POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — The rubber match goes the way of the Wildcats.
The Point Pleasant baseball team dropped an 8-3 decision at Nitro on March 20, only to turn around and hand the Wildcats a 1-0 setback on April 8, in Chapmanville. PPHS hosted the third and final regular season meeting between these teams on Thursday night, and the guests escaped with a 5-2 victory.
Nitro (6-6) broke the scoreless tie in the top of the second inning, scoring once after after back-to-back Point Pleasant (3-10) errors. NHS pushed across two more runs in the second inning, and then scored once in the third.
The Wildcats took advantage of another PPHS error in the fourth inning, extending their lead to 5-0.
After leaving five runners in scoring position over the first three frames, the Big Blacks finally broke through with two outs in the bottom of the fourth. Point Pleasant’s first run of the game came when Patrick Stanton scored on an Alec Smith double. Smith was then singled in by Miles Williams, cutting the NHS lead to 5-2.
The Big Blacks were retired in order over the final three frames, however, as Nitro claimed the three-run win.
Ryan Hill earned the pitching victory for Nitro, allowing two earned runs on eight hits, while striking out six and walking three in six innings of work. Jason Douglas earned the save, allowing one hit and striking out one batter in the seventh inning.
Williams suffered the loss for Point Pleasant, allowing three runs, one earned, on three hits and four walks in two innings on the mound.
In two innings of relief, Bradley Koons allowed two runs, one earned, on one hit and one walk. Levi Mitchell surrendered three hits and two walks in three shut out innings on the mound. Koons and Mitchell both struck out one batter.
Abe Stearns led the hosts at the plate with a 3-for-3 effort, that included one double. Alec Smith doubled once, scored once and drove in one run, while Williams, Stanton, Hunter Blain, Josh Wamsley and Tucker Mayes each singled once, with Williams driving in one run and Stanton scoring once.
Adam Cavendish led the Nitro offense with a double and an RBI, while Sean Green singled once, scored once and drove home one run. Josh Adkins singled once and scored once for the victors, Douglas, Mike Stone, Matt Hill and Jarrett Dillon each singled once, while Jacob Ilar scored twice and Jay Poindexter scored once.
Point Pleasant committed three errors and left nine runners on base, while the Wildcats had just one error, but stranded 14 runners.
The Big Blacks are back in action on Friday and Saturday in the Jack Cook Tournament.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.