Rams' rally comes up short in home opener
After falling behind 8-0 in the second inning, Bluefield's rally came up on run short in the first home game of the 2013 season.
March 10, 2013
BLUEFIELD, Va. – Bluefield dropped its home opener, 9-8, against Pikeville on Saturday night at Bowen Field.
With the loss, the Rams dropped to 7-11 (2-5 Mid-South Conference) on the season.
Pikeville (6-7, 1-0 MSC) got on the board early, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning. With two runners on, Andy Gumm singled to left field. Sean Ryan came around to score on a wild throw from Bluefield outfield Kyle Long for the opening run of the game. Two batters later, Pat O’Brien brought in two runs on a single to right field.
In the top of the second inning, Pikeville’s Erik Manning came up with the bases loaded and singled to right field, bringing in two more runs. The Bears added two more runs before the end of the inning to pull ahead 8-0.
Bluefield got on the board in the bottom half of the second. Chris Rosa scored from third on a groundout to second by Kaleb Long. Will Simpson grounded to short on the next play and reached first on a fielder’s choice. Jamie Blackwell scored on the play to cut the lead to six runs.
Bluefield’s Zach Russell-Myers led off the bottom of the third with a solo homerun to right field. In the bottom of the fourth, Kyle Long knocked a 2-RBI triple to right-centerfield. Two batters later, Christian Burton reached on an error by Gumm to score Long.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Kyle Long closed the deficit to 8-7, bringing in his brother Kaleb on a single to centerfield.
Bluefield pitcher Sean Williams shut Pikeville down on the mound between the third and seventh innings. He retired 14 consecutive Bears during the stretch, including a span where he struck out nine-of-eleven batters.
In the top of the seventh, Bryan Bradley reached on an infield single, and scored on a single by Adams to put the Bears up 9-7.
Bluefield scored one more run in the eighth inning on an RBI single by Rosa.
Corey Gilligan got the start on the mound for Pikeville, giving up seven runs (four earned) on ten hits in 4.1 innings. Mike Rappazzo relieved him and earned the win, pitching the final 4.2 innings. He gave up one unearned run and struck out three batters while giving up only three hits.
Williams picked up the loss for Bluefield. He struck out 11 Bears in 6.2 innings, while giving up nine runs (six earned) on ten hits and two walks.
Taylor Marshall pitched 2.1 relief innings for the Rams, giving up one hit and striking out two.
Kyle Long was 2-3 with 3 RBIs and scored a run. Russell-Myers and Burton each went 2-5 with one RBI.
Both teams return to the field on Sunday afternoon for a double-header, scheduled to start at 1 p.m. at Bowen Field.
The Rams were originally scheduled to open their home schedule last weekend against Shawnee State, but weather problems moved the games to Portsmouth, Ohio.