(Photography courtesy Tina Quesenberry)
Max Meadows…Down 5-4 going into the bottom of the sixth, the Fort Chiswell Pioneers scored three runs on no hits to survive and advance 7-5 over the Covington Cougars. The Pioneers drew six walks that produced all three of the runs.
Covington (7-13) had taken the lead in the top of the sixth on a solo home run off the bat of Austin Douglas to straight away centerfield. Garrett Crawford, the Covington starting pitcher, walked the first four Pioneers batters and threw two wild pitches as he threw 107 pitches. Blake Woodzell who walked both batters he faced replaced him. Then Douglas came in to pitch finally stopping the Fort Chiswell uprising.
Fort Chiswell (18-3) was led by Chance Davis who knocked in two runs and scored one. He also came in relief of Dallas Beasley on the mound to pick up the victory. His only run allowed was the homer by Douglas. He walked one and struck out five. Beasley went the first four innings giving up six hits, four runs of which there were three earned. He walked four and struck out four. Jacob Coake drove in two runs and Beasley scored twice. Leighton Dunford, Cody Burkes and Tanner Bailey all had one RBI each. Seven different Pioneer players had at least one hit.
Covington’s Douglas not only hit a homer but had a single and double also. Seth Fertig, Chandler Cook and Caleb Haynes had two hits each. Haynes also had two RBIs.
The Pioneers took a 2-0 lead in the first as Davis knocked in Beasley and Coake drove Davis in. Covington would answer with three runs in the top of the second but Fort Chiswell answered with two of their own in the bottom of the second to go back up 4-3. Covington tied the game at four in the fourth as Haynes scored on a sac fly by Tyler Dresser.
“They helped us out in the sixth inning,” said a relieved Fort Chiswell head coach Derrick Jackson. “Both teams battled and we came through at the right time. Give Covington credit, they hit the ball and they have been hot at the right time of the season.” Coach Jackson then remarked, “We survived and advanced. We found a way to win.”
The win sends the Pioneers to the 1A West Region Semifinals. They will face Eastside Spartans at Emory & Henry College Wednesday at 1:00 pm. The two teams faced each other last year in the finals. Last year the Pioneers had mostly seniors and Eastside was young. This season Eastside is the veteran team and Fort Chiswell has only two seniors on their team. Honaker and Auburn will be the two other teams that will play Wednesday at Emory & Henry.
R H E LOB
Fort Chiswell 7 7 2 9
Covington 5 11 1 10
Fort Chiswell – WP- Davis – (5-1)
Covington – LP- Crawford