POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — One inspired rally unfortunately led to another.
The Point Pleasant baseball team overcame an early 6-1 deficit by scoring five consecutive runs, but visiting Poca answered with three runs in the top of the seventh en route to a 9-6 victory on Wednesday night during a non-conference matchup in Mason County.
The host Big Blacks (3-9) never led in the contest as the Dots (4-7) established a 3-1 lead through one inning of play, then added three more scores over the next two frames while securing their largest lead of the night at 6-1.
PPHS, however, found its offensive rhythm in the bottom of the fourth as Alec Smith and Sam Pinkerton provided back-to-back singles and later scored on a two-RBI double from Patrick Stanton for a 6-3 contest.
A wild pitch allowed Stanton to advance to third, then Josh Wamsley lifted a successful sacrifice fly to centerfield that allowed Stanton to score for a 6-4 margin.
Carter Smith followed with a one-out double and advanced to third on a balk, then Smith scored on an Abe Stearns single that cut the Point deficit down to 6-5.
Wamsley provided a two-out single in the fifth and stole second base, then advanced to third on an error that allowed Smith to reach safely. A balk was called during the next at-bat, which allowed Wamsley to come home with a score that tied the game at six through five complete.
Both teams produced a baserunner and came up empty in the sixth, but Poca caught a few breaks along the way in the seventh after producing three runs on only two hits to go along with two walks and two hit batters.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Isaac McClanahan received a walk that allowed Evan McKneely to score the eventual game-winning run for a 7-6 edge.
Carson Cottrill followed by being hit by a pitch that allowed Tanner Miller to come home for an 8-6 lead, then Charles Roberts singled home Jacob Hill to wrap up the 9-6 outcome.
Poca took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first as Hill scored on an error that allowed Cottrill to reach safely, then Jacob Martin singled in both McClanahan and Cottrill for the early three-run advantage.
Point countered with a run in its half of the first as Smith scored on an error that allowed Tucker Mayes to reach safely, making it a 3-1 contest after one full frame.
McClanahan drove in Hill with a sacrifice fly in the second for a 4-1 edge, then Hill singled in both McKneely and Tanner Miller in the third for a 6-1 cushion.
The Big Blacks outhit the guests by a slim 9-8 overall margin and also committed four of the seven errors in the contest. Poca stranded 11 runners on base, while the hosts left nine on the bags.
Jakob Stover ended up as the winning pitcher of record after allowing one earned run and two hits in 2.1 innings of relief work. Stover was the third of four pitchers used by Poca in the triumph.
Sam Pinkerton suffered the tough-luck loss after surrendering two earned runs and two hits over 3.2 frames of relief while fanning one. Pinkerton was also the third of four pitchers used by Point Pleasant in the setback.
Stearns and Smith led PPHS with two hits apiece, followed by Wamsley, Smith, Pinkerton, Stanton and Miles Williams with a safety apiece.
Hill and Roberts each had two hits for the Dots, while McClanahan, Martin, McKneely and Miller also provided a hit apiece for the victors.
Point Pleasant returns to action Thursday when it hosts Nitro at 6 p.m.
The Big Blacks will also travel to Huntington on Friday and Saturday for the Jack Cook Tournament.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.
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