Class A No. 7 Man (17-10) used a six-run sixth inning to break a 6-6 tie en route to claiming their third straight victory, 12-7, over Class AA No. 6 Wyoming East (23-6) Monday evening at Wyoming East High School in a tune-up game.
Man pounded out 16 hits on Monday as eight different Hillbillies registered at least one hit. Six Billies recorded multiple hits, led by John Thomas Keffer with four hits.
Baley Beckwith, Tyler Blair, Braden Griffin, Noah Maynard and Cayce Mullins had two hits apiece. Kenny Joe Adkins and Cameron Simpson had one each.
Mullins doubled, homered and drove in three runs while Maynard added a double, home run, scored three runs and drove in two. Blair and Griffin each drove in two runs while Keffer and Adkins added one RBI for the Hillbillies.
Mullins and Maynard hit back-to-back home runs as part of a six-run sixth inning, but it was Blair’s clutch single that the scoring and sent the Hillbillies on their way to victory.
Blair worked the count and lined a 3-2 pitch into center to plate Simpson, who doubled leading off the sixth, giving the Hillbillies a 7-6 lead. Two batters later Mullins followed with a three-run home run over the scoreboard in centerfield giving Man an 11-6 lead and Maynard followed with a solo shot over the left field fence to make it 12-6.
The Warriors answered with a run in the bottom of the sixth as Christian Hedinger scored on an error to cut the deficit to 12-7.
Man jumped out to a 6-1 lead after three and half innings thanks in part to a run in the first, two each in the second and third and one more in the fourth. Griffin started the scoring in the first with a run scoring single to put Man on top 1-0 after one inning.
In the second inning, Man played small ball to plate two runs as Adkins laid down a perfect bunt to score Keffer to make it 2-0 and Blair closed out the scoring with a RBI single plating Adkins for a 3-0 lead. In the third Man got RBI singles from Maynard and Keffer extending the margin to 5-0.
Wyoming East got a run on the board in the bottom of the third inning as Hedinger singled to center field to plate David Carte to trim the deficit to 5-1 before the Hillbillies answered with a run in the top of the fourth on Griffin’s second RBI single of the evening.
The Warriors tied the game with four runs in the fourth and one more in the fifth. Hedinger provided the big blow in the fourth with a bases clearing three-run double. A throwing error in the fifth allowed the Warriors to knot the score at 6-6 after five innings.
Man starter Braden Griffin did not factor in the decision as the left hander allowed five runs on four hits in 3 2/3 innings of work. Griffin finished with eight strikeouts but walked five and hit one before giving way to Jake Adkins. Adkins tossed 3 1/3 innings to earn the victory. Adkins allowed two unearned runs on four hits.
Hedinger suffered the loss for the Warriors allowing three runs on five hits. Hedinger struck out two and walked one in 2 2/3 innings. Austin Canada started for the Warriors and allowed five runs on seven hits before giving way to Hedinger with one out in the third. Jon Culicerto relieved Hedinger in the sixth and allowed four runs on two hits and walked two. David Carte pitched two innings of shutout relief allowing just two hits. He also walked two and struck out two.
Hedinger was 3-for-3 with a double and four RBIs and Chase Presley was 2-for-3. Carte finished 1-for-3 with one RBI while Hunter Simmons and Josh Zeboskey finished 1-for-3 for the Warriors.
Man returns to action Saturday at county rival Chapmanville before resuming tournament action on Monday against Sherman in the Class A Region III tournament at Man. The Tide upset Class A No. 5 Valley (Fayette) 4-2 Monday capturing the sectional championship. The Hillbillies and Tide split a pair of games during the regular season with Man winning 7-4 on April 8 at Man while Sherman returned the favor with a 12-9 victory on May 1 at Sherman.
The winner of Monday’s contest will host either Greenbrier West or Fayetteville on Wednesday, May 28 with the winner advancing to the state tournament.