At times, baseball can be a war of attrition. That was the case on Thursday when Pineville hosted Williamsburg. It was a shoot out until the final out was thrown with the Yellow Jackets coming out on top 11-9.
“The game as a whole, we dug ourselves a hole early. We gave them three in the top of the first,” said Pineville coach Chris Murphy. “They scored 11 tonight but only four of them were earned. That’s the tough part about this game — we did the things we had to do, we just didn’t make enough plays to win the game.”
“I’m proud of my guys. They battled all night. The hitting came around tonight. Finally, we started hitting the ball. Tonight, we just didn’t field the ball. We’ve been fielding great lately, and tonight we just did the opposite. If we can put both of them together, I think this team has got a chance to do good things.”
The Mountain Lions had opportunities in the sixth and seventh to tie or take the lead. Down by three heading into the bottom half of the sixth, Pineville scored a run to cut the deficit to 10-8 with two outs on the board. A strike out left the tying runs at the corners.
The Jackets increased the lead back to three (11-8) in the seventh with the top of the lineup at-bat for the Lions. An RBI double by Will Adams cut the lead to two.
Pineville loaded the bases with two outs and the game winning run on first, but a strike out by Nike Mason cut the comeback bid short with Williamsburg grabbing the victory.
Adams was credited with the loss after four innings of work. The senior ace entered the game in the fourth and helped the Lions tie the game twice. He finished the night with five strikeouts while allowing two hits and four runs.
Adams paced Pineville at the plate with four hits, two RBIs and two runs. Reese Capps scored two runs on three hits, and Tucker Woolum tallied three hits, three run and a RBI.
Deon Coffman, Stephen Redecker and Charles Baker each tallied two hits apiece as well.
“I kind of switched some things up lineup-wise. I’ve been having Will (Adams) lead off and I put Tucker (Woolum) in the three, and it just hasn’t been working,” said Murphy. “I switched it up and I moved Reese (Capps) up to lead off and then put Tucker in the two and Will in the three. It paid off tonight. They all had two or more hits apiece.”
Hunter Brown led Williamsburg at the plate going 3-for-5 with five RBIs and three runs. Darrell White earned the win on the mound for the Jackets while allowing nine hits and six runs. He finished with six strikeouts.
Williamsburg took an early 3-0 lead in the first inning. The team increased the lead to 4-0 in the top of the third when Brown scored on an error.
Pineville turned things around in the bottom half of the third. The team went on a four-run rally to tie the game. Capps got on base with a double before crossing home on the Woolum RBI to cut the lead to 4-1.
A bases loaded single by Redecker scored Woolum and Adams to narrow the deficit to 4-3. An RBI single by Coffman tied the game at 4-4 with no outs on the board. The Jackets slowed the momentum with a double play before throwing Baker out at second to end the inning.
Williamsburg added three more runs to the scoreboard in the top of the fourth. Cameron Bowen scored on a fielding error to give the Jackets a 5-4 lead. An RBI triple by Brown increased the lead to two runs before he eventually crossed home plate to widen the margin to 7-4.
Reluctant to go away, the Lions fought back in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game again. Capps scored on an error to cut the lead to 7-5. Woolum scored on the RBI single from Adams to cut the lead to one. An RBI single from Mason tied the game at 7-7 at the end of four.
The Jackets outscored Pineville 4-2 down the stretch to earn the two-run victory.
Pineville (4-7) will travel to Jellico, Tennessee at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.
Williamsburg (5-6) traveled to Bell County (3-7) at 6 p.m. on Friday.
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN