By Spenser Leatherman
BUNKER HILL, W.Va. -- James Wood committed six errors Friday at Musselman High School.
Despite those defensive miscues, Musselman was unable to capitalize. The Applemen left nine runners stranded, including the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh with the go-ahead run at the plate, as the Colonels won, 4-1. It snapped a six-game winning streak for Musselman.
"We got to get guys moving around the basepaths," Applemen coach Jeff Sibole said. "Sometimes you do a good job, and other times you don't. That's the game of baseball."
The Colonels scored the game's opening run in the first inning.
Andy Kennedy doubled to left field and was brought around to score on an A.J. Eubank single up the middle to make the score 1-0.
Musselman took the aggressive opportunity in the bottom of the first.
Maverick Keller hit an infield single to the shortstop, but was caught stealing second base during Chance Allen's at-bat for Musselman's first guy of the season to be thrown out.
"I've been sending runners all week, and that was the first one to get caught," Sibole said. "Maverick [Keller] is fast enough to beat anyone's arm, but he didn't get the jump he usually gets on those steal attempts."
After a scoreless second and third innings, James Wood increased their lead in the fourth and fifth innings.
Back-to-back doubles by Scott Zervil and Russell Repasky brought a run in for the Colonels in the fourth. Kyle Hevner was hit by a pitch in the fifth to start James Wood with a runner on base. Dakota Orndorff reached on an error to bring Hevner around to score. Orndorff was sent to third on a passed ball before scoring on the throw on a groundout by Eubank to make the score 4-0.
Musselman scored its only run in the bottom of the fifth, taking advantage of two Colonel errors to get runners on base.
The first James Wood error placed Tyler Gross on base, and the second moved Gross to third. Evan Woolum hit a sacrifice fly to bring Gross in to score, but a groundout to second by Jacob Whitmore ended the inning.
"We did what we needed to offensively, but we committed way too many errors," James Wood coach Jared Mounts said. "We were fortunate to have a big enough cushion that the errors didn't affect us. We were able come back and make plays and be able to win."
Musselman made one last push for a rally in the bottom of the seventh, loading up the bases with two out.
Following an error that placed Darrin Zombro on base, Jarin Jenkins grounded into a double play to place the Applemen down to their final out. Keller took a walk, Allen advanced Keller to third on an error by James Wood, and Woolum was put on first base with a walk to set up Jacob Whitmore as the go-ahead run at the plate. Whitmore popped out to third to end the inning, leaving the bases loaded.
"We wait till halfway through the game to score runs, and we dug ourselves into a hole," Sibole said. "We've gotta get started in the early innings, especially since we are capable of scoring at least a run every inning. James Wood hit the ball, and we didn't do so well."