HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Too many missed opportunities.
The Point Pleasant baseball team stranded 14 baserunners — including at least one in each inning — Friday night during a 4-2 setback to host Huntington in the opening round of the Jack Cook Wood Bat Tournament held at Cook-Holbrook Field in Cabell County.
The Big Blacks (8-9) dropped their third straight decision, but the guests had some good fortunes early on after scoring a run in the top of the first.
Derek King led the game off with a walk, then advanced to third on a one-out single by Matt Richardson. James Littlepage followed with a walk that loaded the bases, then Austin Richardson received a two-out walk that plated King for an early 1-0 edge.
The Highlanders (8-6) answered with a pair of scores in the bottom of the second as Ridge Hickman and Patrick Wagner produced RBI singles, giving the hosts a permanent lead of 2-1.
HHS tacked on another run in the third as Myles Robertson singled home Sam Aulick with one out, giving the hosts a 3-1 edge.
After stranding six on base through three innings of play, Point Pleasant started the fourth with back-to-back singles from Kaleb Beckner and Garrett Litchfield.
Tristan Austin followed with a one-out walk that loaded the bases, then Richardson walked on five pitches —forcing Beckner in to score for a 3-2 deficit. Point followed with a lineout and a ground ball force out to end the frame.
Huntington added an insurance run in the fourth as Kyle Chaffin singled home Patrick Wagner for a 4-2 edge.
Point Pleasant left a pair of runners stranded in the fifth with one out, then got two on with nobody out in the sixth before leaving them stuck at second and third. The guests also had a baserunner in the seventh with one out that eventually was stranded at third as the game ended.
Both teams produced seven hits apiece in the contest, while the Big Blacks committed the only error in the game. The Highlanders also left nine runners on the bags.
Austin suffered the setback after allowing four earned runs, six hits and three walks over three-plus frames while fanning two. King also surrendered a hit and a walk over six innings while striking out three.
Hickman was the winning pitcher of record after allowing two earned runs, seven hits and six walks over five innings while striking out two.
Beckner and Litchfield led PPHS with two hits apiece, followed by King, Matt Richardson and Austin Richardson with a safety each.
Wagner led Huntington with three hits and Chaffin added two safeties, while Robertson and Hickman also had a hit each for the victors.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.
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