With the win over Pulaski County West, the Blacksburg Minor All-Stars advanced to the third round of District 3 Tournament and faced Montgomery County.
Being the “home” team yet again, Blacksburg would take the field first and made several errors, which helped Montgomery County jump out to a 3-0 lead.
However, the Bruins fought right back and scored three runs of their own to tie the game 3-3. Louis Semtner tripled to lead off the inning with a line drive to the gap in CF and then Major Marshall hit an RBI double to LF, scoring Semtner (3-1). Chip Vaden kept the rally going with an RBI triple of his own, scoring Marshall (3-1). After a ground out, Rioll Pula hit an RBI sacrifice fly, scoring Vaden (3-3). A strike out ended the inning for Blacksburg, but the Bruins had tied the game.
Avan Morris was the pitcher of record and he retired the Montgomery County side by facing just four batters. He struck out the first two and after a walk, he struck out the fourth batter.
Blacksburg’s offense continued where it left off in the previous inning. With one out, Tyler Dickerson singled to LF and then Brody Shealor hit an RBI double to LF, scoring Dickerson and giving Blacksburg the first lead of the game, 4-3. Riley Beane drew a walk to get on base, and Shealor moved himself around the bases on passed balls. He moved to 3B, and then scored (5-3). Unfortunately, two strikeouts ended the inning for the Bruins.
Montgomery County scored five runs in the top of the 3rd inning to re-take the lead, 8-5.
Blacksburg responded in the bottom half of the frame, scoring a run to narrow the lead to 8-6. With one out, Marshall hit a triple and an outfielder error allowed Marshall to come home for the run (8-6). Vaden doubled to CF but was stranded after two consecutive strike outs.
In the top of the 4th, Montgomery County scored five more runs to extend their lead to 13-6.
In the bottom of the 4th, Blacksburg looked like they might rally after Gary Bears and Rider Creasy drew two consecutive walks to start the inning. However, a two strike outs and a ground ball out stranded both runners. After four complete innings of play, the score remained 13-6.
Rioll Pula, who was inserted to pitch with one out in the prior inning, was able to silence the Montgomery County offense. He faced just four batters in the top of the 5th, striking out three of the four batters. Blacksburg was retired in consecutive order in the bottom half of the frame as the game moved to the 6th and final inning.
In the top of the 6th, Pula Struck out the side in consecutive order to give Blacksburg some hope. The Bruins offense scored two runs in the bottom half of the inning, but it was not enough to extend the game. Pula led off the inning with a single to RF and then Bears was HBP. Both runners advanced a base on a passed ball and Pula scored on an error by the catcher (13-7). After two consecutive strike outs, Bears scored on passed ball to make the game 13-8. But, a strike out ended the inning and the game for the Blacksburg All-Stars.
Offensively, Blacksburg was led by Chip Vaden and Major Marshall, who were both 2/3. Marshall had two RBIs and scored two runs while Vaden had one RBI and one run scored. Louis Semtner, Rioll Pula, Tyler Dickerson, and Brody Shealor each added a hit. Pula and Shealor had one RBI each. Semtner, Pula, Gary Bears, Tyler Dickerson, and Shealor each scored a run for Blacksburg.
Defensively, Rioll Pula excelled, pitching 2.2 innings and gave up just one hit, and did not allow a run. He struck out six batters and walked one.
With the loss, the Blacksburg Minors were eliminated from the District 3 All-Star Tournament. But, with lots of young talent in the Blacksburg franchise, the players have a very bright future in front of them.
Special thanks to Manager Rob Semtner, and Coaches Donnie Morris and Chris Dickerson for all their volunteerism and hard work with the team.
Tag(s): 9-10 Minors