Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

June 4, 2013

Baseball: Blue Devils rally, end Honaker's season

State Group A Playoffs

HONAKER, Va. — It was definitely a tough night for the Honaker Tigers, as all season-ending losses are.

Grayson County (19-6) battled back and then held on for a 7-5 win at Harding Field before a packed house in the Division 2 state quarterfinals. The win advances the Blue Devils to the final four.

"It was a great game," Honaker acting head coach Alex Zachwieja said. "We were sailing along good and the wheels kind of fell of the buggy there in the fifth inning. But the kids battled back, they played with a lot of heart and a lot of enthusiasm the entire game."

Honaker (21-4) committed five errors, with four in the fifth inning.

Trailing 2-1 going to the fifth, Luke Wilson started the fifth by reaching on an error. After a fly out, William Vaughan reached on a error.

Lucas Rudy then reached on an error on the Tigers third baseman and a run scored when the left fielder threw the ball away, also allowing Vaughan and Rudy to advance to second and third.

The Blue Devils then capitalized on the miscues, with the 2-3-4 hitters coming up. Spencer Roberts, Max Rodgers and Matthew Cornett all delivered run scoring singles to give Grayson County a 5-2 lead.

“That was huge," said Grayson County acting head coach Tiny Funk.

"We were able to take advantage of the opportunities we had. When we took the lead, the pressure kind of turned to Honaker."

None of the runs were earned. Honaker starting pitcher Austin Kiser definitely deserved a better outcome. Kiser only allowed one earned run before being relieved in the fifth by Payton Ball.

The Blue Devils added what proved to be a couple of crucial runs in the sixth.

Only one was earned, as the Tigers committed their fifth error.

Honaker kept fighting. They scored a couple of runs in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Austin Ray and a RBI single by Kiser.

They tried to put up a thrilling finish in the seventh. The key play in the final inning was likely a diving catch by Grayson center fielder Landon Frost on a rope hit by MacKenzie Phillips for the first out of the inning.

Travis Price walked and Hunter Lester reached on an error. Tyler Hale then had a single to load the bases. Chandler Miller walked to push in a run and put the tying run in scoring position. But the Blue Devils ended the game with a 1-2-3 double play.

"My kids battled back and made it interesting," said Zachwieja said. "This is a tough loss but there were a lot of positive things in this game. The way we played all seven innings is a testimony to these kids and this program."

 

at Tom Harding Field

Grayson County...............001  042  0  —  7  7  3

Honaker............................110  002  1  —  5   9  5

Isom, Cannaday (6) and Rudy. Kiser, Ball and Mitchell. W—Isom. L—Kiser (4-3). HR—none.

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