SISSONVILLE, W.Va. — In a game full a limited opportunities, the top-seeded Indians caught the big break.
A 2-out RBI single by Tristin Portz in the bottom of the fifth provided all of the offense that Sissonville needed on Monday night during a 1-0 decision over visiting Point Pleasant in the first championship game of the Class AA Region IV, Section 1 tournament.
The second-seeded Big Blacks (19-8) entered the contest as the winner’s bracket champion, meaning that SHS would have to win Monday night to force a winner-take-all rematch on Tuesday … and that’s exactly what happened in an otherwise epic pitcher’s duel.
PPHS was just two batters into the game when Hunter Lilly produced a 1-out single, but the next at-bat resulted in an inning-ending double play.
The Big Blacks didn’t have another baserunner until Lilly produced another single with one away in the fourth, then Kyelar Morrow to put runners at first and second after drawing a walk — but consecutive outs followed to end the threat.
Point Pleasant again put runners on first and second after a 2-out Evan Roach single in the fifth moved Riley Oliver into scoring position. The following batter flied out to end the inning, and the guests didn’t have another baserunner the rest of the way.
Sissonville, on the other hand, had 11 consecutive hitters sat down in order before Hunter Montgomery came up with a 2-out single in the bottom of the fourth before ultimately being left at second base.
However, SHS found some good fortunes in the fifth as Colten Carpenter led things off by being hit by a pitch, then moved over to third on a single by Brayden Perdue.
Perdue was caught stealing for the first out and a groundout followed for the second, but Portz — the 9-hole hitter — flared a single into shallow left that allowed Carpenter to come home for a 1-0 advantage.
SHS also left runners stranded at second and third with one away in the home half of the sixth.
The Indians — who host Point again at 6 p.m. Tuesday night in the championship finale — outhit the guests by a 6-3 overall margin and stranded six of the 10 runners left in base. Neither squad committed an error in the contest as well.
Collin Cottrell struck out seven and walked one in seven innings of scoreless work for the win. Joel Beattie surrendered a walk and fanned six in over six frames in the tough-luck loss.
Lilly led PPHS with two hits and Roach also had a safety in the setback.
Montgomery paced the hosts with two hits, with Cottrell, Perdue, Portz, and Isaiah Ramsey also adding a hit each.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.