Colts capture sectional

PHILIPPI – Facing three straight elimination games in the Class AA, Region II, Section 3 tournament, Philip Barbour coach Jonathan Carpenter turned to his seniors to provide leadership.

The elder statesmen answered the call, helping guide the Colts past Liberty, 9-3, in Tuesday’s deciding game.

“This (title) speaks volumes for our seniors,” Carpenter said.

“They kept our team together through the adversity we faced after dropping a heartbreaker (a 3-2 loss to Liberty) in the first game of the sectional tournament.

“You couldn’t ask for better group of seniors to lead the way.”

Philip Barbour (11-15) stayed alive in the tourney with a win at Grafton last Wednesday, followed by victories against Liberty the past two days.

“I was concerned about the layoff,” Carpenter said of last week’s two rainouts. “But the guys came out focused at the plate and got the job done.”

The Colt trailed 1-0 against Liberty in Tuesday’s game before striking for five runs in the third inning.

Singles by Bai Carpenter and Al Johnson started the rally with Dylan Harris plating both runners with another single.

RBI singles from Saige Cline and Jacob Marsh followed, while the final run crossed on an error.

The Mountaineers cut the margin to 5-3 in the top of the fourth before Philip Barbour blew the game open in the home-half of the frame with four runs.

After Tyler Baldwin singled and Johnson was hit-by-a-pitch, Harris’ sacrifice bunt moved both runners up.

Cline was then intentionally walked to load the bases.

Sean Curtis’ fielder’s choice knocked in the first run, while Marsh and Neville followed with RBI singles.

Baldwin, a left-hander, went all seven innings to earn the win, allowing three runs on five hits, fanning seven and walking three.

Ty Wickline took the loss, giving up five runs on six hits in 2 1/3 innings. He struck out one and walked one.

Philip Barbour, which will visit Moorefield Friday for a tune-up game, will travel to Bridgeport on Monday for regional semifinal action.