With the loss in game one of the District 3 All-Star Tournament, the Blacksburg Minors faced possible elimination in their next game vs the Pulaski Count West All-Stars.
Rioll Pula started on the mound for Blacksburg and set the tone early for the Bruins. He retired the Cougars in consecutive order, with two ground outs and a strike out.
Blacksburg got its offense going early, scoring two runs in the bottom half of the frame to take a 2-0 lead. Louis Semtner led off the inning with a single and then stole 2B. Major Marshall hit an RBI double to CF, scoring Semtner (1-0). After a ground out, which advanced Marshall to 3B, Avan Morris hit an RBI ground out, scoring Marshall (2-0). Chip Vaden stayed hot in the tournament, hitting a single to CF. A strike out, however, ended the inning, but not before Blacksburg had taken an early 2-0 lead.
Pula continued to dominate in the top of the 2nd inning, striking out the side in consecutive order. Of the six batters he faced in the first two innings, he struck out four.
The Blacksburg Minors got hot in the bottom half of the 2nd inning, scoring six runs to take commanding 7-0 lead. Gary Bears led off the inning by drawing a walk to get on base. After a strike out, Tyler Dickerson doubled to CF, scoring Bears (3-0). Riley Beane then hit an infield single, scoring Dickerson (4-0) and registering the RBI. Beane advanced to 2B on a passed ball and then stole 3B. After a strike out, Logan Dickerson drew a very important walk to get Blacksburg back to the top of the order. Semtner hit an RBI single, scoring Beane (5-0) and advancing Dickerson to 2B. Major Marshall singled to CF, which loaded the bases. Pula drew and RBI walk, scoring Dickerson from 3B (6-0). Morris registered his second hit of the game, a bloop fly single that dropped between converging players. Semtner scored on the play (7-0) and each player advanced one base. A fly ball ended the inning, which left the bases loaded for Blacksburg. However, the 7-0 lead gave the Bruins lots of confidence heading into 3rd inning.
The Pulaski West All-Stars led off the inning with a single, their first hit of the game. After a walk, a Cougar was caught stealing as Blacksburg’s catcher, Louis Semtner, threw him out at 3B, with Marshall assisting on the play. A walk then loaded the bases for Pulaski, but Pula fought back and got a strike out. A single scored a run (7-1) for Pulaski, but then Pula forced a fielder’s choice ground out and 1B Chip Vaden threw a Cougar out a home, who was attempting to score.
The Blacksburg Minors could not push any runs across in the bottom of the 3rd inning. With one out, Gary Bears hit a double to LF and then advanced to 3B on a ground out. A strike out stranded Bears at 3B. At the end of three complete innings, the score remained 7-1.
Vaden was inserted to pitch in the top of the 4th inning. He held Pulaski scoreless in the inning, facing just four batters. He forced a lead off ground out to SS Pula, walked a player, and then struck out the next batter. Vaden forced another ground ball to 2B, which Bears fielded cleanly for the out at 1B to Morris.
Blacksburg could not add to their lead in the bottom of the frame. A strike out and ground out gave the Bruins two quick outs. Pula doubled to RF. An attempted steal ended the inning for the Bruins.
Vaden walked the lead off batter in the top of the 5th, but then forced a ground ball to SS Pula who fielded the ball cleanly, tagged 2B and threw the runner out at 1B for the double play. Vaden then struck out the next batter to end the inning.
The bottom half of the 5th, Blacksburg got its offense going again, picking up two runs to extend their lead to 9-1. Morris led off the inning with a single and then Vaden walked, advancing Morris to 2B with no outs. In the process of consecutive strike outs, both runners advanced a base on an interference call and then passed ball. Morris scored (8-1) on a passed ball and then Rider Creasy drew a walk. Vaden scored on a passed ball and Creasy moved himself to 2B. Tyler Dickerson drew a walk. A fielder’s choice ended the inning, stranding Creasy and Dickerson. After five complete innings of play, Blacksburg led 9-1.
Vaden struck out the first batter of the inning and then forced a ground out for two quick outs. After a single and a walk, a player was caught stealing home on a passed ball. Marshall threw a perfect strike to Vaden, who tagged the runner for the last out of the game.
The Blacksburg Minors were led offensively by Avan Morris, who was 2/3 with two RBIs and a run scored. Major Marshall and Louis Semtner each had two hits. Marshall had one RBI while Semtner scored two runs. Rioll Pula, Chip Vaden, Gary Bears, Tyler Dickerson, and Riley Beane each added a hit. Tyler Dickerson and Beane had an RBI. Morris, Vaden, Bears, Tyler Dickerson, Beane, and Logan Dickerson each scored a run.
Defensively, Rioll Pula and Chip Vaden pitched three innings each, giving up just three total hits and one earned run in holding Pulaski West to just one unearned run. Pula was the winning pitcher. He had five strikeouts while Vaden registered three. Both pitchers walked three batters.
With the win, Blacksburg advances to the next round to face Montgomery County All-Stars.
Tag(s): 9-10 Minors