SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Plenty of chances, just not enough time.
The Point Pleasant baseball team stranded 13 runners on base and had its five-game winning streak come to an end Friday night during a 5-4 setback to host South Charleston in a non-conference matchup in Kanawha County.
The visiting Big Blacks (13-10) never led in the contest as the Black Eagles (19-4) claimed leads of 2-0 and 4-2 through the first two frames, then plated a run in the bottom of the fifth to secure a 5-2 cushion through five complete.
PPHS answered with two runs in the top half of the sixth to close to within a run at 5-4, but ultimately came up empty the rest of the way.
After falling behind 2-0 through an inning of play, Point Pleasant started its comeback bid in the second as Justice Chapman was hit by a pitch with one out. Garrett Litchfield entered as a courtesy runner for Chapman, then advanced to second on a single by Abe Stearns.
Litchfield later scored on a two-out single by Kaleb Beckner that advanced Stearns to third base, making it a 2-1 contest. Stearns later scored on an error that allowed Chris Lush to reach safely, tying the contest at two midway through the second frame.
Jacob Marler and Corey Lanier provided back-to-back two-out safeties in the bottom half of the second that resulted in RBIs, allowing SCHS to double its advantage out to 4-2. Isaiah Moss also singled and scored on a wild pitch in the fifth that gave the hosts a three-run advantage.
The Big Blacks rallied in the sixth as Beckner led the inning off with a single, then advanced to second on an error that allowed Lush to reach safely. Cody Sockwell reached on a two-out error that allowed both Beckner and Lush to score, cutting the deficit down to 5-4 through six complete.
PPHS managed to load the bases with two outs in the top half of the seventh, but a strikeout ended the rally attempt as South Charleston picked up its fourth consecutive victory. PPHS left the bases loaded in the second, third and seventh frames and also stranded a pair of runners in the fifth.
The Black Eagles outhit the guests by a slim 6-5 overall margin and committed three of the five errors in the contest. Point left a baker’s dozen on base, while the hosts stranded six on the bags.
Moss was the winning pitcher of record after allowing two runs (one earned), four hits and four walks over 4.1 innings while striking out three. Trevor Simpson also earned a save after allowing two walks and fanning two in an inning of relief.
Jordan Cunningham suffered the setback after surrendering five runs (three earned), five hits and two walks over 4.1 innings while striking out three. Stearns also allowed one hits and fanned two in 1.2 innings of relief for Point Pleasant.
Beckner led the guests with two hits, followed by Stearns, Derek King and James Littlepage with a safety apiece.
Marler paced SCHS with two hits, while Lanier, Moss, Trevor Sampson and Brendan Quinn had a safety each for the hosts. Marler, Sampson and Moss drove in a run and scored once apiece, while Lanier had an RBI as well. Tyler Abbott and Brandon Mullinex also scored a run each.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.