RIPLEY, W.Va. — They dug out of one hole … and quickly fell into another.
The Point Pleasant baseball team overcame a 5-2 deficit, but host Ripley rallied for four of the final seven scores and ultimately held on Thursday night for a 9-8 decision in a non-conference matchup in Jackson County.
The visiting Big Blacks (11-4) took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as a pair of errors allowed Miles Williams to both reach base and eventually score, but the Vikings countered with two runs in their half of the opening frame for a 2-1 edge.
The Red and Black rallied to tie things at two in the second as Tanner Mitchell lifted a sacrifice fly to right that allowed Brody Jeffers to score from third.
RHS, however, answered by scoring three times in the bottom of the second while building a 5-2 cushion.
The Big Blacks retaliated by tying things up in the third as Carter Smith reached second base safely on a one-out error, then came around to score on a single from Hunter Blain.
Joel Beattie followed with a one-out homer to right-center that plated Blain while also tying the contest at five apiece.
PPHS secured its final lead of the night in the top of the fourth as Smith delivered a one-out single to left that allowed Williams to come home from third for a 6-5 contest.
Ripley answered with three runs in its half of the fourth for a permanent lead of 8-6, then tacked on an insurance run in the fifth to extend its lead out to three runs through five complete.
Beattie tripled home Williams with two away in the sixth, then Wyatt Wilson — a courtesy runner for Beattie — came around to score on a Jeffers double that closed the gap down to 9-8.
The guests went down in order in the top of the seventh, allowing the Blue and White to wrap up the one-run outcome.
Point Pleasant outhit the hosts by a 12-9 overall margin and also committed only one of the seven errors in the game. PPHS stranded seven runners on base, while Ripley left five on the bags.
Dane Petersen was the winning pitcher of record after allowing six earned runs, 12 hits and one walk over 6.1 innings while striking out six. Williams took the loss after surrendering four earned runs, four hits and two walks over 4.1 frames of relief while fanning one.
Jeffers paced the Big Blacks with four hits, followed by Williams, Beattie and Kyelar Morrow with two safeties apiece. Smith and Blain also had a hit each in the setback.
Beattie accounted for a team-best three RBIs, while Williams added a team-high three runs scored.
Broedy Boyce led Ripley with three hits and Davis Haynes added two safeties. Ethan Patterson, Josh Carte, Brett Haskins and Kadin Hall also had a hit each in the triumph.
Petersen and Patterson paced RHS with two RBIs apiece. Haskins scored three times, while Boyce and Haynes both crossed home plate twice.
Point Pleasant hosted Gallia Academy in a non-conference doubleheader on Saturday and returns to action Monday when it hosts Winfield at 5 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.