TAZEWELL, Va. —
Tyler Myers pitched six strong innings while Colin Hancock, Brody Dean and Nick Elkins each rapped out a pair of hits to lead the Tazewell Bulldogs to an 8-3 win over the Bluefield Beavers, Wednesday night at Lou Peery Field.
“Tyler came out and threw strikes and he did what we asked him to do,” said Tazewell head coach Aaron Buchanan. “He threw 93 pitches so we took him out. He wasn’t tired, he was just struggling a bit in the sixth. He pitched six strong innings and that’s all you can ask. We played good defense behind him.”
Bluefield’s R.J. Bourne ripped a two-out triple to the deepest part of the ballpark in left field, but was stranded in the first. Tazewell wasted little time in its half of the inning grabbing the lead.
Leadoff hitter Hancock singled to right, moved to second on a wild pitch, rounded third and touched home on Dean’s double to left.
The Beavers knotted the score in the top of the second when leadoff batter, Randy Maxey, the catcher, got aboard thanks to a Bulldogs error. Courtesy runner Dominick Buzzo later scored on another Tazewell error to even the score at one.
Bluefield miscues helped Tazewell plate two more runs in the third against Trevor Mullins. Chase Illig drew a walk and after Mullins sat down the next two batters, Myers reached on an error. Todd Mulkey had an infield single to load the bases and Elkins hit one up the middle to bring home both Illig and Dakota Hawks, courtesy runner for the pitcher Myers.
On the mound Myers was strong in the third and fourth. He allowed a single to Mullins but struck out four of the seven hitters he faced those two innings, three of them looking at his effective curveball.
The Bulldogs bit the Beavers in the fourth as Lucas Parsons, Hancock and Illig all singled, Illig’s hit bringing Parsons home. Dean’s double to left scored Hancock and Illig while Dean later scored on Mulkey’s ground out to make it 7-1.
The Beavers scored again in the sixth. Mullins led off with a single and Maxey followed with another. Jeremy Thompson drove Mullins home with a hit to left.
Tazewell’s final score came in the bottom of the sixth. Brett Jones got aboard on an infield single and eventually scored on Elkins’ single to right.
Bluefield, fighting to the end added a final run in the seventh off newly inserted Tazewell pitcher Mason Turner. Leadoff hitter Marcus Santoro was hit by a pitch and stole second before scoring on Mullins’ third hit of the game.
“It was a baseball game,” said Bluefield head coach Justin Gilbert. “I felt like we should have been a little more in it. We had a few miscues in the field, a few mental lapses, but that’s how baseball goes sometimes.”
Myers took the win as he pitched six innings. He allowed two runs on seven hits and struck out seven. He did not walk a batter. Turner pitched the final inning and gave up one run on one hit and struck out one.
Mullins was tagged with the loss. He tossed six innings, gave up seven runs on nine hits, waked four and struck out four. Devon Goins pitched one inning and allowed one run on two hits and walked one.
“I didn’t think Trevor did bad, but you give credit, Tazewell is always a team that is patient at the plate,” Gilbert said. “They hit the ball and you’ve got to give them credit. We didn’t come out on his one. We didn’t play that bad, they just played better.”
Mullins was 3-for-4 at the plate for the Beavers, the only Bluefield player to pick up multiple hits.
In addition to having two hits each, Dean had three RBIs and Elkins two for Tazewell.
“Nick Elkins was huge,” Buchanan said. “He came up with a big hit in the fourth inning, that big double that scored two runs. It was a good ballgame, a lot better game than we played in the Coppinger.”
Tazewell is now 8-2 and plays Friday at Virginia High. Asked if his team is progressing and where he would like them to be at this midway point of the regular season, Buchanan said, “Yeah, but we’ve got to continue to work. We’ve got a big stretch coming up and we are getting into our district play. We need to continue battling and working on the little things to make the big things happen.”
Bluefield is now 7-10. The Beavers next two games are in the Wooden Bat Classic at Independence High School in Coal City. The Beavers play Greenbrier West, Friday at 5:30. A win sends Bluefield to the championship game Saturday at 2:30 while a loss has them playing in the consolation game Saturday at noon. The other two teams in the tournament are host Independence and James Monroe.
At Lou Peery Field
Bluefield......................010 001 1 — 3 8 2
Tazewell......................102 401 x — 8 11 2
Mullins and Goins (6) and Maxey; Myers, Turner (7) and Illig.
W-Myers, L-Mullins, HR-none