TENNERTON — The Buckhannon-Upshur High School Baseball Bucs entered last Wednesday’s match-up, April 20, against rival Elkins looking to bounce back following a tough outing against George Washington at home the previous Saturday, April 16.
It looked as if it was going to be another long day for the Bucs, as Elkins got off to a blazing fast start in the top of the first inning, scoring 5 runs despite not managing a single hit all inning, with all their runs coming off walks and wild pitches committed by the Bucs defense early.
After failing to reach the scoreboard in the bottom of the first, the Bucs quickly composed themselves, shutting out Elkins in the top of the second inning to keep within striking distance. Still down 5-0 entering the bottom of the second, the Bucs’ hitting line-up got to work scoring 13 runs in the inning to build a commanding 13-5 lead. The Bucs’ offense completely flipped the game’s script on its head in the span of a single inning, as junior Brayden Hamer got the scoring started when he singled on a 1-1 count, driving in two runs. The very next batter, fellow junior classmate Zach Calef-Boring, singled on a 1-1 count to score another run. Then Cameron Tenney got in on the action when he singled on a 1-0 count driving in the Bucs fourth run of the inning. Payton Bennett drew a walk with the bases loaded, bringing Tenney home to score. The next at-bat, Elijah Bryant singled on a 0-1 count driving in yet another run, breaking the 5-5 tie to give the Bucs’ a narrow 6-5 lead. With the Tigers in a bad spot, facing another Buccaneer batter with the bases loaded, Josh Nesbitt drew a walk, bringing Bryant in to score. Back up to bat, Hamer drew a walk, to add another run right before Calef-Boring’s consistent bat smashed another single on the very first pitch he faced, bringing the score to 9-5. The seemingly relentless run by the Bucs’ offense continued as Tenney hit a single on the first pitch of the at bat, driving in a pair of runs, before Issac Lane doubled on a 3-1 count, scoring another two runs to wrap up the Bucs scoring in the bottom of the second inning.
The Bucs again held the Tigers scoreless in the top of the third inning, before adding two more runs to their continually growing lead, as Hamer smashed a double to left-field, driving home both Donnen and Nesbitt, to bring the score to 15-5. With that, the day’s offensive firework show was over, as both teams traded scoreless innings for the rest of the game. The Bucs’ defense, recovered from a shaky opening inning, to put together a very strong day.
Hamer was the Bucs most consistent bat in the victory over Elkins, going a perfect 2-2 from the plate, while driving in five total runs. to victory by driving in five runs. Hamer drove in runs on a single in the second, a walk in the second, and a double in the third, making his bid for player of the week in a masterful offensive performance. After getting off to a slow start, the Bucs got to work starting in the second inning, scoring seemingly at will.
After getting the scoring started in the second inning, the Bucs never looked back, racking up 12 total hits on the day, which helped deliver them a huge rivalry win. Hamer. Calef-Boring, Bryant, and Tenney all managed multiple hits for Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers Varsity. Calef-Boring notched an impressive 3-4 mark at the plate to leading the Bucs in hits, while Bennett with two stolen bases, as the team collectively ran wild on the base paths, collecting eight total stolen bases.
Both the fielding and pitching were excellent for the Bucs, with the three pitchers combining to throw a no-hitter and the Bucs not committing a single fielding error all game. Junior Ian Donnen got the starting nod from head coach Adam Squires. The pitcher walked four and allowed 5 runs in the first inning, while striking out one Tiger batter. Landon Marple came in to relieve Donnen in the first, the righthander lasted four innings, allowing zero hits and zero runs while striking out ten Tiger batters. Sophomore Jaden Westfall pitched the fifth and final inning in relief of Marple out of the bullpen. Westfall struck out Cole Shreve to get the last out of the game, sealing the 15-5 victory for coach Squires’ Bucs. Pitcher Cameron Biller took the loss for Elkins. The hurler surrendered 13 runs and ten hits over the span of two innings, while striking out three Buccaneer batters.