Chris Beamguard’s change-up pitch wasn’t really hitting the mark Thursday night against Poca (W.Va.).
“That’s usually my go-to pitch and I spiked almost every one of them in the dirt,” said Beamguard, a senior pitcher for South Pointe. “Then I hit a kid with two strikes on him...”
But almost everything else worked for Beamguard, who threw a complete game one-hitter to help the Stallions to a 2-0 win. The victory pushed South Pointe to 1-1 in the 2014 Wheels Invitational baseball tournament with the final pool of games set for Friday. South Pointe coach Joel Taylor got what he expected from one of the few seniors on his roster.
“He was really working a lot of pitches and hitting his spots like he’s supposed to,” said Taylor. “He’s really not gonna throw it past anybody, but he let them put the ball in play and let our defense work. Other than the one error we made early, the defense played flawless.”
Two runs was all South Pointe mustered, but it was all they needed.
Both came in the bottom of the first frame. Junior Ethan Hinson singled to lead off and Bo Taylor walked, before Hinson scored from second base after a passed ball skidded past Poca catcher Ricci Savilla to the backstop. The catcher couldn’t find the ball and Hinson slid home for the opening run.
Taylor stopped on third, but he wasn’t there for long. Senior lefty Wade Hopper directly followed with an RBI single roped into right field to make it 2-0 for the hosts.
From there, it was Beamguard’s show. He limited the Dots to a solitary hit, Luke Frampton’s second-inning single, and just three baserunners. Beamguard threw 1-2-3 frames in the fourth, fifth and sixth. It looked like he might run out of gas in the seventh with Poca attempting to muster a rally. Beamguard plunked Matt Chandler and then took a shotgunned ground ball off his shin from Frampton, but was able to gather himself and underhand the ball to first for the out. He then got a fly ball and a groundout to end the game.
A day after struggling to close out innings in a 11-0 loss to Faith Baptist, the Stallions played nearly spotless defense behind Beamguard, ensuring that the two runs stood up. South Pointe faces another West Virginia school, Woodrow Wilson, on Friday night. The Stallions still have a good shot of reaching Saturday’s semifinals.
“Nice bounce-back victory, but we’ve got another game tomorrow and it’s gonna be a tougher team,” said Taylor. “We’ve got to come out here tomorrow and be ready and do the exact same thing we did today.”
WP- Chris Beamguard; LP- Noah Frampton. Hitting: Poca- Luke Frampton 1-3. South Pointe- Ethan Hinson 1-2, BB; Wade Hopper 1-3, RBI.
Wilson- Jacoby Webb 3-4, 2B; Hunter Halstead 2-2, BB. Poca- Bubba Hill 2-2, BB;