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Blacksburg Minors Win Virginia State Championship

07/29/2011, 3:51am EDT
By Admin

Bruins win 18-0 in Via Slaughter Rule

The Blacksburg Minors won the Virginia State Dixie Championship on Thursday, beating Botetourt 18-0 in three innings via the 15 run slaughter rule.  Blacksburg was clearly the more rested and prepared team, as Botetourt appeared out of gas and made uncharacteristic errors.  After six straight days of baseball in the area's intense heat, and teams running out of pitching, overall play suffered for some teams as the tournament progressed.    

As the visiting team (determined by coin flip), Blacksburg wasted little time in putting runs on the board, scoring six runs in the top of the 1st...All with two outs.  With one out, Ben Freel was HBP to get things started.  Cole Epperley then drew a walk to put runners at 1st and 2nd.  After a 2nd out, Davis Roberson walked to load the bases.  Jacob Lucas then hit a RBI single to put the first run on the board.  Grant Johnston was HBP and then Craig Weaver hit a FC that got by the SS. After a throwing error by a second Cavalier, all the bases were clear and Blacksburg was up 5-0. Weaver would advance on a passed ball, and the score on a wild pitch, to put Blacksburg up 6-0 after one half inning.

In the bottom of the 1st, starting pitcher Grant Johnston struck out the first batter.  After a walk and a hit to put runners at 1st and 2nd, Johnston quickly ended the threat by striking out the next two Botetourt batters.  

In the top of the 2nd, Blacksburg went three up and three down.  

In the bottom of the 2nd, Johnston faced four batters, forcing three to hit into infield grounders.  The fourth batter was HBP.  

In the top of the 3rd inning, Blacksburg would explode for twelve runs and put the game away.  Luke Goforth led off with a single and then stole second.  Ben Freel drew a walk and Cole Epperley hit a hard single, scoring Goforth. Wesley McCoy followed with a two RBI single to score Freel and Epperley.  With McCoy on first, Davis Roberson drew a walk to put runners at 1st and 2nd.  After an out, Grant Johnston hit a single to score McCoy.  Craig Weaver then hit a single, followed by Cordell Croy reaching via an error, scoring Roberson. With bases loaded,  Luke Goforth hit a FC, but a bobbled ball enabled him to beat out the throw and Johnston to score.  Ben Freel would draw his second walk to re-load the bases.  A single by Epperley scored Weaver.  After a pitching change and bases re-loaded, Wesley McCoy and Davis Roberson drew RBI walks, scoring Croy and Goforth.  Jacob Lucas followed with a single to again re-load the bases.  A errant pick play attempt to 3B, enabled McCoy to take home for the 12th run of the inning.  The inning ended by a very nice double play by Botetourt.  

In the bottom of the 3rd inning, Cordell Croy replaced Johnston on the mound.  Croy quickly disposed of the Cavaliers by striking out the first batter, getting the 2nd to hit a ground ball to 1B McCoy, and then striking out the third batter to end the game.  

Johnston and Croy combined to throw a one hitter and faced only 12 batters.  No Botetourt player batted more than once.

Offensively, Blacksburg was led by Cole Epperley who went 2/2 with 2 singles and drew a walk, to reach base all three times he was up.  He also scored three runs and stole a base.  Jacob Lucas also had two singles, and scored two runs. Wesley McCoy's 2 RBI single broke the game wide open in the 3rd.  He also scored two runs.  Ben Freel reached base all three times he was up and scored three runs, while Luke Goforth, Davis Roberson, Grant Johnston, and Craig Weaver each scored two runs.  

With the win, the Blacksburg Minors advance to the Dixie Youth World Series and will represent the entire State of Virginia.

This will be the 2nd World Series appearance for Blacksburg Baseball; the first coming in 2007.  With the five state tournament wins, Blacksburg is 14-5  in State Tournament play and is now the 3rd winningest franchise in Virginia State Tournament history (73%) and 2nd in # of overall wins.

This year's State performance set several records, some are yet to be determined.  A few thus far:  2nd all time in runs (66....Record is 70) and tied for most runs in a game (22).  Waiting on final numbers, but Blacksburg will be at or near the top in RBI's, Hits, Stolen Bases, and Doubles...All for "tournament" and "game."   Not bad for an organization founded just eleven years ago.

State Umpire In Chief "Shorty"Ferrell

Ben Freel gets the 1st inning started after getting HBP

Wesley McCoy take the high pitch

Cole Epperley scores the games 2nd run

Team Blacksburg huddles while Botetourt calls time out

Jacob Lucas hits a RBI single

Craig Weaver about the clean off the bases

Pitching change for Botetourt

Cordell Croy almost beats out an infield grounder

Team Blacksburg after the top of the 1st

P Johnston warms up for the bottom of the 1st

"Shorty" Ferrell and Ben Freel

After one complete inning of play

Matt Freel with text book batting form

Colin Collver

Umpire talks to Johnston about dirt on the baseball

Score after two complete innings of play

Goforth stealing 2B

Goforth "SAFE"

Epperley hit drives in Goforth

Goforth scores

McCoy rounds 1B

Epperley flys home

Lucas prepares to bunt

Johnston beats out an infield grounder

Cole Epperley gets his 2nd hit of the night

Blacksburg faithful

Mgr Brad Epperley talks to his team

18-0 after two and a half innings of play

McCoy makes the 2nd to last out

Team Celebration.....World Series Bound!

Dixie National Director Tim Boggs

The Dirty Dozen

Luke Goforth

Cole Epperley

Jacob Lucas

Craig Weaver

Matt Freel

Christian Vance

Coach Tracy McCoy

Team Blacksburg Hoists State Championship Trophy

Entire State Champion Team

Luke Goforth leads off the game

Cole Epperley

Davis Roberson

Davis Roberson rounds 1st

Botetourt HC visits the mound in the top of the 1st

Grant Johnston

A happy Craig Weaver on 2B with 3 runs scored

Craig Weaver crosses the plate

After one half inning of play

Johnston throws a strike

OF Luke Goforth

C Ben Freel

Umpires get into position

Christian Vance lets the high pitch go

Colin Collver hits a line drive

Johnston to McCoy for an out

Goforth gets a hit

Goforth under the tag

Ben Freel zeros in on a pitch

Sending Goforth home

McCoy delivers a big 2 RBI hit to break the game open

Epperley on his way home

Davis Roberson hustles to first

McCoy breaks for home after a failed pick play @ 3B

Team Blacksburg during another Botetourt time out

Ben Freel comes home

Lucas and Freel wait to get in on more of the action

Lucas gets a 2nd hit

Cordell Croy pitches in relief

The last out!

Team Blacksburg lines up to listen to Dixie Officials

Davis Roberson presented with tournament HR award

State Runner-Up Botetourt

Ben Freel

Davis Roberson

Grant Johnston

Cordell Croy

Colin Collver

Mgr Brad Epperley

Coach Mike Freel

Virginia State Champions

Tag(s): 9-10 Minors