The Blacksburg Minors All-Stars advanced to the finals of the winner’s bracket with their win over Radford. Their next opponent was Pulaski East, who won their first round game over the Giles Mets, and were then sent to the losers bracket by Radford in the second round. However, Pulaski East rebounded and Beat Patrick County 14-7 to advance to meet Blacksburg, the only team left in the tournament without a loss.
Conner Deane started on the mound for the Minors All-Stars and promptly retired the Pulaski side in consecutive order. In the bottom the 1st, Blacksburg it’s offense got started very quickly. Eli Sterling led off with a double and after an out, Spencer Campbell hit an RBI single, scoring Sterling. Raymond Ladd was HBP and awarded 1B and after an out, Sean Kang hit a single. A fly out ended the inning, but not before Blacksburg had taken a quick 3-0 lead.
Deane continued his solid pitching by not allowing a run in the top of the 2nd. Pulaski did manage to load the bases on a single, a walk, and a Bruin error, but Deane struck out the last three batters to end the scoring threat.
Blacksburg was retired in consecutive order in the bottom of the 2nd inning.
In the top of the 3rd, Radford drew two consecutive walks, but Blacksburg caught the first runner stealing, and then Deane struck out two of the next three batters.
Blacksburg picked up a run in the bottom of the 3rd. Ryan Ankrum was HBP, and after a strikeout and a fly out, Trevor VandeVord hit a single and then Spencer Campbell hit an RBI single, scoring Ankrum. A line drive out ended the inning for Blacksburg. The score after three complete innings of play was 4-0.
By virtue of the Dixie three inning rule, Blacksburg decided to change pitchers in the top of the 4th, sending Eli Sterling to the mound. He retired the Pulaski side in consecutive order on two strikeouts and a line drive out.
The Bruins got their bats going again in the bottom of the inning. Deane led off with a triple and then Kang hit an RBI double, scoring Deane (5-0). Kai Feng hit a single and then Isaac Poff drew a walk to load the bases for Blacksburg. Bradford Hurt reached on an error, scoring Kang (6-0). After a strikeout and a fly out, Campbell hit an RBI triple. The next batter flew out, but at the end of four complete innings, Blacksburg had extended their lead to 9-0.
Sterling was dominant again in the top of the 5th. He retired the side in order, forcing two groundouts and struck out the last batter of the inning.
Blacksburg would end the game in the bottom of the 5th by nature of the 10 run rule. Deane led off the inning with a double and after a strike out, Kai Feng hit a game ending RBI triple, scoring Deane, for the 10th run of the game.
Connor Deane got the win for Blacksburg on the mound. He gave up on one hit over three innings of work, while striking out six batters and walking four. Eli Sterling pitched two innings in relief and did not allow a hit. He struck out four of the six batters he faced.
Offensively, Blacksburg was led by Spencer Campbell, who was 3/3 with two singles, a triple, and four RBIs. Conner Deane was 2/3 with a double and a triple. Sean Kang was 2/3 with two singles and three RBIs. Kai Feng was also 2/3 with a single and triple. He had one RBI.
With the win, the Blacksburg Minors advance to the Championship game vs. Christiansburg, who defeated Radford 12-2 in the finals of the losers bracket. These two franchises will be matched up in the championship game for the third time in five years. Blacksburg can win the tournament with one win over the Blue Demons. Christiansburg, however, must beat Blacksburg twice in order to win the tournament.
Tag(s): 9-10 Minors