Prep baseball: Patriots earn wild win over Black Eagles
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- There didn't need to be a full moon on Thursday night for a George Washington-South Charleston baseball game to feature double-digit runs for both teams in a contest that goes down to the wire.
So, there were no surprises at Bryan-McIlwain Field when the teams combined for 26 hits, seven errors and four wild pitches in a 13-12 George Washington victory.
In their last seven meetings, one team has scored at least double-digit runs in every game, which includes their sectional confrontations.
On Thursday the Patriots (14-9), with their .317 team batting average, received a big effort from Florida transplant John Thomas, who went 4-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI.
"This guy right here, he came out of his shell tonight," said GW Coach Chad Campbell, pointing to the sophomore leadoff hitter. "I told him before we came to this game, I said, 'You're going to see a different kind of game tonight. It's a rivalry game.' He gets on third base and I said, 'John, this isn't even sectionals yet.' "
The seven-inning contest resembled a basketball game at times with three lead changes and GW scoring four runs in the second and eight in the fifth, and South Charleston putting up six in the second and four in the sixth.
Both teams started freshman pitchers, not willing to show their best with the Class AAA Region 3 Section 3 tournament looming in two weeks.
Austin Henrich went two innings for GW, giving way to sophomore Grant Wooten in the third inning.
South Charleston Coach Kenny Samms opened the game with ninth-grader Trevor Sampson before relieving with experience in the second with senior Austin Santrock.
The Black Eagles (12-9) received a 3-for-3, four RBI performance from Santrock. Senior Jonathan Cline went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI.
Austin Griffith and Tanner Sorrells each had a pair of hits for the Patriots, who won't play South Charleston again in the regular season.
The result remained in question in the seventh inning when the Patriots led 13-12 and Antonio Brown - who was 3-for-4 for SC - led off the seventh with a single. A Santrock sacrifice bunt moved him to second base before Wooten struck out Pauley on a 1-2 pitch.
Sampson then lifted a 1-0 pitch to right field, which was secured by Thomas to end the game.
"We were good for three or four innings tonight and we were bad for a couple innings," said Campbell, whose team surrendered four runs with two outs in the second. "We had two bad innings tonight because of focus. We're the worst two-out team in America right now.
"We get two outs on guys and we don't keep focus. We have to play the game like bases are loaded, every pitch, so you're ready to play. I think we relax sometimes."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-4837.