By virtue of the team win vs. Christiansburg, the Dixie Minors All-Stars advanced to the fourth round of the District Tournament to play Radford,a very good hitting team, who had beaten both Pulaski West and Pulaski East by ten run rule.
Radford got off to a quick start, scoring three runs in the top of the 1st to take a 3-0 lead. The Blacksburg Minors All-Stars responded immediately, and scored three runs of their own to tie the game 3-3 in the bottom half of the 1st. Eli Sterling led off with a single and then Trevor VandeVord hit a double, scoring Sterling. After an out, Raymond Ladd hit a two run home run, his second of the tournament, to tie the game at 3-3. With the bases now empty, the next Blacksburg batter flew out, and then Sean Kang and Kai Feng hit consecutive singles to get on base. However, a strike out ended the inning for Blacksburg, stranding both runners.
Radford continued to stay hot on offense, scoring two more runs in the top of the 2nd to take a 5-3 lead. Blacksburg went three up and three down in the bottom half of the frame and after two complete innings the score remained 5-3.
Blacksburg’s starting pitcher, Trevor VandeVord, buckled down in the top of the 3rd and stopped Radford’s offense, retiring the Bobcats in the meat of their order. He faced just four batters, with one reaching base on an infield error.
In the bottom of the 3rd, Blacksburg got its offense going again, scoring five runs to re-take the lead 8-5. With one out, Sterling drew a walk to get things started, and then VandeVord hit his second single of the night. Spencer Campbell then hit a three run home run to put the Bruins ahead 6-5. Ladd, Conner Deane, and Kang hit consecutive singles, and then Feng was HBP. The next two batters struck out to end the inning, but not before Ladd and Deane came around to score. After three complete innings of play, Blacksburg had re-taken the lead 8-5.
Because Dixie rules require any pitcher who pitches four or more innings to have 36 hours rest and thus ineligible the next day, Blacksburg made a pitching change in the top of the 4th and inserted Sean Kang to pitch. Radford scored two runs to narrow the Bruin lead to 8-7.
In the bottom of the 4th, Blacksburg’s offense added two more runs to extend their lead over Radford to 10-7. With one out, VandeVord hit his third single of the game and after a second out, Ladd hit his second home run of the game, a two run shot to run to extend the score to 10-7. Deane drew a walk and then Kang doubled, but both were stranded after a strike out.
Kang was very effective in the top of the 5th. Despite giving up a lead off walk, he then forced three consecutive groundouts and halted Radford’s offensive momentum.
Blacksburg knew Radford was a good hitting team and needed some insurance runs, which they accomplished. With one out, Bradford Hurt drew a walk to get on base, and then Sterling hit a single. VandeVord followed with a walk and then Campbell hit an RBI double. Ladd was walked and then Deane drew a walk. Kang hit a single, his fourth hit of the game, and then two strikeouts ended the inning for Blacksburg. After five complete innings of play, Blacksburg led 15-7.
Radford scored two runs in the top of the 6th, but it would not be enough to overcome the Bruins as the game ended 15-9 and Blacksburg did not bat in the bottom of the 6th. Kang struck out the last two batters to end the game in dramatic fashion.
Trevor VandeVord and Sean Kang each pitched three innings for Blacksburg, with VandeVord getting the win on the mound. VandeVord scattered five hits over his three innings of work. He walked three batters, and struck out four Bobcats. Kang surrendered just three hits in his three innings on the mound while walking two batters and striking out two.
Offensively, Blacksburg was led by Sean Kang, who was 4/4 with three singles and a double. Raymond Ladd, was 3/3 with two HRs, a single, and four RBIs. He also drew a walk, reaching base all four times he was up. Trevor VandeVord, was also 3/3, hitting three singles with one RBI, and a walk. He also reached base all four times he was up to bat. Eli Steriling was 2/3 with two singles and a walk, reaching base three times. Spencer Campbell was 2/4, with a HR, a single, and two RBIs. Conner Deane was 1/2 with a single and an RBI. He drew two walks and got on base three times.
With the win, Blacksburg advances to the finals of the winner’s bracket in round five of the Minors Dixie Youth District Tournament.
Tag(s): 9-10 Minors