POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — It took a little longer, but the Marauders eventually got there.
The Meigs baseball team needed eight innings to secure its first 20-win season since the 2012 campaign Tuesday night following an 8-6 victory over host Point Pleasant in a non-conference matchup in Mason County.
The visiting Marauders (20-5) claimed an early four-run cushion following a Cody Bartrum grand slam to left-center in the top of the first, but the Big Blacks (13-11) countered with a pair of long balls and six consecutive runs en route to a 6-4 cushion through four complete.
MHS, however, answered with a homer and pair of singles that tied the game in the top of the sixth — leading to a six-all tie that lasted through seven complete innings.
The Marauders then seized control of things in the eighth frame as K.J. Tracy led things off with a single, then advanced to third on a Christian Mattox double.
Kaileb Sheets provided the eventual game-winning RBI with a sacrifice fly to left that plated Tracy, then Mattox added an insurance run after Bartrum delivered a RBI single for an 8-6 cushion.
Justice Chapman singled with one-out in the home half of the eighth, but followed with consecutive outs while dropping their second straight overall decision.
The Marauders outhit the hosts by a 13-7 overall margin and committed three of the five errors in the contest. MHS stranded nine runners on base and the hosts left five on the bags.
Trailing 4-0 headed into the bottom of the second, James Littlepage started the inning by lifting a solo shot to left-center for a three-run deficit. Chapman followed with a single and was replaced on the base path by Trey Tucker, who later scored on a two-out error for a 4-2 contest through two complete.
Chapman doubled with one out in the fourth and was again replaced but Tucker as a courtesy runner, then Abe Stearns received a walk. Tucker scored on an error that allowed Kaleb Beckner to reach safely, then Derek King blasted a three-run homer to left-center for a 6-4 Big Blacks’ advantage.
Sheets led off the top of the fifth with the fourth and final home run to left-center field Tuesday night, making it a 6-5 contest. MHS followed with back-to-back singles from Bartrum and Layne Acree, with Bartrum’s run tying things up at six apiece.
The Marauders had numerous other opportunities to score throughout the contest, which included leaving the bases loaded with two outs in the sixth.
The guests also left runners at first and third with one out in the third and two outs in the fifth, as well as stranding a runner at third with one away in the fourth.
Point Pleasant, conversely, left only one player in scoring position stranded — which came with a runner at second with nobody out in the bottom of the first.
Chase Whitlatch was the winning pitcher of record after allowing only two hits while striking out four in two innings of relief work.
Sheets was the Meigs starter and lasted six innings, allowing six runs (four earned), five hits and a walk while fanning five.
Matt Richardson was saddled with loss after allowing two earned runs, three hits and a walk over two-plus innings of relief while striking out two.
Tristan Austin lasted five innings as the Point starter, surrendering six earned runs, eight hits and two walks while fanning two. Stearns also worked an inning of scoreless relief, giving up two hits while striking out one.
Bartrum paced the Maroon and Gold with a 5-for-5 effort at the plate to go along with five RBIs and two runs scored. Sheets was next with three hits, two RBIs and a pair of stolen bases.
Mattox, Whitlatch, Acree, Tracy and Luke Musser all had a hit apiece for the victors. Mattox and Sheets also scored two runs each.
Chapman led PPHS with three hits, followed by Richardson, Littlepage, King and Chris Lush with a safety apiece.
King paced the Big Blacks with three RBIs and Littlepage also drove in a run. Tucker scored twice in the setback, while Littlepage, King, Stearns and Beckner each crossed home plate once.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.
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