TENNERTON — The Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School baseball team opened their 2022 season at home against the Philip Barbour Colts last Saturday, March 19.
After Philip Barbour took a slight advantage in the first inning, the Little Bucs wrestled control of the lead from the Colts in the second inning. The early lead exchanges set the tone for the rest of the game, as these two evenly match teams traded body blows for seven innings, before a winner was finally decided.
After the Colts scored two runs in the top of the fourth inning to regain the lead, the Bucs responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth to push themselves back out in front. Things would remain deadlocked in a 4-4 tie until Kent Rowan smashed a triple in the top of the seventh inning on a 3-2 count, bringing home a run to break the tie in favor of the Little Bucs. The Little Bucs wouldn’t relinquish that lead for the remainder of the game, eventually taking a win in thrilling fashion over the Colts by a narrow 8-7 tally.
Jerin Westfall got the nod as the Bucs opening day starting pitcher. The young player only allowed two hits and two runs, while striking out nine Colts batters over the course of four innings on the mound. With a razor-thin margin of error, Westfall’s arm was quite possibly the difference between the Little Bucs winning or losing this contest, but it was not the only way that he impacted the game. Westfall and Hayden Tenney led the Little Bucs offensively with one hit apiece. Without his all-around contribution, it is unlikely that the Little Bucs could have escaped with the win.
The Colts’ pitching counterpart, Landyn Carpenter turned in a comparable performance to Westfall, only allowing one hit and four runs, while striking out nine B-U batters.
With the win over Philip Barbour, the Little Bucs start the season off on the right foot. They will look to build upon this momentum going forward with a doubleheader against Petersburg still on the slate for this week.