MASON, W.Va. — It started as a Walk-a-Thon. It ended with a walk-off.
In a game that featured 19 total free passes, the Wahama baseball team managed to exact a little revenge on Monday night after claiming an 18-8 mercy-rule victory in six innings over visiting Belpre in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division contest on Cook Field at Claflin Stadium in Mason County.
The host White Falcons (7-5, 5-3 TVC Hocking) issued eight walks in the first three innings, which allowed the Golden Eagles (6-9, 4-5) to jump out to an early 8-6 edge midway through the third frame.
BHS, however, issued seven free passes after the completion of the third frame and finished the night by allowing 11 total walks, which allowed the Red and White to jump-start their offense while scoring the final dozen runs of the contest.
Leading 14-8 headed into the bottom of the sixth, WHS started the frame with back-to-back walks to Colton Arrington and Jared Oliver. Arrington came around to score on an error that allowed Philip Hoffman to reach safely, then Dalton Kearns received a walk to again load the bases.
Oliver and Hoffman both came home on an error that allowed Tyler Bumgarner to reach safely for a 17-8 edge, then David Hendrick safely reached on an error that also plated Kearns with the game-clinching run that wrapped up the 10-run outcome.
With the triumph, the White Falcons avenged a 13-12 setback at BHS back on March 30. WHS has also now won four in a row, while the Orange and Black have now dropped four consecutive decisions.
Belpre took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but Wahama answered with five runs on five hits, two walks and an error in the home half of the opening frame — giving the Red and White a comfortable 5-1 cushion after one complete.
The Golden Eagles trimmed their deficit down to 6-3 through two full frames, then erupted for five runs in the top half of the third despite not producing a single safety. BHS sent 11 batters to the plate, which yielded six walks, a hit batter and an error en route to recapturing an 8-6 edge.
The hosts followed by sending 11 batters to the plate in their half of the third, which yielded five runs on three hits, four walks and an error for an 11-8 lead after three complete.
Wahama tacked on three more runs with a hit, a walk and an error in the fourth for a 14-8 contest, then both teams went scoreless in the fifth.
Both teams used at least four pitchers in the game and each squad also stranded nine runners apiece on base. Wahama outhit the guests by an 11-6 overall margin and only committed one of the nine errors in the matchup.
Dalton Kearns ended up being the winning pitcher of record after allowing no runs, no hits and only one walk in 1.1 innings of relief work while striking out two. Jacob Davis took the loss after surrendering six unearned runs, three hits and three walks over two frames of relief while fanning three.
Hoffman led the Red and White with four hits and four runs scored, followed by Bumgarner with two hits. Oliver, Kearns, Hendrick, Wyatt Edwards and Tanner Smith also had a safety apiece for the victors.
Hoffman and Kearns each drove in a team-best three RBIs, while Bumgarner, Hendrick and Smith also knocked in a run apiece.
Oliver and Colton Arrington each scored three times, followed by Kearns and Hendrick with two runs scored apiece. Bumgarner, Edwards, Nyles Riggs and Trevor Hunt also scored a run apiece for the hosts.
Jacob Davis, Logan Adams, Bailey Sprague, Andrew Klingler, Josh Davis and Kole Knotts had a hit apiece in the setback, with Jacob Davis leading the way with two RBIs. Adams, Klingler and Josh Davis also scored two runs apiece for Belpre.
Wahama returns to action Tuesday when it travels to Trimble for a TVC Hocking doubleheader starting at 4 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.