The Blacksburg JV Team traveled to historic Salem Municipal Field on Friday for a matchup with an old River Ridge foe, the Salem Spartans. The Salem field was once the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league team as MLB greats Dave Parker, Omar Marino, Ed Ott, Tim Wakefield, the Mets Darryl Strawberry, and many others played at the Salem Complex. The field is still meticulously cared for by the City of Salem, and is one of the best HS fields in the country.
The two teams played a DH, due to a game that rained out earlier in the season, and thus, each game was limited to 5 innings. Salem was the "home" team in game one, while Blacksburg was the "home" team in game two.
Justin Snyder pitched for Blacksburg in game one, giving up just two hits to the Spartans. Salem managed to score four runs off the two hits and some timely walks, as well as two Blacksburg fielding errors. The Spartans scored a run in the bottom of the 1st after a walk, a stolen base, and then a single to LF.
Salem picked up another run in the bottom of the 2nd and then two more in the bottom of the 4th for the 4-0 win.
Blacksburg had just two hits in the game. Hunter Radford led off with a single to CF in the top of the 2nd and then Brad Shelton drew a walk to put two Bruins on base with no outs. However, three consecutive fly outs stranded both runners.
Camden Wise singled in the top of the 5th to lead off the inning, but was stranded.
Justin Snyder pitched all four innings for the Bruins, scattering just two hits, and walked eight batters. Salem did not bat in the bottom of the 5th since they were leading the game. Three of the four Spartan runs were earned.
In game two of the DH, the Bruins played better as the game was tied going into the top of the 4th before eventually losing 9-3 late in the game. CJ Linares started on the mound for Blacksburg and he held the Spartans scoreless in the top of the 1st.
Blacksburg jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the frame. With one out, Snyder, Linares, and Hunter Radford all had consecutive singles for the Bruins and loaded the bases. Brad Shelton then hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Snyder from 3B. A strike out ended the potentially big inning for the Bruins.
Salem scored three runs in the top of the 2nd to take the lead 3-1.
Blacksburg was retired in consecutive order in the bottom of the 2nd on just eight pitches. Austin Nickle pitched the top of the 3rd inning for Blacksburg, and faced four batters in keeping Salem scoreless.
Blacksburg battled back in the bottom of the 3rd to tie the game 3-3. With one out, Snyder drew a walk and then Linares hit a hard ground ball single past 2B, which advanced Snyder to 2B. Radford drew a walk to load the bases for the Bruins. Shelton hit his second sacrifice fly in the game, scoring Snyder (3-2) again from 3B. Wesley McCoy then hit a hard ground ball single past 3B, scoring Linares with the RBI hit (3-3). Ryan Anderson hit a single but a ground out ended the inning for the Bruins.
Salem re-took the lead in the top of the 4th, scoring two runs to break the tie 5-3.
Wise drew a lead off walk in the bottom of the 4th, but was stranded.
The Spartans busted the game open in the top of the 5th, scoring four runs to extend their lead to 9-3. The Bruins got a two out hit from Shelton in the bottom of the 5th, but a line out ended the game 9-3.
CJ Linares pitched the first two innings for Blacksburg, scattering three hits, walked three, and struck out two batters. Of the three runs scored while he was pitching, only one was earned. Austin Nickle pitched the 3rd inning, giving up just one hit, no runs, and struck out one. He did not walk anyone. Blake Davis pitched the 4th inning, giving up four earned runs on two hits and two walks. He struck out two Spartan batters. Wesley McCoy pitched the 5th inning, giving up one earned run off two hits and one walk. It was the first appearance on the mound for the 8th grader.
“Justin pitched well enough to win in game one” said Head Coach Jonathan Hagee. “We’re not going to beat anyone if don’t score any runs. We have to start getting the timely hit. We’ve hit a slump and our confidence is down. We just need one big play that sways the momentum our way and I think we'll break ou.. We had this the first part of the year but, not now. But, you have to give Salem credit. They are starting seven sophmores and they’ve got some big wins this season….They are a very mature and experienced JV team.”
“In the second game, we started to see glimpses of who we are. CJ only had two innings left so I started him, hoping we could get off to good start, and Austin Nickle came in for us and both pitched well. Salem broke it open in the top of the 5th. Were going to get back to work on Monday and hopefully it will come together for us moving forward. We hit better in the second game, but we had some fielding errors again that keep rearing their ugly head every now and then. We just need to be more consistent in our overall approach.”
With the loss, the Blacksburg JV is now 5-6 on the season.
Tag(s): BHS JV