HAMLIN, W.Va. — A different approach with similar results.
The Point Pleasant baseball team didn’t have any major offensive explosions, but it still remained unbeaten following a nine-inning 7-6 victory over host Lincoln County on Monday night in a non-conference matchup.
The visiting Big Blacks (3-0) built leads of 3-1 through three innings and were ahead 5-3 after five complete, but the Panthers (1-1) rallied with three runs in the home half of the sixth — giving the Blue and Black a 6-5 cushion headed into the final inning of regulation.
Miles Williams received a one-out walk in the top of the seventh, then stole second and later came around with the game-tying run following a one-out single by Brody Jeffers — which ultimately left the contest tied at six through regulation.
LCHS sent the minimal three batters to the plate in the bottom half of the seventh, forcing extra innings.
Both teams came up empty in the run department during the eighth frame, but PPHS made its move in the top of the ninth after Williams led the inning off with a single.
An error allowed Williams to advance to second, then a groundout moved Williams to third with two away in the frame.
Kyelar Morrow produced a ground ball down the third base line that eventually resulted in a throwing error, and Williams scored on the miscue — giving Point Pleasant a 7-6 cushion midway through the ninth frame.
The Panthers started the home half of the ninth with a hit batter, but a fielder’s choice led to that leadoff batter being forced out at second.
LCHS then received back-to-back walks that loaded the bases with only out in the frame, but the Red and Black induced a strikeout and a groundout over the course of the next two batters — which ultimately allowed the guests to avoid disaster and sneak away with the hard-fought one-run triumph.
Point Pleasant outhit the hosts by a 9-5 overall margin and also committed three of the nine errors in the game. Both teams stranded nine runners on base.
Williams gave PPHS its first lead of the night with a one-out, bases-loaded double that turned a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 cushion midway through the third.
The Panthers pulled to within 3-2 through four complete, but Point used a single and a one-out error to put Hunter Blain and Williams at the corners — then Jeffers provided a sacrifice fly to right that plated Blain for a 4-2 edge.
Williams later scored a Joel Beattie double that increased the lead to 5-2 midway through five frames.
Lincoln County plated a run in the fifth, then used three walks and two singles to produce three more runs in the sixth while securing a 6-5 cushion.
Williams capped a monster night at the plate by also picking up the winning decision after working 3⅓ innings of relief, allowing zero hits and just two walks while striking out five.
Williams also went 3-for-4 at the plate and drove in three runs while scoring three times — all team-highs.
Blain and Beattie were next with two hits apiece, followed by Jeffers and Morrow with a safety each. Blain scored twice, while Carter Smith and Sam Pinkerton also provided a run apiece. Beattie had two RBIs and Jeffers also drove in a run.
Trace Adkins suffered the setback for the Panthers, allowing two runs (one earned), three hits and one walk over four innings of relief while fanning five.
Matt Slone led LCHS with two hits, followed by Eli Brogan, Davy McKinney and Jaylen Barnett with a safety each.
Adkins had a team-best two runs scored. Brogan and Barnett both knocked in two RBIs apiece.
Point Pleasant has scored 40 runs and produced 34 hits in three victories this season, including games with a nine-run surge and a 15-run outburst within a single inning.
The unbeaten Big Blacks return to action Friday when they host Wahama at 7 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.