SHENANDOAH JUNCTION– The Cougars looked as if they’d split their second doubleheader in a row, but Chase Anderson had other plans. With a 0-2 count and two outs, Anderson connected on his third pitch for a bouncer toward first baseman Blake Watts who was far off his bag. Cullen Horowicz cruised home, watching to see if Anderson would dig it out to edge the pass.
That he did, and the Cougars’ dugout erupted.
Before Anderson could be subject of a dog pile, the Cougars ran over the Yellow Jackets with ease in their first game, holding them to two runs until the top of the seventh while posting 10.
Moorefield picked up their first run in the game in the top of the first – a ground out by Watts to push in Thomas Williams. The Cougars responded in the bottom with two runs: a score on a wild pitch by Hayden Stang followed by Cory Daly crossing home on Stevie Lee’s sac fly.
Jefferson would be held to just one run through the fourth inning – a double by Zac Rose to bring in Daly – but picked up four more in the bottom of the fifth.
Moorefield posted one more run in the top of the sixth off of a single by Lane Ours bringing in Hayden Baldwin in the process. After two back-to-back strikeouts by Dylan McCartney, the Cougars capped their scoring with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. They tacked on their three on a two-out count off of the bats of Regan Allinger and Will Ricketts.
James Walsh picked up the win for the Cougars, throwing for four innings while only giving up one earned run and two walks. He struck out five in 44 strikes and 75 pitches, facing 17 batters.
Watts took the loss for Moorefield, throwing four innings and giving up three earned runs, two walks and striking out three. He faced 22 batters, logging 61 strikes through 95 pitches (.642).
It took four innings for either team to put points on the board. Moorefield started it off with a single to center field. Jefferson responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the fourth on a two-out count.
The Yellow Jackets exploded for six runs in the top of the fifth to all but seemingly kill the Cougars momentum. Midway thorough the half-inning, head coach John Lowery made the call for his most experienced varsity pitcher to take over in hopes of a win. Taylor Tennant took the mound to immediately get a strikeout, but would give up Moorefield’s final two runs of the inning before the third out came on a tag at home.
Jefferson responded in the bottom of the inning with three runs capped off by a single by Rose to bring in Daly.
With a ton of pressure on his shoulders, Tennant threw perfect in the top of the sixth for a 1-2-3. Jefferson then took the plate to tack on three more runs and tie the game at 7-7. Jefferson then took to the field once more, and in a scary inning allowed M Jenkins to steal third on a wild pitch. On a 2-2 count, Williams would hit a line drive toward Anderson who picked it out of the air ending the half.
All the Cougars needed was a single run.
Horowicz knocked a grounder toward second base, reaching first on error. Still in the clear with no outs, Mason Lantz struck out, followed by McCartney walking. Then, Coleson Titus stepped up to third and hit an infield grounder tot Watts at first base who tossed it to Issac Van Meter to tag out McCartney.
Fifth in line was Anderson. The grounder to Watts proved to be the sweet spot, taking advantage of the distance from his bag to reach safe and win the game.
Tennant picked up the win, pitching for two innings and giving up no earned runs and one walk. He struck out three and pitched a .682 strike percentage.
Derek Hoyt took the loss for Moorefield. He pitched just one inning with a .720 strike percentage. Hoyt gave up no earned runs and one walk and struck out two.
The Cougars are now 9-1 through their first 10 games – their only loss coming in Game 2 of their doubleheader against Morgantown.