POCA, W.Va. — Apparently, the Big Blacks just needed some time to warm up.
Trailing 6-0 through three complete, the Point Pleasant baseball team erupted for 13 consecutive runs and never looked back Wednesday night during a 16-12 victory over host Poca in a non-conference matchup in Putnam County.
The visiting Big Blacks (7-5) picked up their second consecutive victory while also handing the Dots (3-4) their second straight setback. And in an ironic twist of fate, the game appeared to be a pitcher’s duel after two scoreless innings of play.
Then came the bottom of the third as Poca sent 10 batters to the plate, which resulted in six runs on five hits, a walk and an error — giving the hosts a 6-0 edge through three complete.
PPHS answered with a 10-batter inning of its own in the top of the fourth, which yielded five runs on four hits and three walks while pulling the guests to within a run at 6-5.
Then in the top of the fifth, Point Pleasant tied the game as Cody Sockwell walked and later scored on an error that followed a single by Matt Richardson.
Richardson advanced to second on the error and later scored the eventual game-winning run on an RBI-double by Tristan Austin, which made it a 7-6 contest.
The Big Blacks sent another 12 batters to the plate in the top of the sixth, which resulted in another six runs on seven hits, a walk and an error — giving the guests a comfortable 13-6 cushion.
Poca tacked on two runs in the sixth to close to within 13-8, but Point Pleasant countered with three runs in the top of the seventh to double its lead out to 16-8 with three outs to go.
The Dots sent nine batters to the plate and scored four times in the bottom of the seventh, but the Big Blacks ultimately picked up the final out on a strikeout — wrapping up the four-run triumph.
The hosts outhit Point Pleasant by an 18-15 overall margin and also committed four of the seven errors in the contest. Both teams stranded nine runners on base as well.
Richardson was the winning pitcher of record after allowing two earned runs and six hits while striking out five in three innings of relief work.
Bubba Hill took the loss after surrendering six earned runs, six hits and one walk over two innings of relief. Poca’s three hurlers issued seven walks, while Point’s four pitchers surrendered only two free passes.
Austin led the guests with four hits, followed by Richardson, Chris Lush and Derek King with two safeties apiece. Sockwell, Abe Stearns, Garrett Litchfield, James Littlepage and Kaleb Beckner also added a hit each to the winning cause.
Austin drove in a team-best five RBIs and Richardson knocked in two, while Lush, King, Sockwell, Litchfield and Littlepage added an RBI apiece. Richardson scored a team-high four runs, with Sockwell and Litchfield each scoring three times.
Austin Henrick led Poca with four hits and Kaden Meeks added three safeties. Hill, Brett Watts, Carson Cottrill and Dante Barrett each contributed two hits apiece, while Jacob Martin, Chris Bias and Brandon Payne rounded things out with a hit each.
Henrick and Barnett each drove in three RBIs in the setback. Watts scored a team-best three runs, while Meeks and Barnett scored two runs apiece.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.
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