By David Grimes Friday, July 13 2012 00:00
Christiansburg rallied to take the lead and then had to hold off a late Blacksburg charge to claim an exciting 9-8 win in the championship game of the Dixie District 3 Minors Baseball Tournament Thursday night at Jaycee Field in Blacksburg.
Cordell Croy led off the top of the first inning for Blacksburg, the defending district and state champions, with a walk. Sam Helton followed with a fielder's choice that saw Croy being out at second. Luke Goforth then singled and was out on a fielder's choice by Colin Collier. The next batter grounded out to end the inning. In the bottom of the first, MJ Hunter hit a one-out single up the middle. Dakota Sisson followed with a fielder's choice that saw Hunter being called out at second. A pop-up to the catcher ended the inning.
The Bruins struck for a run in the second when Tyler Vande Vord reached on a one-out error. Bennett Shealor followed with a single to right that advanced Vande Vord to third. Vande Vord then crossed the plate on a pass ball to make it 1-0. Christiansburg went three up and three down in the bottom of the inning.
Blacksburg erupted for four runs in the top of the third. Blake Butler nailed a one-out single, followed by a bunt from Croy. Helton then laced an RBI single to score Butler. Goforth followed with a two-run triple to the gap in left to plate Croy and Helton. Collier then walked. The Bruins then pulled off a double-steal that saw Goforth steal home. The next two batters went down in order, as Blacksburg took a 5-0 lead. A lone single by Evan Robbins was the only hit for Christiansburg in its half of the inning.
In the top of the fourth, Butler was the recipient of a two-out walk and Croy followed with a single to left. However, they were both left stranded on base. Christiansburg started to get things going its way in its half of the inning. Jason Duffie nailed a one-out double to left. Hunter then reached on an error that saw Duffie score. Sisson reached on an error, which was followed by Zalen Akers reaching on an error. Reagan Harris then smacked a single to score Hunter and Sisson scored on a pass ball to make it 5-3. A two-out RBI single by Brady Kirtner scored Akers and Garrett Kuchan followed with an RBI single to score Harris and tie the game at 5-all. Kirtner then scored on a pass ball to give the Blue Demons a slim 6-5 advantage.
Blacksburg would tie the game at 6-6 in the top of the fifth when Goforth reached on a one-out error. He later scored on Stephen Case's single. Christiansburg would answer in its half of the inning. Duffie led off by reaching on an error. Hunter followed with a single to right. A throwing error allowed Duffie to score and Hunter advanced to third. An RBI sacrifice fly to left by Sisson scored Hunter. Akers followed with a walk and Harris hit a run-scoring sacrifice fly to left to plate Akers, who had advance to third on a pass ball. When the dust cleared, Christiansburg had regained the lead, 9-6.
Just like the two previous meetings between these two teams. This one appeared that it was once again going down to the wire. Bulter led off the Blacksburg's sixth with a single up the middle. Helton then hit a one-out single and Goforth was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Butler then scooted home on a pass ball to make it 9-7. Collier then nailed an RBI single that scored Helton to pull the Bruins to within one, 9-8. Back-to-back two-out walks by Case and Parker Epperley would load the bases. The next batter then went down swinging to end the game, as Christiansburg held on to knock off the defending champions by slim 9-8 margin.
Luke Goforth, Blake Butler, Cordell Croy and Sam Helton led Blacksburg with two hits apiece.
MJ Hunter led Christiansburg with two hits. Evan Robbins, Jason Duffie, Reagan Harris, Brady Kirtner and Garrett Kuchan added a hit each.
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