Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
LOGAN Down six runs in the fifth inning, Robert C. Byrd put together a six-run rally against two Chapmanville pitchers to mount a comeback that seemed impossible.
The Eagles were in celebration mode in the top of the seventh inning when the eventual winning run crossed the plate. In the bottom of the inning, Xavier Carvelli shut the door on the Tigers completing the comeback and giving Robert C. Byrd a 7-6 win in the Big 10-Cardinal Conference Challenge Saturday afternoon at Roger E. Gertz Field.
Brayden Thomason singled with one out in the seventh inning and came around to score on a throwing error to give RCB a 7-6 lead.
Chapmanville’s Luke Knight singled with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and stole second, but Carvelli got Talan Thompson to strike out looking on a 3-2 pitch to secure the win for the Eagles.
“I am extremely proud of our guys. Fundamentally, probably not the best game we could have played, we made a couple of bonehead plays there in the third and that was when they scratched four on us,” Robert C. Byrd coach Andrew Smith said. “The mental fortitude did not give up. To play until the last inning and then you find yourself that you are in the game and we get an opportunity to put our foot on the gas and close the door.”
Robert C. Byrd had no answer for Chapmanville starting pitcher Jacob Topping. Topping allowed no runs and one hit in four innings of work before being lifted for Corey Johnson in the fifth inning.
“I thought it was one of the better games he had thrown,” Chapmanville coach Josh Rakes said. “We were kind of on a schedule to get some things set up for next week, try to get some guys some work, I hated to pull him, but we were trying to get some things for the future, and I thought it was one of his better outings.”
Johnson gave up six runs on four hits, walked three and retired just one hitter in the fifth before being lifted for Ian Plumley.
Plumley allowed one unearned run on one hit in 2 2/3 innings of relief. Plumley struck out four, walked one and was tagged with the loss.
“Corey is one of the guys that we are going to be counting on and unfortunately he didn’t have his stuff today,” Rakes said. “Ian was a guy that came in, and he has thrown a couple of times for us this year, and I thought he threw the ball well and kept us in the ballgame.”
Bryce Byrd started the six-run fifth with a bases loaded RBI single scoring Logan Frum. One batter later, Thomason drove in two runs with his two-run single to trim the deficit from 6-1 to 6-3.
Byrd scored on an error to make it 6-4 and Nick George finished the rally with a two-run single tying the game at 6.
“It was just one of those moments where you are wondering how much more did, we have in us, how many more rabbits do we have in the hat that we can pull out,” Smith said. “We put a six spot and I felt extremely blessed and fortunate to do that, but overall we did not scratch regularly. That one opportunity kind of felt like just when this guy (Johnson) comes into the game how much more magic do we have in us.”
Chapmanville led 2-0 after three innings without the benefit of a hit. Brody Dalton scored on a pass ball in the first inning and Knight scored on a wild pitch in the second inning.
Chapmanville tacked on four runs in the fourth inning to extend the lead to 6-0. Knight started the scoring with an RBI to plate Eli Messer to make it 3-0 and Eli Surgoine scored on an error to increase the Tigers advantage to 4-0.
With two outs in the fourth, Andrew Farley came through with a two-run single to plate Braylon Moore and Knight to make it 6-0. Farley’s single was the first hit of the game for the Tigers.
Leading 6-0 after four innings, the Tigers appeared to be in control, but failed to take advantage of Robert C. Byrd starting pitcher Nathan Lhotskey’s control issues. Lhotskey walked eight and hit a batter in three innings.
To make matters worse for Chapmanville, the Tigers left 11 runners on base including leaving eight runners in scoring position and left the bases loaded in the first inning.
“I felt like we came out early and had some good at bats,” Rakes said. “I thought Jacob threw the ball well, we got a lead and then it seemed like the energy and effort just died.”
“Credit to them, they kept with it (especially) when we scored four and they came out scored six and made a ballgame of it,” Rakes said. “We had some opportunities, left a lot of runners on base and those are some things that we got to clean up.”
Carvelli picked up the win in relief after pitching four scoreless innings. Carvelli allowed three hits, struck out six, walked two and hit two batters.
“Carvelli, a freshman, came in in a huge game at a huge moment,” Smith said. “To see him be successful and come in and execute, I am extremely proud for him. Hopefully those opportunities for him pay dividends later down the stretch.”
Thomason had three hits, drove in two runs, scored twice and stole three bases while George had one hit and drove in two runs for Robert C. Byrd. Byrd had one hit and one RBI and Rock had a single for the Eagles.
Farley had one hit and two RBI for Chapmanville. Knight had a run-scoring single, scored two runs and stole two bases while Surgoine had one hit. Brody Dalton stole three bases and scored a run for the Tigers.
Chapmanville (3-1) will travel to Poca Monday evening.
Monday’s contest against the Dots will be the first of five games next week for the Tigers.
Chapmanville will host Scott Tuesday and then host Capital and Shady Spring Friday in a Wooden Bat Tournament. The Tigers will host one pod while Scott will host the other pod. The Tigers will face an opponent from the Scott pod depending on the results of Friday’s games on Saturday.
“We got to learn from it, it is disappointing, and again credit to Robert C. Byrd they stuck with it,” Rakes said. “We got to turn the page, it is a long season, some guys have got to clean some things up, we can’t let it be a hangover and carry into next week.”
“We have Poca Monday then Scott Tuesday and we got the Wooden Bat tournament with a doubleheader Friday and a game Saturday,” Rakes said. “We got to get back on the horse.”