Tigers rally past Point Pleasant, 7-6

By Bryan Walters - [email protected]

CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. — The Point Pleasant baseball team let a five-run slip away Friday night as host Chapmanville rallied for a 7-6 victory in the opening round of the Chapmanville Regional High School Baseball Tournament being held in Logan County.

The Big Blacks (7-6) established a 1-0 edge after one inning, then erupted for four scores in the top of the second while claiming a 5-0 advantage through two complete. The guests also produced four of their five total hits in those opening frames.

The Tigers, however, answered with seven consecutive runs, which included a pair of three-run outbursts in the bottom of the fifth and sixth frames — giving the hosts a 7-5 cushion headed into the finale.

PPHS manufactured a run in the top of the seventh with a pair of walks and a fielder’s choice, but the guests never came closer as Chapmanville claimed the 7-6 decision.

CHS (9-1) outhit the Big Blacks by an 8-5 overall margin and stranded 10 runners on base, compared to eight left on by Point Pleasant. Both teams committed four errors apiece in the contest.

Chris Lush led the game off with a double and later scored on a Derek King ground out, giving PPHS an early 1-0 advantage. The guests also stranded runners at second and third in the opening frame.

Justice Chapman singled with one out in the second and eventually stole second base, then came around to score on an error that allowed Kaleb Beckner to reach second base safely.

Lush followed with a single that plated Trey Tucker — a courtesy runner for Beckner — for a 3-0 contest, then Abe Stearns tripled to left-center as Lush came around to score for a 4-0 edge.

Garrett Litchfield entered as a courtesy runner for Stearns, then scored on the next play as King grounded out to second — making it a 5-0 contest.

Jacob Dinguss delivered a bases-loaded, two-out infield single in the bottom of the fourth that allowed Josh Zigmond to score for a 5-1 game.

PPHS committed two errors apiece in the fifth and sixth frames, while the Tigers also produced three runs on three hits in each of those innings. Zigmond singled home Andrew Bias for the eventual game-winner, then Zigmond later scored on an error to give CHS a 7-5 cushion.

Point Pleasant — which left the bases loaded with nobody out in the fifth — started the seventh with a one-out walk to Tristan Austin, who was eventually replaced by courtesy runner Alec Smith on the base path.

Smith advanced two bases on a wild pitch, then James Littlepage walked to put runners on the corners. Austin Richardson grounded into a fielder’s choice that allowed Smith to score, making it a 7-6 deficit with two away.

Chapmanville induced a pop-up to shortstop in the next at-bat to wrap up the one-run triumph.

Chris Bailey was the winning pitcher of record after allowing one earned run, two walks and no hits over two innings of relief.

Jordan Cunningham suffered the loss after surrendering three runs (two earned), three hits and walk over two-thirds of an inning of relief.

Lush led the guests with two hits and two runs scored, followed by Stearns, Austin and Chapman with a safety each. King also drove in a team-high two RBIs for PPHS, which had its two-game winning streak snapped.

Zigmond led CHS — winners of three straight — with two hits, followed by Bailey, Jacob Dinguss, Noah Dinguss, Alex Berry, Josh Bazilla and Tyler Shannon with a safety apiece. Zigmond scored a team-best three times, while Bailey, Berry, Shannon and Jacob Dinguss each drove in a run.

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

By Bryan Walters

[email protected]