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Messer strikes out 14, Hillbillies hold off Tigers

Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports


CHAPMANVILLE  Man junior Braxton Messer matched his season high with 14 strikeouts in six innings and the Class A No. 7 Hillbillies beat county rival Chapmanville 5-3 Monday night at Ted Ellis Field.


Bo Thompson had two hits, including a two-run single in the top of the third to break a 2-2 tie, and drove in two runs as the Hillbillies swept the season series with the Tigers for the first time since 2021. Messer added a pair of doubles and Landon Cantrell a pair of singles.


Messer, who improved to 5-1 on the season, pitched around traffic on the base paths for much of the game as Chapmanville left 10 runners on base including six in scoring position.


Messer was lifted after throwing 109 pitches, 70 for strikes, through six innings. Eleven of the Messer’s 14 strikeouts were swinging strikeouts and he allowed three runs on nine hits and two walks, one intentionally.


Thompson worked a scoreless seventh for his third save of the season, but not before Chapmanville put the tying runs on base. Thompson got Nate Easterling to ground into a fielder’s choice for the final out as Man improved to 13-5 on the season.


Messer and Thompson combined to strike out 16 Chapmanville hitters in the win.


Andrew Farley had three hits and one RBI for Chapmanville. Talan Thompson and Andrew Topping each had two hits and one RBI for the Tigers, who have lost nine of 11 and are 5-14 on the year.


Gavyn Cline got the Hillbillies on the board when he scored on a throwing error in the first inning, and Messer scored on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 2-0.


Farley’s run-scoring single in the bottom of the first cut Man’s lead to 2-1 scoring Topping, who reached on a one out single and moved to second on Thompson’s single.


The Tigers tied the game at 2 when Topping singled to score AJ Motto in the bottom of the second. On the same play, catcher Gunner Lucas was thrown out at home by center fielder Cantrell trying to score from second base to end the inning.


Noah Maynor led off the third for Man with a single and Messer added a two out double giving the Hillbillies runners at second and third. Thompson then made it 4-2 with a two-run single scoring Maynor and Messer.


Man extended the lead to 5-2 in the fourth inning when courtesy runner Noah Frazier scored on an error.


In the bottom of the fourth, Thompson narrowly missed a two-run home run, settling for a run-scoring double to trim the deficit to 5-3.


Levi Kazee allowed five runs – two earned – in five innings. Kazee allowed seven hits and struck out two in a losing effort. Topping allowed two hits and struck out three in two innings of relief.


Motto had two hits and scored two runs and Easterling and Lucas each had one hit for Chapmanville.


Cline and Maynor each had one hit and each scored a run for the Hillbillies.


Chapmanville will travel to ninth-ranked Logan Tuesday evening while Man hosts Sherman on Tuesday.



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