- Last Updated on 10:38 PM 04/22/13
- BY Joe Chandler
Halifax County High School's Ryan Yates managed to tag GW hurler Blake Bivens for three hits in Monday night's Western Valley District baseball game at Halifax County High School.
Unfortunately for the Comets, it wasn't enough.
Bivens fanned 14 Halifax County High School batters and despite yielding seven hits, he and his GW teammates did enough to shut out the Comets 2-0 and take the early lead in the Western Valley District regular-season championship chase.
It was Bivens' curveball that was his money pitch.
"He (Bivens) threw a whole lot of curveballs and we swung at too many in the dirt," Yates said.
"I did the same thing. We couldn't hit his curve ball. Every time he threw his fastball we sat back and hit it. He learned not to throw it."
Yates gave Bivens an early lesson in that routine, nailing a fastball from Bivens for a double to kick off the Comets' first trip to the plate in the game.
"The next two (hits) were curveballs," noted Yates.
"I just did my best to wait back and hit it and try to put the ball in play with two strikes."
Yates' leadoff single in the bottom of the first inning triggered one of three potential scoring opportunities the Comets had, all of which went awry.
A sacrifice bunt from Nick Anderson moved Yates to third base. The inning ended with Will Harris and Tyler Stephens both going down on strikes.
GW scored two runs in the top of the third inning to produce the only runs in the game.
Comets pitcher Seth Elliott gave up a leadoff walk to GW's George Roos. Mike Hunt laid down a bunt and reached base on a Comets error. Brad Smith laid down a bunt that moved Roos and Hunt to put them into scoring position. Jay Cumbo followed with a single that plated Roos and Hunt to put the Eagles up 2-0.
The Comets had two potential scoring opportunities after that but were unable to convert.
Yates came up with a hit with one out in the bottom of the third inning. He moved to second base on a wild pitch and went to third base when Anderson grounded out for the second out of the the inning. The inning ended when Harris popped up a fly ball to the infield.
The Comets loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth inning but, like the other two occasions, came up empty.
Andrew Hamlett reached base on a GW error with one out. A single by Anderson moved pinch runner Tyler Dunn to third base. Anderson stole second base and Harris walked to load the bases. The inning ended with Stephens going down on strikes for the second time in the game.
The Comets stranded 10 runners on base in the game.
"When you get an opportunity you have to score," Halifax County High School Head Coach Kelvin Davis said.
"You have to get that big hit and we just didn't do it."
While Bivens had a solid night on the mound, the same could be said for Elliott. The Comets' senior hurler struck out five GW batters, allowed only one walk and yielded six hits.
"I'm very pleased with Seth's performance," Davis said.
"We knew Seth would go in there and throw strikes. That's exactly what he did. We just didn't get the big hits when we needed them."
The Comets had seven hits, with Yates' 3-4 effort at the plate leading the team. Tristan Howerton chipped in two hits and Anderson and Stephens each had one hit.
GW had six hits, with Jered Tubb leading the Eagles with two hits. Cumbo, Hunter Byrnes, Bivens and Matt Purvis each had one hit.