By Shawn Stinson
The Pendleton County baseball team has its proverbial back against the wall following a loss in the opening-round contest of the Class A Region II Section 2 tournament.
Tucker County scored four runs in the top of the fifth to rally for a 6-5 victory against Pendleton on May 9 in Franklin. The loss dropped the Wildcats to the loser’s bracket of the tournament.
Pendleton (7-14) will face the loser of the matchup between top-seeded Petersburg and Tucker. Pendleton’s next game was set for May 11 at the site of the higher seed.
Pendleton led 2-0 after the first inning and 4-2 at the end of the third inning before Tucker rallied to tie and ultimately take the lead for good in the top of the fifth. The Mountain Lions were aided by a two-run error in the fifth to score the go-ahead runs.
Clayton Kisamore had two hits and scored three runs to lead the Pendleton offense. James Vincell added two hits, including a double, and recorded two runs batted in. Brayden Beachler also had two hits. Landon Colaw notched a hit for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats posted a 1-2 record the previous week in its final contests of the regular season.
Pendleton had its May 2 game with Highland County, Virginia, canceled before playing host to Tucker County on May 3 in Franklin. The Wildcats used a strong pitching performance by Allden Rexrode to edge the Mountain Lions 2-1.
Rexrode hurled 6 1/3 innings before being relieved by Clayton Kisamore, who struck out the final two batters to preserve the victory. Rexrode finished with seven strikeouts, scattered seven hits and issued six walks in the contest. He aided his cause at the plate by going 2 for 2 with two runs scored. Kisamore had an RBI-triple. Vincell recorded an RBI-single.
Brayden Beachler, Cameron Beachler, Josiah Kimble and Jayden Roberson all added a hit for Pendleton in the victory.
East Hardy scored a total of seven runs in the first two innings to pull away for a 9-2 victory on May 4 in Baker. The Wildcats scored their only runs of the game in the top of the first inning. Rexrode walked and scored on a double by Vincell. Brayden Beachler plated Vincell on a fielder’s choice.
Colaw had two hits in the contest. Cameron Beachler and Roberson, as well as Kisamore and Vincell, finished with a hit for the Wildcats.
Yokum said Kisamore “pitched well, but the strike zone was tight early.” He added Kisamore settled into a rhythm for the rest of the contest and “pitched very well.”
Petersburg powered its way to a 12-0 victory against Pendleton on May 5 in Franklin. The Vikings slugged five home runs in the game. Johnathan Mallow and Nate Travis both had two home runs in the victory.
Kisamore went 2 for 3 in the loss. Vincell and Brayden Beachler both had a hit for the Wildcats.
“That’s the best team in the area,” Yokum said about Petersburg.
He added Mallow and Slade Saville are two of the top players in the region.
Pendleton’s Cameron Beachler attempts to turn a double play against Tucker County. Photo by Shawn Stinson