The Blacksburg Varsity visited Cave Spring for the third of their five crucial Conference 32 games. With both teams at 0-2 in the five games that determine the Conference 32 Tournament seeding, this game was a “must win” for both in order to still have any chance at a #1 or # 2 seed in the season ending Tournament. The winner of the Tournament advances to the region tournament.
Morgan McCoy singled in the top of the 1st with one out, but was stranded. Starting Blacksburg pitcher Tyler Davis pitched very well as he held Cave Spring scoreless through four innings of play.
However, Blacksburg was also scoreless through the 4th inning as the game was tied 0-0. The Blacksburg side was retired in order in the top of the 2nd, while Andrew Roberson reached base in the top of the 3rd via a Cave Spring infield error, and Ethan Goforth had a ground ball single in the top of the 4th. Both runners were stranded.
Jake Verniel singled in top of the 5th with one out, but was stranded.
McCoy was inserted to pitch in the 5th and pitched the distance for the Bruins. He surrendered a run in the bottom of the inning after a walk and then a RBI single. The Knights led after five innings 1-0.
Blacksburg threatened to score in the top of the 6th when McCoy led off with a single and then Ben Anstrom drew a walk to put two Bruins on base with no outs. Goforth was intentionally walked to load the bases, still with no outs. A pop up and then a strike out quickly turned the momentum of the inning, and then the inning abruptly ended when a Bruin was caught stealing home on a called steal attempt.
McCoy faced four batters in the bottom of the 6th, allowing just one single as he retired the other three batters.
The Bruins would tie the game in the top of the 7th. Verniel singled with one out, and after a strike out, he stole 2B and then advanced to 3B on an overthrow from the catcher on the steal attempt. Lead off hitter, Seb Cianelli, delivered a two out RBI single to score Verniel and tie the game at 1-1 in dramatic fashion. A fly out ended the inning, but with the run, the Bruins forced extra innings.
McCoy retired the side in the bottom of the 8th in consecutive order on just twelve pitches. In the bottom half of the frame, the Bruins took the lead for the first time in the game and would win 2-1. Ben Anstrom led off with a single to CF and then advanced to 2B on a ground out by Goforth, and then to 3B on a ground out by Adam Linkous. Jake Schirmer hit a two out single line drive by the SS to score Anstrom. A ground out ended the inning for Blacksburg, but the Bruins had taken the lead 2-1..
Cave Spring tried to rally in the bottom of the 8th with a lead off single to CF. However, McCoy struck out the next batter, which was crucial in preventing the runner from advancing a base. A ground out advanced the runner to 2B, but then McCoy then struck out the last batter to end the game 2-1 for the comeback win. McCoy got the win on the mound for the Bruins, pitching four complete inning. He scattered four hits, walked one, and struck out four batters. Tyler Davis, pitched the first four innings and did not allow a run. He scattered five hits, struck out two, and did not walk a batter.
Offensively, Blacksburg produced one run on eight hits. Jake Verniel led the Bruins, going 2/3 while Morgan McCoy was 2/4. Seb Cianelli, Ben Anstrom, Ethan Goforth, and Jake Schirmer each added a hit. Cianelli and Schemer each had an RBI.
With the win, the Bruins improve to 8-5 on the year and 1-2 in the five critical conference games. "This was a game we had to have," said Head Coach Danny Shouse. "The boys battled back and come through when it mattered. Ben has worked hard and deserved to move up in the batting order and he came through for us today. We just to got to keep this thing moving forward."
Tag(s): BHS Varsity