The Blacksburg Minors All-Stars faced their cross county rival, Christiansburg in the winner’s bracket on Sunday. The Blue Demons drew a first round bye in the credentials meeting, and then defeated second round opponent Montgomery County 9-4 to advance to play Blacksburg in the winner’s bracket. For the last couple years, the district tournament has come down to these two powerful programs, with the winner advancing to the State and then to the World Series.
On this day, Blacksburg was the better team, beating the defending District Champions 18-7. As the “visitor,” Blacksburg batted first, and in the top of the 1st inning, the Bruins scored six runs to jump out to a quick 6-0 lead. Eli Sterling and Trevor VandeVord started off the game with consecutive singles, and then Spencer Campbell hit an RBI double, scoring Sterling (1-0). Raymond Ladd hit a three run home run into the trees behind the field give Blacksburg a 4-0 lead. With the bases empty, Conner Deane and Sean Kang both drew walks to put two runners on base. Kai Feng reached base on a fielder’s choice and then Isaac Poff hit a single. Christiansburg made a nice double play on a pop up to end the Blacksburg inning.
Christiansburg responded with four runs of their own to narrow the lead to 6-4 in the bottom of the 1st.
Neither team scored in the 2nd inning as Blacksburg went three up and three down while Blacksburg’s starting pitcher, Raymond Ladd, retired the Christiansburg line up by facing just four batters. One of the four reached on an error, otherwise, the Blue Demons would have been retired in order as well.
The Bruins got their offense going again in the top of the 3rd inning, scoring two runs to extend their lead to 8-4. Sterling led off the inning and reached 1B on an error. After a fielder’s choice out, Spencer Campbell drew a walk and Ladd hit a line drive RBI double to the fence, scoring two runs. Deane drew a walk and after a strike out, a player grounded out to end the inning.
Ladd retired the Blue Demons in consecutive order in the bottom half of the frame. The Bruins stayed hot, however, scoring four more runs in the top of the 4th to extend their lead to 12-4. Bradford Hurt led off by drawing a walk, and then Sterling got on base via a Christiansburg infield error. After two consecutive outs, Ladd drew a walk while Deane reached on an outfield error. Kang then came through with a double. A strike out ended the inning for Blacksburg.
In the bottom of the 4th, Ladd continued his dominance on the mound, retiring Christiansburg in consecutive order for the second inning in a row. He struck out two of the three batters.
Isaac Poff led off the 5th inning with a walk and Hurt hit a triple, scoring Poff (13-4). Sterling followed with a walk and then VandeVord hit a single, scoring Hurt (14-4). Campbell then hit a two RBI triple, scoring Sterling and VandeVord (16-4). Ladd hit a RBI sacrifice fly, scoring Campbell (17-4) from 3B. After a second out, Kang hit a double and then Feng drew a walk to put two runners on back on base. Poff hit a RBI single, scoring Kang (18-4). A fly out ended the inning for Blacksburg, and stranding Feng.
Christiansburg scored three runs in the bottom of the 5th to end the game with the score 18-7 via the ten run rule.
Raymond Ladd got the win on the mound for Blacksburg. He pitched four complete innings, scattering five hits, four of which were in the first inning. He struck out four batters and walked one Blue Demon.
Offensively, Blacksburg was led by Raymond Ladd, who was 2/3 with a home run, a double, and five RBIs. Spencer Campbell was 2/3 with a double, a triple, and one RBI. He also drew a walk, reaching base three times. Trevor VandeVord was 2/4 with two singles and one RBI. Eli Sterling, Conner Deane, Sean Kang, Isaac Poff, and Bradford Hurt each added a hit. Deane and Poff had two RBIs each.
With the win, Blacksburg advances in the winners bracket and plays Radford in the next round of the tournament at Randolph Park.
Tag(s): 9-10 Minors