POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Two big innings. One big victory.
The Point Pleasant baseball team erupted for eight runs in their final two innings at the plate and ultimately rallied back to claim an 8-4 victory over visiting Gallia Academy on Saturday afternoon during a non-conference matchup in Mason County.
The Big Blacks (12-4) improved to 6-0 at home this season, but the hosts didn’t have much spring in their step early on in the Youth Day event as the Blue Devils (5-4) built a 2-0 lead through three complete.
Scoreless through two, Brendan Carter started the third with a single and stole second, then came around to score on a two-out homer by Josh Faro to centerfield.
The Red and Black, however, started finding their groove in the home half of the fifth — with a little help from their adversaries.
Josh Wamsley scored on a one-out bases-loaded walk to Joel Beattie, then a pair of wild pitches allowed both Miles Williams and Carter Smith to come home — turning a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 advantage.
The Blue and White rallied to tie things up in the top of the sixth as a Trenton Johnson groundout plated Cade Roberts for a three-all contest.
PPHS followed by sending 11 batters to the plate in the bottom half of the sixth, which resulted in five runs — all of which came with two outs in the frame.
After recording two straight outs, Williams and Smith drew consecutive walks before Hunter Blain singled home Williams for a permanent lead of 4-3.
Beattie followed by knocking in Smith with a single as Blain advanced to second, then Brody Jeffers singled home Blain for a 6-3 advantage.
A balk allowed Beattie to score, then Jeffers came plateward on an error that completed the five-run outburst while building an 8-3 cushion.
Faro delivered a two-out single in the seventh that plated Carter for a four-run deficit, but the guests ultimately ran out of outs while dropping their third consecutive decision.
Point Pleasant outhit the Blue and White by an 8-6 overall margin and also committed only one of the four errors in the contest. The hosts stranded nine runners on base, while GAHS left six on the bags.
Sam Pinkerton was the winning pitcher of record after allowing one earned run, one hits and one walk over 1.1 innings of relief while striking out one. Cole Davis took the loss after surrendering five runs (four earned), four hits and three walks over an inning of relief.
Smith and Beattie led PPHS with two hits apiece, followed by Blain, Jeffers, Kyelar Morrow and Joe Herdman with a safety each. Beattie knocked in a team-best two RBIs, with Williams and Smith both scoring two runs each.
Faro and Garrett McGuire paced the Blue Devils with two hits apiece, followed by Carter and Roberts with a safety each. Faro drove in a game-high three RBIs and Carter also scored a pair of runs in the setback.
Point Pleasant hosted Winfield on Monday and returns to action Tuesday when it welcomes Poca for a non-conference game at 7 p.m.
Gallia Academy was at Fairland on Monday and returns to the diamond on Wednesday when it hosts Ironton in an Ohio Valley Conference matchup at 5 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.