Blacksburg Varsity traveled to Abington for their first conference game of the season. This game was particularly important because the Bruins only play the Falcons once, which means it counts towards the season ending tournament seeding. Under new VHSL guidelines, of all the conference games, the second game between opponents is the one that counts in the conference standings, and if you only play a team once, it's the game that counts.
The Falcons scored first, a run in the bottom of the 1st to take an early 1-0 lead. Blacksburg was held scoreless through the first three innings. Seb Cianelli reached base in the top of the 1st, but was stranded. Ben Anstrom singled in the 2nd inning, while Andrew Roberson singled in the top of the 3rd. Morgan McCoy was HBP in the 3rd. All were stranded.
Blacksburg got its offense going in the top of the 4th, scoring two runs to narrow the lead to 4-2. Adam Linkous led off the inning with a ground ball single, followed by a Jake Schirmer line drive single. Ben Anstrom then drew a walk to load the bases for Blacksburg. With no outs, Tyler Davis delivered an RBI ground ball single, scoring Linkous to plate the first run for the Bruins. Jake Verniel then singled to RF and the RBI hit scored Schirmer (4-2). With bases still loaded, two Bruins struck out to end the inning for Blacksburg.
Abington added a run in the bottom of the 4th to extend their lead to 5-2. A single, then a balk advanced a runner to 2B. An infield error allowed the runner to advance home after a failed pick off attempt.
Blacksburg loaded the bases again in the top of the 5th, but this time they could not capitalize. McCoy led off with a walk, and Ethan Goforth singled while Linkous singled to load the bases with no outs. However, Abington turned a double play on the next ball in play and then the Falcon pitcher forced a ground out to end the inning.
Abington scored four more runs in the bottom of the 5th to extend their lead to 9-2. Blacksburg fought back in the top of the 6th, scoring a run to narrow the lead to 9-3. Davis singled at leadoff and then Verniel singled to CF to put two runners on base with no outs. However, a strike out didn’t advance any runners but then Cianelli singled to LF to load the bases. McCoy hit an RBI ground out, scoring Davis (9-3) and then a ground out stranded the other two Bruins on base.
Tyler Davis was inserted to pitch in the bottom of the 6th and retired the side in consecutive order on a strike out, ground out, and a line out.
The Bruins got their bats going again in the top of the 7th, scoring two runs, but it was not enough. Linkous led off with a single to CF and then Schirmer hit a ground ball single. Anstrom loaded the bases with a single to LF to give Blacksburg a big opportunity with no outs. Davis then hit a RBI single to CF, scoring Linkous (9-4). Verniel delivered Blacksburg’s fifth consecutive hit with a ground ball single, scoring Schirmer (9-5). A Bruin runner was tagged out advancing a base on the previous hit, and then a strike out notched two quick outs for the Falcons. Cianelli hit an infield single to re-load the bases for Blacksburg. However, a ground ball ended the inning for the Bruins.
Offensively, Blacksburg scored just 5 runs on 17 hits, all singles. Adam Linkous, Tyler Davis, and Jake Verniel were all 3/4. Davis and Verniel had two RBIs. Seb Cianelli, Jake Schirmer, and Ben Anstrom added two hits each. Cianellii had two RBIs.
The first loss of the season dropped Blacksburg’s record to 6-1 and 0-1 in conference play. However, it's still very early in the season.
After the game, Head Coach Danny Shouse expressed his dissatisfaction with how his team played. “Too many errors and base runner mistakes. One base running mistake is too many. We threw the ball away to give them a run which really hurt."
“We didn’t come to play. That many hits (17) means you beat yourself. We had bases loaded twice and couldn’t score a run. Nobody will beat us this season and we proved it in this game. Too many basic mistakes. But, we’ll be ok. Abington is the best team we’ve seen. This was the best pitcher we’ve seen. He had a nasty breaking ball."
"We’ll be ok. We’ll go back to work on Monday. We got to win the rest of the games now. We can’t blame being on the road or bus rides this week, as we’re going to be doing that later in he season if you want to advance in the playoffs. It’s too early in the season to be tired so we can’t blame that. We just beat ourselves.”
Tag(s): BHS Varsity