SHENANDOAH JUNCTION – Tied 3-3 going into the sixth inning, the oft-dangerous Trojans looked as if they had the Cougars (11-1) on the ropes. Then, with two outs, Zac Rose stepped up to the plate and picked up his first triple of the season to deny Hampshire (3-8) the joy of a sectional win.
Rose wouldn’t just close the game – he opened it as well. A two-out single to right field would allow Cory Daly to see home for his first run of the night. Rose would soon be picked off at second by Eli Hott on a steal attempt to end the half.
A quick 1-2-3 for the Trojans would put the Cougars back on the plate, but neither team would see a score in the second inning. Hampshire found their first run in the top of the third – a fly to center field by Tra Bryson to bring in Alex Hott – but would pick up their third out on a fly to Daly at shortstop.
Jefferson broke the 1-1 tie in the bottom of the fourth with Dylan McCartney’s single to right field, bringing in Coleson Titus from second and Taylor Tennant from first.
Hampshire responded in the top of the fifth with two runs of their own, first off the bat of Collin Sulser followed by Luke Carroll’s triple. Tennant immediately followed with a strikeout to end the half inning.
Two scoreless halves later, Rose delivered the dagger. Cullen Horowicz followed Rose with a single to left field to bring in Chase Anderson. A fly out by Kamien Gonzalez and another 1-2-3 by the Cougars sealed the deal with Jefferson on top. The Cougars are now 2-0 against sectional opponents – a good start if they wish to host the Section 2 tournament.
With no runs of his own, Rose was the standout on the plate with a 2-4, four-RBI performance.
On the mound, Tennant pitched for all seven innings giving up just one walk. The Trojans’ seven hits constituted for the team’s three runs, none of which were earned. Tennant struck out nine through 31 batters faced.
Due to weather canceling Friday night’s game against Greenbrier East, the Cougars will now face the Spartans (6-9) in a Saturday doubleheader kicking off at 2 p.m.