Next up are sectionals.
River View is going in on a roll, Bluefield will need to find a remedy for what ails them, and soon.
Terry Foster, who pitched River View past Wyoming East eight days before, scattered six hits, and the Raiders doubled that output to defeat the Beavers 16-7 on Friday night at Bowen Field.
River View (14-5), which had won five straight before a late Thursday loss to Graham, will compete in sectional play beginning on Wednesday against Mount View, a club the Raiders have beaten twice this season.
“We have got to keep the boys’ heads on straight, just because we beat them twice in the regular season doesn’t mean we can go out and do whatever,” River View first-year head coach Chris Wolford said. “We are going to stay focused and go out and have good pitching and play good baseball and hopefully we can come out with some ‘W’s.’”
Meanwhile, Bluefield (8-15), which faces a Monday sectional opener with James Monroe, will have to put blinders on and prepare for the Mavericks, with PikeView considered the favorite in that three-team tournament.
“We probably come into that since they beat us this year as the favorites, but I told the guys, we have got to get past this,” Bluefield head coach Justin Gilbert said. “Everything for the most part in the regular season is past us, now everybody is 0-0 and that is the only way really to look at it.
“I feel like it is the best way for us to look at it. It is a clean slate, we have got to play hard. I will probably think about this game all weekend, but hopefully for the kids, they get it out of their heads...and hopefully come out Monday ready to play.”
River View was definitely ready in this one. The Raiders got its first four runners on base against Bluefield starter Randy Maxey and scored three runs, on a two-run single by Cameron Roberts, and Ryan Blankenship hustled in from second on a ground ball to deep short.
Bluefield cut the margin to 3-2 in the bottom of the frame, drawing two walks off Foster and scoring twice with a hit.
The Beavers were able to tie the score at 3-3 in the third when Jordan Wilson missed on a diving attempt of a sinking liner by Trevor Mullins, who reached third for a triple. He scored on a two-out single by R.J. Bourne.
However, the Raiders exploded in the fourth for seven runs on four hits and two costly Bluefield errors, led by Roberts — called “Camo” by Wolford — who drove in two runs with a single.
T.J. Stacy also added the first of two triples to bring in two more runs, while Wilson drove in one run with a ground ball.
River View finished with 12 hits, with eight of the nine batters getting at least one of them. Wilson didn’t get a hit, but reached base three times, scored twice and drove in a run to pull the Raiders up 10-3.
“It seems like when we have a day we don’t hit, we make up for it the next day,” Wolford said. “It is a lot of hits, that is what we like to do.
“Most games we have been scoring plus-10 runs and then we will have a game where we might score two or three, but that is part of baseball.”
Bluefield was able to take advantage of four River View errors in the fifth to score four runs, keyed by RBI singles from Mullins and Maxey, but that would be it for the Beavers.
Foster pitched a complete game, allowing six hits, striking out 11 and walking two to pick the win.
“He is pitching the ball nice,” Wolford said. “He throws hard and he has got a good curve, when he mixes that up he is pretty hard to hit. He is hard to get good contact against.”
Gilbert learned that quickly, with Foster striking out five of six batters midway through the game.
“Terry throws hard, he is a big kid, you are probably talking 6-3 up there on the mound,” Gilbert said. “He is sort of an intimidating presence up there, and he mixed in a curveball tonight and just keep us off-balanced.
“We mounted a little bit of a rally there in the fifth, but other than the fifth, he pretty much held us at bay through seven.”
While Foster pitched the entire game, Bluefield wound up using Justin Lightfoot and Mullins in relief, but it didn’t seem to matter who the Beavers put on the mound in this one.
“Coach Wolford, you can tell, he has a lot of energy, he is a young guy and it carries over to the field,” Gilbert said. “His guys are enthusiastic and they came out ready to play tonight.
“Our guys threw it across the plate and they hit the ball and they just flat out beat us. There is no question at that and I compliment them, and I wish them the best in their section next week against Mount View.”
River View added six more runs over the final two innings. Three runs scored in the sixth with two outs, with Stacy driving in a run with another triple, while Foster also picked up an RBI single.
The seventh was more of the same, with the Raiders loading the bases with one out and all three runs scored on errant pitches by Mullins.
Overcoming those kind of mistakes will be key to Bluefield hopes next week. The Beavers were led at the plate by Mullins with two hits, including his triple, and joined Marcus Santoro and Bourne by scoring two runs each.
“For us it is a matter of getting down on ourselves,” Gilbert said. “When you get down early like we did, we fought back, which I compliment us, but we are not doing a good job right now of consistently making plays and we are not doing a good job right now of getting over failure.
“When somebody makes a mistake...we are carrying that for two or three innings instead of being able to get over it. It is something I had hoped we would get over through 23 games, you would hope a lot of those little things would take care of themselves, but it hasn’t.”
River View was led by Roberts with three hits and four RBIs, while Stacy had two triples and drove in three runs. Todd Coeburn and Ryan Blankenship scored three runs apiece for the Raiders, who have now picked up program-building wins over Wyoming East and now the Beavers.
“For River View, from what I can gather, this is the first time for them so getting these first wins gets us over the hump,” Wolford said. “They have always said ‘I think you have got the potential to beat them, I think we can, but we never did.’
“Now we are getting over the hump, that goes a long ways.”
—Contact Brian Woodson
at Bowen Field
River View................300 703 3 — 16 13 5
Bluefield....................201 040 0 — 7 6 3
Terry Foster and Tyler Brewer. Randy Maxey, Justin Lightfoot (5), Trevor Mullins (6) and Devin Goins. W—Foster; L—Maxey. HR—none.