SISSONVILLE, W.Va. — A slow start ultimately led to a bad finish for the Point Pleasant baseball team Friday night following a 6-5 setback to host Sissonville during the 2013 season opener in Kanawha County.
The visiting Big Blacks (0-1) trailed 4-0 through two innings of play before rallying to tie things back up through four-and-a-half frames, but the Indians (1-0) plated two unearned runs in the home half of the fifth to secure a 6-4 lead.
PPHS scored a run in the sixth to cut its deficit in half at 6-5, but the guests struck out in their final four at-bats — allowing SHS to wrap up the one-run outcome.
Each team scored three unearned runs and had seven hits in the contest, as well as four errors apiece. The Big Blacks left seven runners stranded on the base path, while Sissonville left only four on the bags.
The Indians’ plated their first unearned run of the game in the first inning, as a two-out error and a Zach Null single allowed Josh Landis to score for a 1-0 contest.
SHS increased it lead to four in the second frame after an Eli Mooney single and a Houston Hill walk started the frame, then a one-out single by Ethan Lauchart plated Mooney for a 2-0 cushion. An error allowed Hill to score, and Fisher singled home Lauchart for a 4-0 edge after two complete.
Alex Somerville connected on a one-out triple to start the third, then later scored on a wild pitch for a 4-1 contest. Point followed with back-to-back singles from Somerville and Tylun Campbell to start the fifth, then Austen Toler grounded into a fielder’s choice that forced Somerville out at third.
Evan Potter reached safely on an error that allowed Campbell to score for a 4-2 contest, then Levi Doolittle reached safely on a dropped third strike. An errant throw by the catcher allowed by Toler and Potter to score, knotting the game up at four.
Sissonville was down to its final out in the fifth when J.R. Sricklen came up with a single, then Landis reached safely on an error. Null came through with a single that plated Sricklen for a 5-4 lead, and an error on the relay allowed Landis to score for a 6-4 advantage through five complete.
With two outs in the top of the sixth, Somerville singled and later scored on a Campbell single — making it a 6-5 contest. The Big Blacks didn’t manage a single baserunner from that point on.
Austin Burford was the winning pitcher of record after working two innings of middle relief for starter Ethan Lauchart. Burford allowed three hits, zero walks and three runs (zero earned) while striking out two. Null worked the final 2.2 innings of relief and struck out seven while picking up the save.
Austen Toler started for PPHS and came away with a no-decision after allowing four hits, one walk and four runs (three earned) over three innings. Levi Russell took the losing decision after allowing three hits, one walk and two runs (zero earned) over three frames.
Somerville and Campbell each had three hits to pace PPHS, while Levi Russell had the other safety. Campbell drove in the team’s only RBI, while Somerville led the guests with two runs scored.
Null and Mooney led SHS with two hits each, followed by Sricklen, Lauchart and Jacob Fisher with a safety apiece. Null drove in a game-high two RBIs and Landis scored twice in the triumph.