By advancing to the 3rd round of the O-Zone All-Star Tournament, the Blacksburg O-Zone team faced the Montgomery County All-Stars in the finals of the winner’s bracket. Montgomery County decided this year to combine both Auburn and Shawsville players rather than enter separate teams as in the past.
The game was one for the ages, about as exciting as a game could be, with the winning hit being a 3 run homerun over the left field fence in the last inning of the game.
As the visiting team, Montgomery County batted first, and scored two runs to take a quick 2-0 lead. A single and then a homerun provided the offense for the County All-stars.
Blacksburg fought right back, scoring a run of their own in the bottom of the 1st. Nathan Mathena led off for Blacksburg and hit a homerun to narrow the lead to 2-1. Bennett Shealor hit a single and then stole 2B, but the inning ended after a fly out, strike out, and a runner caught stealing.
Montgomery County added five more runs in the top of the 2nd to take a 6-1 lead.
Blacksburg fought back however. Ian Hole led off the bottom of the 2nd with a single, and then advanced to 2B on a wild pitch. Ben Miller followed with a line drive single, driving in Hole with the RBI (6-2). Manny Marrufo hit a hard ground ball for a single, while Miler advanced to 3B. Logan Vance then drew a walk to load the bases for Blacksburg. Scott Hudson hit an RBI single, scoring Miller (6-3) and re-loaded the bases. After a strike out, Colin Wilson reached base on an infield error, which allowed Marruffo and Vance to Score (6-5). A player was caught stealing 3B and then Mathena had his second hit of the game, a hard single, advancing Wilson to 3B. A ground out ended the inning for Blacksburg, but they had rallied to within one run at 6-5.
Wilson was inserted to pitch in the top of the 3rd inning, and he promptly retired the first two batters. The next batter hit a single, but was caught stealing 2B for the third out of the inning.
With one out in the bottom of the 3rd, Ethan Young drew a walk and then stole 2B. Hole also drew a walk to put runners on 1st and 2nd base. However, both were stranded as the next two batters flew out and struck out to end the inning.
Wilson was effective again in the top of the 4th, striking out the first batter and then forcing a ground out. Montgomery County’s next batter hit a single, but was forced out at 2B when Wilson got the following batter to hit into a fielder’s choice.
In the bottom of the 4th, Vance drew a walk and then advanced to 2B on an error by the pitcher. He took 3B on a passed ball and after a strike out, Mathena had his third hit of the game, a single, scoring Vance to tie the game at 6-6. Mathena then stole 2B and after a pop up out, Sam Helton hit a hard line drive single, scoring Mathena, giving Blacksburg it’s first lead of the game 7-6. Helton advanced to 2B on an errant throw, and then stole 3B. Young drew a walk, but a fly out ended the inning for Blacksburg.
Montgomery County tied the game in the top of the 5th 7-7 off a lead off single and a stolen base. The runner advanced to 3B on a ground out, and then scored on a second ground out. Wilson got the next batter on a ground out to end the inning.
Blacksburg would rally with two outs in the bottom of the 5th. Logan Vance was HBP to get on base, and then Hudson drew a walk. Dustin Chermak was inserted as pitch runner for Hudson. Mathena registered his fourth hit of the game, a single, scoring Vance (8-7) from 2B and Chermak advanced to 2B. Shealor then hit a line drive single, scoring Chermak (9-7) and advancing Mathena to 3B. Helton kept the rally going, hitting a single, scoring Mathena (10-7). A fly out ended the inning for Blacksburg.
Montgomery County rallied to win in the top of the 6th. After a lead off walk, Ethan Young made a great double play on a hit up the middle as he tagged 2B and threw to 1B for the out. However, two singles and then a homerun gave Montgomery County an 11-10 lead. Blacksburg was retired in order in the bottom of the 6th as Montgomery County preserved the win.
Offensively, Blacksburg was led by Nathan Methena, who was 4/4 with three singles, a homerun, and three RBIs. He also scored three runs. Bennett Shealor and Sam Helton were both 2/4 with two singles. Helton had two RBIs while Shealor had one RBI. Ian Hole, Ben Miller, Manny Marrufo, and Scott Hudson each added a hit. Logan Vance drew two walks and scored three times.
With the loss, Blacksburg falls to the loser’s bracket and faces Patrick County in a rematch from the opening round of the tournament. Patrick County advanced to the final four of the tournament by beating Giles 12-0 and Radford 8-5.
Tag(s): 11-12 O-Zone