Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
BUFFALO Buffalo sophomore Anthony Pitchford tossed a complete-game one hit shutout as the top-seeded Bison defeated the second seed Man Hillbillies, 5-0, in the Class A Region 4 Section 1 tournament Wednesday night at Buffalo High School.
Pitchford struck out eight and walked two in seven innings as Buffalo improved to 14-1 overall and advanced to Satruday’s Class A Region 4 Section 1 championship. The Bison will host either Man or Tug Valley at 6:30 p.m.
The Bison, the lone remaining unbeaten in sectional play, would have to be defeated twice in the double elimination tournament.
Man’s lone hit was a one out single off the bat of Kaden Dickerson in the fifth inning. Pitchford retired the first eight hitters he faced before Hunter Gibson walked with one out in the third inning and did not allow a Man baserunner to advance past second base.
The Bison got a run in the first off Man starter Braxton Messer when Bryce Downey scored on Caleb Nutter’s groundout to take an early 1-0 lead.
Messer pitched well for Man in defeat. The sophomore right hander allowed five runs on just three hits, struck out 10, walked two batters and hit two batters in six innings of work.
Buffalo, who was in control for the entire game with Pitchford on the hill, broke the game open with a four-run fifth inning.
Caiden Craig doubled to left field to score courtesy runner Harold Thomas to make it 2-0 and Nutter’s bases clearing double scored Craig, Carson Saunders and Downey to push the Bison lead to 5-0.
Nutter went 1-for-3 with a double and four RBIs and Craig was 1-for-3 with a double and one RBI for Buffalo. Attilo Signirini had the Bison’s only other hit and was 1-for-3 at the plate.
Dickerson finished 1-for-2 for Man at the dish. Jace Adkins (0-for-2) and Hunter Gibson (0-for-1) each drew a walk for the Hillbillies.
Man falls to 17-12 overall and will host Tug Valley Friday night in an elimination contest at 6:30 p.m. at William Tootie Carter Field. The Hillbillies beat the Panthers twice during the regular season.
Man won 13-3 at Tug Valley on April 11 and defeated the Panthers 12-0 at William Tootie Carter Field on April 24.