Nick Shaffron Field conditions could easily have passed for Chicago’s Wrigley Field last evening in terms of freezing temperatures. It also could have impersonated San Francisco’s Candlestick Park for the strength of the winds.
Elements and impersonations aside, the Bluefield Beavers played as if it was 70 degrees and the winds calm in a 15-1 five inning win over the host Mount View Golden Knights in their season opener.
In fact, counting a scrimmage game against Fort Chiswell, Va., yesterday’s contest was only the second time the Beavers had been outdoors to play or practice.
Ditto for the Knights, who dropped a 5-0 verdict at James Monroe last Friday, as the View only made it outdoors for the second time with last night’s contest.
Bluefield scored at least once in every inning, while hammering out 14 hits offensively and committing only one error in the field.
Starting pitcher R. J. Bourne and reliever Trevor Mullins limited the Golden Knights to only three base hits in the 10 run rule shortened affair.
Beaver rightfielder Justin Carter reached first on an error in the opening frame and advanced to third on back-to-back hit batsmen Logan Lineberry and Justin Lightfoot to load the bases.
Bourne popped up toward short with one out, but was called out with the enforcement of the infield fly rule. The ball, as mentioned, started toward short, but came to rest between first and second after being carried by with wind, with Knight shortstop Caleb Webb in hot pursuit, but unable to actually make the catch.
With third baseman Tyler Brooks at the plate, Carter scampered home on a wild pitch, while Lineberry and Lightfoot advanced 90 feet before being driven home on a Brooks’ single down the rightfield line.
Webb walked in the home half of the first, went to second and then third on separate wild pitches and scored on a Jarrett Cochran single to right center.
Designated hitter Christian Oster doubled in the second, took third on a wild pitch and was plated by a shortstop Andrew Siegel single to short for the Beavers.
Bluefield tacked on seven more runs in the third, recording six base hits in the process.
Bourne had a double and a single in the third as a dozen Beavers took their turn in the batters’ boxes.
Justin Mariotti, Siegel, Lineberry and Cody Goins all singled in that frame.
Three more runs in the fourth and a lone score in the top of the fifth led to the 15-1 victory.
Of the lack of outdoor practice, Bluefield head coach Justin Gilbert remarked, “We’ve sort of worn the gym out, the indoor cages. You do what you can this time of year…It wasn’t the best elements, but I was glad to get outdoors today.”
He continued of his team’s play, “Probably the thing I was most impressed by is I thought we were aggressive. We were aggressive going from first to third. We stole bases. We worked hard on passed balls to move up and put pressure on them (Knights).”
Siegel and Mariotti both went 3-for-4 at the plate, driving home a pair of runs each.
Bourne, Mullins and Goins all recorded two base hits for the Beavers, who will travel to Tazewell this evening to face the Bulldogs.
Cochran, Channing Vineyard and Chris Muncy had a safety apiece for the Golden Knights, who will visit River View Monday evening.
Related first year Golden Knight head coach Phillip Dunford, “We’ve got a wealth of experience, but we have some younger guys in key positions. We definitely need a day out here to go over some things.”
at Nick Shaffron Field
Bluefield..............................317 31 — 15 14 1
Mount View.........................100 00 — 1 3 5
R. J. Bourne, Trevor Mullins (4) and Goins, Maxey (5). Bryan Villaneuva, Maurice Brown (3), Caleb Webb (5) and Joe Bishop, Villaneuva (3). WP: Mullins; LP: Villaneuva.