MAN, W.Va. – The Belfry Pirates regained their composer and pulled off a win against the Man Hillbillies on Friday afternoon by a final score of 11-10.
Belfry needed a bounce back after their 9-1 loss to Pike Central last week and they pulled it off on the Hillbillies home turf. Belfry started off slow but thanks to a last second defensive effort the Pirates sealed the win. It wasn’t until the Pirates busted open the flood gates in the seventh inning and edged out the Hillbillies by one run to win the game in a pure nail biting fashion.
Man jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first two innings before the pirates could get anything going. The Hillbillies scored three unearned runs in the first; Cameron Simpson, John Thomas Keefer and Tyler Blair all crossed the plate in the first for the Hillbillies.
Man scored one more run in the second when Kenny Jo Adkins crossed the plate. It was two outs and no one on base when Adkins walked, stole second and then was knocked home by Simpson.
In the Third the Pirates scored two runs to edge the score closer when Garrett Fannin and Austin Dotson both scored. Fannin made it to first base and was safe on a Man error. Dotson was safe on fielder’s choice throw and then stole second when Fannin advanced to third. Fannin stole home on a wild pitch and Dotson was knocked in by Devin Varney on an RBI single to right field.
Neither team scored during most of the game with the Hillbillies leading with a two run lead. Belfry scored two more runs in the seventh to tie up the ball game. Fannin singled to right and advanced after Cameron Catron and Dotson walked to third base. Fannin crossed the plate when Tyler Fields hit a RBI grounder to second, Catron scored after stealing home on a wild pitch.
The ninth inning was when the real action began. Belfry was up to bat first and the first two batters up were struck out by Man’s pitcher Keefer. With two outs Catron walked and scored on a throwing error. Dotson was safe on an error and the Fields was safe on an error, Varney walked and the bases were loaded. Nate Sanger recorded an RBI but it was from a walk.
Keilan Carr continued the action on an RBI single to deep third the Kaleb Taylor hit an RBI single to right field. Avery browning stepped up and hit a two-run single to center field.
Belfry held Man to only six runs in the ninth. Dylan Goodman made it on base after a Belfry error then everything broke loose for the Hillbillies, including the sky, as the rain and cold wind moved right into the game. With two outs and one runner on second Adkins walked, Simpson walked, and Keefer hit a grand-slam home run deep over left field fence.
After the pirates had scored two runs in the seventh and tied up the game for extra innings the Hillbillies looked like they were going to take the game back after Keefer’s grand-slam. The next three batters for Man walked as Fannin was rattled by Keefer’s big hit. Goodman hit an RBI single to center field and was thrown out at second before the second run could score for Man. This ended the game and you can bet the Hillbillies were not happy about it.
Despite the last inning fiasco that personified why we watch baseball the game was hard to watch. Out of the 21 runs scored only three of them were earned, there were a total of 15 errors made by both teams combined.
Fannin and Keefer closed for their respective teams. Kaleb Taylor pitched six strong innings for Belfry and gave up only four runs and struck out five batters and gave three free rides to first base. Jake Adkins pitched a little over six innings for Man and gave up four runs, had 13 strikeouts and had seven walks.
The Pirates were scheduled to play Shelby Valley at home on Monday evening and will host Mingo Central on Tuesday evening at 5:30 p.m. The Pirates are scheduled to have the next four games at home.
Scores by innings:
Belfry (10-3) 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 7 — 11 6 7
Man (2-7) 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 — 10 5 8
(William Plaster is the sports reporter for the Williamson Daily News, he can be reached at 304-235-4242 ext. 2274 or at email@example.com or on twitter @sidplaster)