POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — The ‘Luck of the Irish’ wasn’t with the Irish.
Visiting Huntington Saint Joseph led 5-0 through three innings, but the Point Pleasant baseball team rallied with six unanswered runs — including four in the bottom of the seventh — for a dramatic 6-5 victory on Wednesday night in a non-conference matchup in Mason County.
The Big Blacks (19-6) celebrated Senior Night in style as the hosts honored Christian Holland, Andrew Jones, Colton Fridley, Levi Mitchell, Cason Payne, Josh Wamsley, Sam Pinkerton, Carter Smith, Brody Jeffers and Miles Williams before the game, then needed the full seven frames to send those upperclassmen out on a winning note.
Early on, however, things didn’t appear promising as the Irish built a three-run cushion after a half-inning of play.
Noah Beter walked and Corey Sweeney singled, then both moved up on a stolen base. Hunter Eplin reached on an error that allowed Beter to score, then Connor Joseph singled home Sweeney for a quick 2-0 advantage.
Max Adkins added a two-out single to right that allowed Joseph to come plateward for a three-run cushion.
The Blue and Gold added to their lead in the top of the third as Lenny Washington walked and Eplin singled, then an error allowed Joseph to reach safely. Washington scored on the error and Eplin advanced to third, putting runners on the corners with nobody out.
Adkins lifted a sacrifice fly to left for the second out of the frame, allowing Eplin to come home for a 5-0 advantage through three complete.
The Red and Black started the comeback trail in the bottom half of the fourth as Wyatt Wilson lifted a sacrifice fly to left that allowed Pinkerton to score for a 5-1 deficit.
Hunter Blain led off the fifth with a single and advanced to third on a two-base error, then came home on a single from Josh Wamsley that trimmed the gap down to 5-2.
The score remained that way until the bottom of the seventh as Pinkerton started the rally with a one-out walk, then advanced to second on a single from Smith. Pinkerton later scored on an error that allowed Jeffers to reach safely while cutting the deficit down to 5-3.
Joel Beattie followed by reaching on an error that also allowed Smith to come plateward, trimming the gap down to 5-4. Wilson then received a walk to load the bases.
With two away and the bags full, Hunter Blain shot a 1-2 offering into right-center that plated both Riley Oliver — a pinch-runner for Jeffers — and Beattie to complete the successful rally bid in walk-off fashion.
It was also the fourth consecutive victory for Point Pleasant, which improved its season record to 12-1 overall in home contests.
The Big Blacks outhit the guests by a slim 6-5 overall margin and also committed only two of the eight errors in the game. St. Joe stranded eight runners on base, while the hosts left seven on the bags.
Besides providing the game-winning heroics, Blain was also the winning pitcher of record after allowing one hit and three walks over four scoreless innings of relief while striking out four. Eplin took the loss after surrendering four unearned runs, two hits and two walks over 2.1 frames of relief while fanning four.
Blain led the Red and Black with two hits and two RBIs, while Smith also chipped in a pair of safeties. Williams and Wamsley also added a hit each to the winning cause.
Beter, Eplin, Joseph, Adkins and Caleb Smith had a hit apiece in the setback. Adkins drove in a team-best two RBIs for the Irish.
Point Pleasant traveled to Parkersburg South on Thursday and returns to action Friday when it hosts Charleston Catholic in a non-conference bout at 6 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.