WILLIAMSTOWN -Ritchie County made persistence pay off in a battle of unbeatens Monday afternoon at Legion Field.
The Rebels rallied from a four-run deficit and defeated Williamstown 8-6.
"That's the good thing about this team - they never give up and they believe in what we tell them," Ritchie County coach Dan Vanoy said after his team improved to 2-0 both overall and in the North Division of the Little Kanawha Conference.
Photo by Kerry Patrick
Ritchie County pitcher Colby Vanoy earned the victory as the Rebels defeated Williamstown, 8-6, Monday afternoon at Legion Field.
Williamstown, which dropped to 5-1, fired the first salvo when Trey King blasted a three-run homer over the left-field fence in the bottom of the first inning.
King also took charge on the mound and struck out seven Ritchie County batters in the first three innings. The Rebels had their chances against the junior with a pair of base hits and four base on balls but left six batters stranded in that same span.
Control problems plagued Ritchie County starting pitcher Andrew Sellers as he issued three straight walks to open the Yellowjackets' half of the third inning. Case Edgar eventually scored on a fielder's choice to push the advantage to 4-0.
Ritchie County finally broke through in the top of the fourth inning. Andrew Davis' Texas leaguer into shallow right field led off the inning and Josh Haddox followed with an infield single.
After a walk to Jordan Shaffer, the top of the Rebel order took their turn. Reno Jackson singled in the ballclub's first run and Haddox scored on a wild pitch. A throwing error at shortstop plated two more runs and clean-up hitter Colby Vanoy highlighted the outburst with an RBI double off reliever Anthony Yeager. Vanoy later came around to score on Sellers' two-out base hit.
A total of 10 Rebel batters went to the plate as Williamstown fell behind 6-4.
"We faced a little adversity there and just kind of fell apart," Williamstown coach Terry Smith said.
With Vanoy now in relief, Williamstown answered with two runs in the fifth inning. Brian Reynolds led off with a single which ate up the third baseman then advanced to second base on a wild pitch. A good piece of hitting by Josh DeBolt resulted in a ground ball to the right side which put Reynolds on third base.
With one out, Avery Goff reached on a fielding error by the Ritchie County first baseman. After Goff stole second base, Chase Shaw ripped a Vanoy offering back into center field for an RBI single.
Tied at 6, Ritchie County plated two runs in the sixth inning behind two Williamstown errors. Davis accounted for the key hit with an RBI single.
Vanoy experienced soreness in his arm, so his coach opted for D.J. Burgess, who struck out five of the seven batters he faced in the final two innings for the save. Williamstown managed just one base hit against the right-hander.
"I just loved the way Burgess pitched," coach Vanoy said. "It was sweet. He worked the batters well."