Redskins outlast Knights in 13 innings, 11-7
ONA — Cabell Midland’s baseball team will look back at its two regular-season high school games against Hurricane and see the Redskins as the team that got away.
Twice this year the teams have battled each other in close games including Saturday’s 11-7, 13-inning affair at the Knights’ Joe McDonie Field on the campus of Cabell Midland High School.
The four-hour nine-minute marathon followed a 7-5 Mountain State Athletic Conference game in Hurricane March 28 which the Redskins won on a forceout at second base with the bases loaded and the tying runs in scoring position for Cabell Midland.
Saturday’s non-conference game was a contest the Knights dominated from the beginning only to see Hurricane (16-2) rally to tie the game late and force extra innings where it finally overcame Cabell Midland (7-7).
The Knights jumped out to a 6-0 lead against Hurricane starting pitcher Joel Gardner. Cabell Midland had four singles and a double in the bottom of the first that produced three runs and followed that up with walk, single, triple and an error that led to three more runs in the bottom of the second.
Hurricane replaced Gardner with Mason McKenzie with two outs in the second and the reliever allowed just one Midland run in the three innings he pitched.
Meanwhile, Cabell Midland starting pitcher Drew Elkins was cruising. Elkins struck out five of the first six Hurricane batters he faced, with the only blemish a lead-off walk in the top of the second inning to Gardner. Elkins left the game having allowed just one hit to the Redskins, one earned run and struck out seven — he walked six, however.
In the third inning, Elkins walked four, including Redskins catcher Enzo Lewis with the bases loaded. In the fourth inning, he allowed a one-out single and a walk before being pulled for Nic Kuhn, who managed to get an out, then issued a walk and Hurricane lead-off hitter Tyler Cox doubled into the right field corner to drive in three runs and cut the lead to 6-4.
“It was a fastball,” said Cox, a junior who played third base in the game. “It definitely changed our mood. We were all down but after that we were up, talking, cheering on the other guys.”
Cabell Midland added a run in the fourth inning on a sacrifice by Chad Heiner that scored Brett Armbruster, but Hurricane answered with a run off Heiner in the fifth to make it a 7-5 Knights advantage.
Both teams went quietly in the sixth inning, leaving Cabell Midland three outs from a win.
Heiner got Matt Vance and Quarrier Phillips out, but consecutive singles by Walker James and Brenden Lewis put the tying runs aboard for Cox, who came through with a bases-clearing double to tie the game 7-7.
Midland went quietly in the seventh and managed only a single in the eighth. A double play thwarted a chance for the Knights to get a walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth, while a diving catch by Gardner in left field for the second out in the 10th inning left a hard-hit fly ball to center off the bat of the Knights’ Easton Petitt as the final out instead of a sacrifice fly that would have won the game.
Jason Perdue, the fifth Cabell Midland pitcher, struck out Cox in the top of the 11th inning for the third out that left runners at first and second for Hurricane.
In the 12th, Perdue struck out Hurricane slugger Austin Dearing and Enzo Lewis to keep the Redskins’ bats silent.
Perdue was lifted after allowing back-to-back singles by J.T. Cooper and Vance in the top of the 13th inning. Phillips reached on an error, leaving Midland reliever Jake Ellis facing pinch-hitter Nick Goad with the bases loaded and nobody out.
Ellis walked Goad to force in a go-ahead run and allowed three more to score before the Knights could get back to the dugout.
Despite a single by Petitt in the bottom of the 13th inning, Cabell Midland never threatened to cut into Hurricane’s lead.