.”
After the Pulaski game, he said, “A W is a W and that is what matters. We can’t expect to come out and score 12+ runs per game. We have to do what we have to do, whether it’s 11-0 or 1-0. We didn’t play our best but we did what we had to do to win. I don’t want some flub team to beat us. If we get beat, let’s get beat by a good team. We’re 6-0 and that is all that matters.”
Tag(s): BHS Varsity