By LLOYD COMBS
for the Daily Telegraph
PILGRIM'S KNOB, Va. —
It didn’t start out as a nail-biter.
Twin Valley just turned it into one.
Hurley squandered all but one run of a big lead and held off the Panthers for a 10-9 Black Diamond District win Friday evening.
The Rebels scored five runs in the top half of the first inning and held a 6-0 lead in the second when Twin Valley began its comeback.
Dalton Elswick went 5-for-5 with five line-drive hits, the final one being a 2-run single to right that plated J.D. Lowe and Sebastian Mullins to get the Panthers within one run in the sixth.
Neither team scored again as Hurley reliever Chris Hardin settled down and finished the save to preserve the win for starter Josh Mullins.
“We got comfortable when we got that early lead,” Hurley coach Mark Cooper said. “Then we got a little tight. No, we got a lot tight. “But give Twin Valley credit. Dalton Elswick hit the ball well, he came in, in relief and threw strikes and they kept fighting back.”
Tyler Stacy and Billy Stacy combined for four hits, three of them doubles, and five RBIs for Hurley, which scored five times on just three hits in the first inning. The Rebels (5-9, 4-6) held a 9-3 lead after Tyler Stacy’s two-run double scored Ryan Lester and Dylan Roberts in a 3-run fourth inning rally.
Dylan Charles singled in a run in the third, while Lowe and Howie Meadows added RBI hits in the Panthers’ 4-run sixth. Twin Valley (0-12, 0-8) out-hit Hurley 10-8 but left 11 runners on base and hit into two double plays.
“We left too many runners on, that’s been a problem for us all year,” Twin Valley coach Chad Stevens said. “But our kids kept battling. Dalton Elswick got some big hits.
“Dalton’s been our best all-around player, He’s a senior. I just wish we’d had him before this year. Howie got some big hits for us and Dylan Charles did a good job and he’s just a freshman.”
Four pitchers combined to issue 14 walks and the two clubs combined to commit eight errors, five by the Rebels.
Hurley.................510 310 0 — 10 8 5
Twin Valley........ 012 114 0 — 9 10 3
J. Mullins, Hardin (6) and Belcher. Gagich, Elswick (4) and Lowe. W-J. Mullins. L-Gagich. Sv.-Hardin. HR-none.