POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — The Point Pleasant baseball team is one win away from making its sixth straight regional appearance following an impressive 21-4 thumping of Ravenswood Wednesday night during the opening contest of a Class AA Region 1, Section 4 matchup in Mason County.
The Big Blacks (21-6) — the top-ranked team in Class AA headed into the postseason — had 13 different batters produce at least one hit in the triumph while establishing a 15-0 advantage after an inning and a half of play.
The Red Devils (3-21) countered with three runs over the next two innings to cut their deficit down to a dozen through three complete, but never came closer the rest of the way.
PPHS — which claimed an 18-6 overall advantage in the hit column — scored six of the final seven runs in the game en route to wrapping up the mercy-rule decision in five innings. Ravenswood — which had all six errors in the contest — was the home team on the scoreboard, as the game was moved from RHS due to soggy field conditions.
Point led off the game by scoring four times in the first, then sent 17 batters to the plate in the second canto — which resulted in 11 runs on eight hits, six walks and two errors. The aftermath left the guests clinging to a 15-run advantage.
The Red Devils scored twice in the second and added another run in the bottom of the third to pull within 15-3, but Point Pleasant countered with four runs in the top of the fourth to forge ahead for a 19-3 cushion. RHS tacked on a run in the bottom of the fourth to cut the deficit back down to 15, but Point added a pair of insurance scores in the fifth to round out the score at 21-4.
Austen Toler was the winning pitcher of record, allowing three earned runs, three hits and one walk over three innings while striking out five. Brandon Toler threw two innings of relief, surrendering one run and three hits while fanning five. Devan Crews took the loss for RHS after allowing 15 runs (12 earned), nine hits and five walks over 1.2 innings of work while striking out one.
Brandon Toler paced the Big Blacks with three hits, followed by Levi Russell, Jason Stouffer and Eric Roberts with two safeties apiece. Alex Somerville, Trevor Porter, Austen Toler, Josh Hudson, Evan Potter, Steven Porter, Alex Potter, Tylun Campbell and Jacob Gardner all added a hit each to the winning cause.
Russell, Roberts, Porter and Brandon Toler all drove in three runs apiece, while Hudson and Brandon Toler each scored three times. PPHS also left a dozen runners stranded on the bases.
Heath Burgess and Jeremy Lawrence paced Ravenswood with two hits apiece. Crews also drove in two RBIs to lead the hosts.
Point Pleasant and Ravenswood will meet again Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in Jackson County. A win secures a regional date for the Big Blacks, and a loss would force a decisive Game 3 on Friday.