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BC Blasts UVA- Wise

KINGSPORT, Tenn. Bluefield ace David Gibson only lasted two innings on Saturday afternoon in the opening round of the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament.

May 9, 2010

KINGSPORT, Tenn.   Bluefield ace David Gibson only lasted two innings on Saturday afternoon in the opening round of the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament.

 

Normally that would be a bad thing. On this day, it may have been the perfect scenario.

 

Jeremiah McMillian led a 20-hit attack with a triple, double, two singles and six runs batted in, as the Rams pounded the University of Virginia's College at Wise 17-2 at Hunter Wright Stadium.

 

Bluefield (36-13) will play Bryan in a second-round contest on Monday at 7:30 p.m. The Lions upset second-seeded Union 5-3 on the same afternoon. The Rams swept Bryan in a tripleheader at Bowen Field earlier this season.

 

"I call it the overtime tripleheader because that is what it felt like," Bluefield head coach Mike White said. "They've got a good club. It's going to be something where we're going to have to come out and play hard. I think if we do what we're supposed to do we'll take our chances."

 

The third-seeded Rams wasted no time putting this one away, scoring four runs in the first, followed by six and five over the next two innings for 15 runs on 15 hits in the first three frames.

 

Bluefield finished the game with 20 hits, including seven doubles and two triples.

 

"You don't expect this in tournament baseball, but the kids came out and we got going early," White said. "They came out and wanted to set the tone and we were able to do that from the get-go. You don't expect it, but you will sure take it when it happens."

 

With all that offense, Gibson (10-3) only had to work two innings, allowing three hits and one unearned run.

 

Andy Podolak, Mike Newton and Donald Howell finished up the seven-inning affair for the Rams.

 

The fact that Gibson is now available to pitch on Monday wasn't lost on Bluefield.

 

"I told Gibson last night," Bluefield senior Tony Singleton said, "we knew we were the visiting team so I said if we get up by five or six runs we're taking you out. He just looked at me and he wanted to laugh."

 

That was the plan, and the Rams were able to make it happen. Travis Weaver added five hits — including a triple — and scored four runs for Bluefield, while his brother, Andrew Weaver, added two doubles, two singles and also scored four runs.

 

"That is the thing in tournament play," Singleton said. "Whoever is swinging it and who throws it the best, that is how it goes."

 

Andrew Weaver, Ryan Lambert and Zac Goodyear drove in three runs for Bluefield, while Devin Good scored three times, as the Rams received hits from eight of their nine starters in the lineup.

 

"That is kind of how we are set up, we have been able to do that for a while now," White said. "When you've got good players, stuff like that is going to happen. We've got great kids that come and play the game hard and treat it right. It is fun when it is like that."

 

Surprisingly, Singleton managed just one hit, despite entering the game leading the Rams with a .441 batting average. That hit was an RBI double, his team-leading 19th of the season.

 

"I struggled a little bit, I looked at some pitches I shouldn't have and swung at some pitches I shouldn't have," he said, "but coming out Monday, I'll fix it."

 

Virginia-Wise (27-20) finished with nine hits, including two apiece from Luis Roa and Tommy Meier, but the Cavaliers trailed 4-1, 10-1 and 15-2 after the first three innings.

 

Jonathan Hawkins took the loss, allowing 10 hits and nine earned runs before leaving after two frames.

 

"They can hit the ball, they came out and set the tempo, and we couldn't get anything stopped," Virginia-Wise head coach Hank Banner said. "We're kind of down in our staff a little bit, we've got a couple of injuries, but (Hawkins) just didn't have it today.

 

"He's thrown some good innings for us, but we didn't have a real good matchup for them. If you don't have a couple or three pitches it is going to be a long day for you."

 

Bluefield sent 26 batters to the plate in the first three innings, with the top six batters in the order going 13-for-14 in those frames, with 15 runs scored and 10 runs batted in. No wonder the Rams could afford to cut Gibson's work short for the day.

 

"We've got the whole staff available now, that was one of the things when we jumped out early like that, from an offensive standpoint we talked about it," White said. "If we can get out early we can get him out of there and now we're able to flip our whole staff over just like today was a bullpen performance."

 

The other three members of the Bluefield batting order did just fine as well, with Goodyear collecting a two-run double and Singleton adding a run-scoring double of his own.

 

"That's what they're supposed to do," said White, who came to Bluefield five years ago after a stint as an assistant at Virginia-Wise.

 

"I've got great kids that have bought into what we are trying to do and we've been fortunate to have some success with it and it has been fun with this group."

 

Bluefield will now advance to play Bryan, with the winner continuing on without a loss in the double-elimination event. The Rams are confident they'll be that team.

 

"We are determined to win this, I feel like we are sitting in the driver's seat," Singleton said.

 

"Bryan is going to be tough, but I think we're all right, especially saving Gibson today and giving him an extra day of rest so five more innnings from him.

 

"We are going to be set, it will be good."

 

at Hunter Wright Stadium

Bluefield........................465 002 0 — 17 20 3

Virginia-Wise................101 000 0 — 2 9 4

David Gibson, Andy Podolak (3), Mike Newton (5), Donald Howell (7) and K.J. Sobolewski. Jonathan Hawkins, Preston Smith (3), Jonathan Cox (4), Josh Guizar (7) and Tommy Meier, Kirby Bush (7). W—Gibson (10-3); L—Hawkins (6-2). HR—none.

 

Courtesy of Brian Woodson/ Bluefield Daily Telegraph

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