Jun. 17—BLUEFIELD — Bluefield saved its best Bowen Field effort for a winning finale.
A trio of crooked numbers pushed the Beavers straight to victory Wednesday. Scoring three runs in the first, three more in the fourth, and three in the sixth, and the Beavers (25-4) avenged earlier three earlier losses to Independence (22-4) and toppled the Patriots 10-0 in the second of three contests for the Region 3, Class A title.
The two teams play again tonight at Independence at 6 p.m. for a berth in the state tournament at Charleston on June 24-26.
Brandon Wiley led the way for BHS on the bases, with 3 walks, 5 steals and an RBI single in his only official at bat while Carson Deeb twirled a three-hit shoutout, had a pair of base hits and scored the winning run when Kerry Collins was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth frame. Overall, Bluefield pounded out 11 hits.
“We did not want this [game] to end our season,” beamed Deeb after the finish. “It was good to end at Bowen like this but we want to keep on playing for a couple more weeks. Independence is such a good team — I knew I could not expect a lot of strikeouts so I was relying on my defense and they really came through.”
The Patriots, poised to strike early as in a pair of previous games, were swiftly and suddenly turned away by the Beaver defense in the top of the first and left ally pair of runners on.
Bluefield then turned the contest in the bottom of the inning. Wiley walked, Deeb singled, and then Hunter Harmon looped a triple to dead center, scoring both runners and giving the Beavers, who never trailed, a 2-0 lead. Collins then laced a double to right center to plate Harmon.
“That first inning was huge for us,” noted BHS coach Jimmy Redmond. “Our guys finally got to see the results of doing the job both offensively and defensively against an outstanding team in a crucial situation. I cannot say enough for Carson’s senior leadership tonight. He took us on his shoulders. Brandon was great all game and the whole team played up to its capability. Now, we have to carry that momentum to Independence, on the road and against one of the best teams in the state. We have a chance and that’s all any team can ask.”
Wiley walked with one out in the second, stole a base, and scored on Deeb’s hot shot single to deep short for a 4-0 advantage.
He walked again, stole two mores bases in the fourth, and ignited another rally. Deeb tripled to right for an RBI, then following an error, the hot-hitting Collins slapped a single as Harmon scored and the rally continued.
In the winning inning, Ryker Brown started things with a triple. Wiley singled him home, then scored later on an error to make it 9-0. With the bases loaded and Deeb around to third, Collins was hit by a pitch and the game ended on the 10-run rule.
“We were ready tonight,” grinned Wiley, whose quickness and confident play was a key for the Beavers all game. In addition, the dandy infield defense was poised with stellar glove work and strong throws by Brown, Harmon and Caleb Fuller.
The outstanding defensive play of the game was a grab by Independences’s Atticus Goodson, who robbed Brown of an extra base hit in the fourth inning.
“I hope we play better tonight,” said Patriot coach Scott Cuthbert. “Bluefield is a fine team and trying to beat somebody three or four times in a row is a really tough task. We look forward to doing a better job Thursday on our own field.”
At Bowen Field
Bluefield 10, Independence 0
Independence………000 00 — 0 3 2
Bluefield………………310 33 — 10 11 0
McKinney, Schoolcraft, Darnell and Daniels. Deeb and Redmond. W— Deeb. L— McKinney. HR — none.