HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — A pitcher’s duel to the very end.
Both teams produced three hits apiece through seven innings of scoreless baseball, but host Spring Valley produced three safeties in the bottom of the eighth Monday night en route to a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Point Pleasant in a non-conference matchup in Mason County.
The Big Blacks (5-5) dropped their third straight road decision and fourth straight outcome overall in the heartbreaking one-run setback. The Timberwolves (5-3), on the other hand, snapped a two-game losing skid with the extra-inning triumph.
PPHS starter Tristan Austin was magnificent through seven innings of work, allowing only three hits and a walk during that span while striking out eight.
But in the bottom of the eighth, Austin ran into trouble as Nick Radcliff and Casey Kelly delivered back-to-back singles to give SVHS runners on the corners with nobody out.
Austin Stambaugh was issued an intentional pass to set up force outs at any base, then Caid Conley dribbled an infield single in front of home plate as pinch-runner Derek Johnson scored — giving the hosts the 1-0 decision.
Kelly was the winning pitcher of record after allowing one hit and striking out two in two innings of relief work. Stambaugh surrendered two hits and fanned five in his six-inning appearance as the Wolves’ starter.
Spring Valley outhit the guests by a 6-3 overall margin and both teams committed two errors apiece. SVHS stranded eight runners on base, while the Big Blacks left five on the bags.
Chris Lush led PPHS with two hits and Matt Richardson also had a safety. Lush was stranded at third base in both the fifth and seventh innings.
Kelly, Stambaugh, Conley, Radcliff, Tanner Hamilton and Tanner Akers each had a hit for the victors.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.