Point Pleasant outlasts Mohigans, 5-4

By Bryan Walters - bwalters@civitasmedia.com

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — It went past regulation, but the extra effort was worth it.

Trey Tucker’s pinch-hit single in the bottom of the eighth allowed the Point Pleasant baseball team to claim third place Saturday following a 5-4 victory over Morgantown in the consolation game of the 2016 Jack Cook Wood Bat Tournament held at Cook-Holbrook Field in Cabell County.

The Big Blacks (9-9) snapped a three-game losing skid in dramatic fashion, with Tucker driving an 0-2 pitch to left that allowed Austin Richardson to stroll homeward from second with the game-clinching run. Justice Chapman led the bottom of the eighth inning off with a double, then Richardson entered as a courtesy runner.

PPHS also dodged a pair of large bullets in the seventh and eighth frames, as the Mohigans (5-3) left the bases loaded with the game tied at four. MHS stranded a total of 15 runners in the setback, compared to nine by the host team.

Both teams traded a run apiece in the second and third frames for a two-all contest through three complete, then Point Pleasant claimed its first lead of the day as James Littlepage delivered a two-out double to left — allowing Matt Richardson to score for a 3-2 edge.

Morgantown countered with two runs in the top of the sixth as a two-out walk, an error and two hits allowed the guests to secure a 4-3 lead.

Abe Stearns led the home half of the sixth off with a single, then Alec Smith entered as a courtesy runner. Smith advanced to third on a single by Chapman, then Beckner delivered a single to left that plated Smith for a four-all contest three six complete.

The Big Blacks outhit the guests by a 10-9 overall margin and committed two of the five errors in the contest.

Matt Richardson was the winning pitcher of record after allowing two hits and a walk over 1.1 innings of relief while striking out two. Sam Britton took the loss after surrendering five runs (four earned), 10 hits and two walks over seven-plus frames while fanning two.

Chapman and Littlepage led Point Pleasant with two hits apiece, followed by Stearns, Tucker, Beckner, Derek King, Garrett Litchfield and Matt Richardson with a safety each.

Littlepage, Tucker, Beckner and Tristan Austin each drove in a run. King, Littlepage, Smith and both Richardsons also scored a run apiece for the victors.

Mike Defelice led MHS with three hits, followed by Andrew Berry and Josh Stegmaier with two safeties each. Berry also drive in a team-best two RBIs.

Huntington defeated Winfield by an 11-1 count in the championship game.

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

By Bryan Walters