CHAPMANVILLE — Dustin Conley gained a measure of revenge on the rival Scott Skyhawks.
So did the Chapmanville Regional High School baseball team.
Conley, a senior right-hander, pitched 4.1 innings of strong relief and was credited with the win as Chapmanville rallied from a four-run deficit to beat Scott 10-8 at Chapmanville’s Ted Ellis Field on Thursday night.
The Tigers (12-5), winners of four out of their last five games, gained a season series split with the Class AA sectional rival Skyhawks (10-9). Scott had won 6-5 earlier in the season at Madison as Forrest Spurlock hit a grand slam homer off Conley well beyond Scott’s short porch in right field.
It would be different this time as Chapmanville was able to defeat Scott.
Conley struck out 10 batters and allowed just two runs and three hits with two walks and a hit batter. He came on in the third for junior starter Nick Brumfield, who was ineffective before getting pulled. Brumfield went 2.2 innings and yielded six runs and seven hits with one hit batter.
Spurlock took the loss on the hill in a relief effort. He gave up six runs and six hits over two innings and fanned two. Justin Toler started and allowed four runs and three hits with one hit batter in a four-inning worksheet.
After tying the game 8-8 with a fifth inning four-spot off Spurlock, Chapmanville went ahead for good in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Leadoff centerfielder Brock Dalton got the rally started with a bunt single. He stole second and then came home when cleanup hitter and catcher Scottie Thompson laced an RBI single to center to make it 9-8 Tigers.
Conley then helped his cause and added an insurance run for Chapmanville as he drove Thompson’s courtesy runner Tyler Neil home with another RBI single to center to make it 10-8.
The Skyhawks had one last at bat in the top of the seventh.
Scott didn’t go quietly.
Garrett Castle led off the inning by getting hit on the first offering from Conley.
Two batters later, DH Logan Phillips was safe on an error to put the tying runs on base.
Then with two outs, leadoff man Devin Bayer was safe on an infield single to load up the bases, representing the potential go-ahead run.
Conley, though, reached back for something extra and struck out Toler to end the game.
Scott outhit Chapmanville 11-9 in the game and both teams ended up committing four errors.
Dalton was 2-for-4 with a two-run double for the Tigers.
Tristan Thompson went 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Scottie Thompson went 2-for-4 with one run knocked in.
Conley finished with a 2-for-4 plate performance and two RBI.
Austin Watts, Chapmanville’s starting first baseman, added a two-run single. DH Jordan Cook also knocked one in with a sacrifice fly.
The Skyhawks were led by Colton Hammond who was 3-for-4 with a double and four RBI. Bayer and Toler were each 2-for-5 at the plate. Andrew Prince went 2-for-4 with one run batted in. Spurlock and Cody Brown had one hit each.
The Tigers were able to get back into the game by putting the ball into play.
“That’s what we’ve stressed all year long,” Chapmanville coach Eric Ellis said. “We don’t want to be an easy strikeout. If you put it in play you make things happen. They went to Spurlock on the mound. They started with Toler and he kind of got us off stride. When Spurlock threw harder we were on that.”
Ellis said it was a good comeback for his team.
“I told the kids after the game that I was proud of them for coming back,” Ellis said. “We fell behind by four runs and fought back. Conley did a good job of keeping us in the game when he came in. He struck out 10 batters out of the 13 outs when he was in there and that’s pretty good. His curveball was good but he didn’t have as much pop on his fastball as usual. He pitched really well for us. I was really glad with the way he pitched and with the way that we battled.”
Scott went on top 2-0 in the top of the first inning with an RBI fielder’s choice play to short off the bat of Cody Blevins and an RBI single by Hammond.
The Tigers cut it to 2-1 in the bottom of the first with Tristan Thompson’s RBI single.
Chapmanville then went ahead 3-2 in the second with a pair of runs on Dalton’s two-run double that went deep to center over the Scott centerfielder’s head.
The Skyhawks then sent nine batters to the plate in the third and touched home plate four times as Scott regained the lead at 6-3. Hammond’s RBI double past Conley’s glove at third and into left field tied it up at 3. Castle’s RBI groundout to third put Scott ahead and Brown’s RBI single to left made it 5-3. Prince followed with his own RBI single to left as Scott made it a 6-3 ballgame, chasing Brumfield off the mound.
Conley game into the game in relief and got the third out but the damage was done.
The Tigers, though, began their comeback.
In the bottom of the third inning, Tristan Thompson manufactured a run by himself as he singled, stole second, went to third on Scottie Thompson’s groundout to third and stole home with runners at the corners as CRHS trimmed it to 6-4.
Scott made it 8-4 in the fourth on Hammond’s two-run single.
Chapmanville then put up four big runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie it at 8.
Conley got it started with a bases loaded RBI single up the middle which hit pitcher Spurlock’s thigh.
It was soon 8-6 after Cook’s sac fly to left brought in another run for the Orange and Black.
The next batter, Watts, then delivered a hard smashing two-run single up the middle to make it an 8-8 ballgame.
Spurlock then retired two straight Chapmanville batters to end the threat.
The Tigers would then get the job done in the sixth.
The win also improved Chapmanville to 5-3 in Cardinal Conference action on the season.
The upcoming CRHS-Scott sectional series is shaping up to be a good one. It might go a full three games the way things are looking.
“We expected it to be a good one this year,” Coach Ellis said of the sectionals. “They are a senior dominated team and we’re young. We knew that gap would be narrowed this year. It’s going to be a tossup and it’s going to come down to who plays better each day. We feel good about our chances but we still have got to play.”
Chapmanville was scheduled to return to action on Friday night at Wayne but the game was rained out.
Next week’s action begins on Monday with a 5:30 p.m. home doubleheader against Sherman. Chapmanville then goes to Mingo Central on Tuesday for a 6:30 p.m. ballgame before playing at county rival Man on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Then next Thursday, CRHS is scheduled to host Sissonville at 6 p.m. in a Cardinal Conference game. On Friday, the Tigers host Clay County in a 6:30 p.m. non-league affair.