CHARLESTON, W.Va. — South Charleston kept its season going by scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh to defeat George Washington, 11-10, in walk-off fashion in Region 3, Section 3 baseball action Tuesday night.
With the season on the line, the Black Eagles coughed up four-run leads on separate occasions, and then squandered a one-run lead in the top of the seventh. SC, however, recovered to send the best-of-three series to a winner-take-all elimination game Wednesday at George Washington.
South Charleston (16-12) scored two runs without a hit in the seventh. The Patriots (20-13) committed two errors, walked two hitters — one of which forced in the tying run — and SC sealed the wild win with a hit batsmen.
Trailing 10-9 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Zach Wright struck out to begin the frame. SC looked to be in trouble when leadoff hitter Isaiah Moss popped up right in front of the plate, where three different GW players converged on the ball. Patriots pitcher Garrett Vogelbach came charging in from the mound, along with catcher Connor Moffatt and third baseman Josh Petit. None of the defenders could field the ball, though, with it hitting the ground.
With newfound hope, the Black Eagles took full advantage when Zach Lively walked and Antonio Brown reached on an error. With the bases loaded and one out, Trevor Sampson walked to force in the tying run, and Cole Lanier was hit on the arm to end the game.
South Charleston coach Kenny Samms was proud of the way his Black Eagles stuck together and found a way to keep their season going.
“They had enough heart to come back and get this victory,” Samms said. “They responded and any time you see your team come back like that, it’s a great feeling. You know they have the heart to want to continue playing.”
GW coach Chad Campbell admitted the errors hurt his Patriots in the seventh inning, but indicated it was simply a part of the game.
“That is high school baseball,” Campbell said. “That is why they aren’t getting paid to play. Those mistakes will happen. You have to overcome adversity and tonight they did it a little better job than we did.”
Campbell said the decisive third game is the norm for the Kanawha County rivals.
“It’s never easy when we meet in the sectionals,” he said. “Usually neither team sweeps this. It doesn’t happen. You just don’t come and bang two out in a row. We knew it was going to be a dog fight.
“Hats off to South Charleston. They did what they had to do in the end. They had the last at-bat. We will be ready, though. Our guys will be ready to play and it will feed us and want to get at it I hope.”