Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
MAN Caleb Blevins hit a grand slam and drove in five runs to lead Class A No. 3 Man to a 11-5 win over No. 4 Sherman in a battle of top ranked Class A teams Wednesday evening at William Tootie Carter Field.
Blevins’ grand slam over the left field fence capped off a five-run second inning and was his team leading third home run of the season. Blevins is also tied with Logan’s Dawson Maynard, who hit his third home run of the season in the first inning of Wednesday’s game with Chapmanville, for the Logan County home run lead.
For Blevins, his grand slam off Sherman starter Josh Jenkins was a little extract of redemption, for Man’s 5-4 loss to the Tide on March 27 at Seth.
In that previous contest, Jenkins hit a walk off two-run home run off Blevins to give the Tide a come-from-behind victory.
There would be no such heroics from Jenkins this time around as Man scored the game’s first six runs and held off the Tide to even the season series and stake claim to the top seed in the upcoming Class A Region 4 Section 1 tournament.
Man got a run in the first when Preston Blankenship’s single plated Jace Adkins with the game’s first run.
The Hillbillies added to their lead in the second when Caleb Vance reached on a bunt single allowing Braxton Messer to score to give Man a 2-0 lead.
Following a Colton Miller sacrifice bunt, Adkins was hit by the pitch and Brady Hall-Montgomery walked to load the bases for Blevins, whose grand slam gave Man a 6-0 lead.
Trailing 6-0, Sherman plated four runs in the third to draw within two runs, 6-4, but Man answered with a run in the fourth and led 7-4 after four innings.
Holden Allen’s two-out single got Sherman on the board in the second inning cutting the deficit to 6-2.
Josh Jenkins drew a walk to load the bases and chase Man starter Blankenship from the contest.
Seth Ward drew a walk off reliever Messer to bring Sherman within three, 6-3, and Jared Butcher followed with a walk to cut the deficit to 6-4 prompted another Hillbilly pitching change.
Vance came in and got Tristian Clemens to ground out ending the third inning.
Man plated a run in the bottom of the fourth when Vance scored on Adkins’ bunt single giving Man a 7-4 lead after four.
Jenkins hit a solo home run in the fifth to bring Sherman within two, 7-5, but Man scored the final four runs of the contest to walk away with the victory.
Preston Blankenship scored on Bo Thompson’s sacrifice bunt giving Man an 8-5 lead after five.
Brady Hall-Montgomery scored on an error to increase Man’s advantage to 9-5 in the sixth and Drake Veres added a two-run single scoring Blevins and Blankenship to put Man ahead 11-5 after six innings.
Blankenship picked up the win for Man. The right-hander went 2 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on one hit, allowed three walks and struck out seven. Messer walked the only two batters he faced and Vance closed the game allowing one run on one hit with four walks and six strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings of relief.
Jenkins suffered the loss for Sherman after allowing 11 runs on 10 hits with four walks and five strikeouts in six innings.
Allen had one hit and two RBIs for Sherman. Jenkins had one hit while Butcher and Ward each drove in a run for the Tide.
Blevins had one hit, scored two runs and drove in five for Man. Adkins, Blankenship and Vance each had two hits, scored two runs and drove in one run while Veres had two hits and drove in two runs and Messer had one hit for the Hillbillies.