Barboursville beats Bridgeport, 9-8
HUNTINGTON -- When it gets to this level, it seems they just can't get enough of each other.
One garbed in red and black and the other decked out in white with a touch of scarlet pinstripes.
It's Bridgeport. It's Barboursville. It's the state tournament.
The two who met in last year's age 9-10 Little League baseball final in Beckley were at it again during Friday's pool play of the 2011 edition at Huntington League 3.
And the rivalry plot thickened.
Barboursville, which had fits all night producing with runners on-base, came through in the most dramatic of ways, scooting across six in the bottom of the fifth inning and then holding on in the top of the sixth to claim a wild 9-8 win.
"Every time we play them it's a great game," said Barboursville coach Dell Adkins. "Every time. I mean we beat them in pool play last year (18-1), but then they came back and beat us in the state championship game (10-6). ... Great group of coaches, kids.
"It's first class, really."
So fittingly enough the two tangled in a first-class nail-biter.
For nearly a full five innings, it seemed like the defending state champs had a solid grasp on their first game back to this stage.
Bridgeport's top two hurlers -- A.J. Goodwin and Jake Bowen --provided enough stuff to keep Cabell County's finest off-balance. Through four, Barboursville, a team that lit up District 1 play to the tune of 75 runs, had just three on five hits.
Bridgeport was even efficient when Barboursville loaded the bases with none out in the bottom of the fourth with hitters 3-5 up.
Bowen, a mask-wearing righty, was able to retire the power portion of the Barboursville lineup in order to end a huge threat.
But that storyline died in the fifth.
Trailing 8-3, Barboursville needed hits and runs in a hurry.
It all started with a Chandler Morton single.
"He got it going for us," Adkins said. "Had a nice hit up the middle."
Which led to a Chad Heiner base-knock. And an RBI smack from Nic Kuhn. And a RBI double from Griffin Adkins followed by an RBI double from Jayce Gould.
The bats made it 8-7. The hustle made it 9-8 as Gould and Jason Perdue each scored on passed balls.
"The kids, some of them got down, but they never got down as a group," Adkins said of his bunch, which had to overcome six errors. "They didn't let each other get down. They picked each other up.
"So once Chandler got that hit to lead us off there, the kids came out a little more relaxed."
But Adkins' squad still had to play the field in the top of the sixth following its emotional comeback in the bottom of the fifth.
Luckily, they had Perdue on the mound.
The cool lefty got the first two Bridgeport batters to ground out, then shook off a single and a walk to strikeout his opposition's last hope and give Barboursville an early edge in its quest for a state title.
"Jason was huge," Adkins said.
Barboursville is now off Saturday before returning to pool play Sunday to take on District 1 rival Ceredo-Kenova at 6 p.m.
BRIDGEPORT 231 020 -- 8 11 4
BARBOURSVILLE 210 06X --9 9 6
Goodwin, Bowen (4), Robe (5), Pitzer (5) and Zummo. Gould, Kuhn (3), Perdue (5) and Tilley. Hitting: (BR) Goodwin 3-4; Zummo 3-4, RBI; Bowen 2 RBIs. (BA) Adkins 2B, RBI; Gould 2B, 2 RBIs; Heiner 2-3; Kuhn 2-3, RBI.
Friday's pool play
Martinsburg 13, Tygart Valley 1. W -- Farmer.
Sophia 5, Chapmanville 3. W -- Shifflet.
Beckley 3, Madison 1. W -- Tolliver.
Bi-State 17, Fairmont 7. W -- Hare. HR -- (F) Wagner.
Charleston Central 5, Elkins 4 (7 innings).