WEIRTON - More than 2 hours of baseball came down to three pitches.
Weirton Post 10 and the Georgia Eagles were tied at 10 heading into the seventh inning. Due to a time rule, the game was decided under Texas Shootout rules. In the end, three straight Georgia batters walked to plate the winning run as the Eagles defeated Weirton, 11-10, in the 26th Annual Edgar Martin Beast of the Classic Friday afternoon at Bowman Field.
According to Texas Shootout rules, the player who made the last out in the inning before was put on second base to start the inning, and each batter comes to the plate already facing a full count.
Post 10, who were the visitors, failed to plate a run in the top of the seventh, and Weirton pitcher Sam Hockenberry threw three-straight balls allowing the Georgia Eagles to score the winning run.
"I have not had a game decided by a Texas Shootout before," Weirton (7-5) head coach Bill Magnone said. "It is a tough way to lose a ballgame, but both teams play under the same rules. We just didn't get it done."
Post 10 led 9-4 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, but the Eagles scored six runs to take a 10-9 lead. Weirton answered with a run in the sixth to tie the score at 10.
Georgia Eagles 11, Weirton 10
Weirton 151 111 0 - 10 10 4
Georgia Eagles 301 060 1 - 11 8 3
GEORGIA EAGLES: Ferde (3IP, 2K, 3BB), Dupont (1IP, 2K, 2BB), Holmes, Bryant and Durante; Henry 2S; Scott S; Carmes S; Walker S; Forde 2S.
WEIRTON (7-6): Lombardi, Bowser, Hockenberry (LP), and Reardon; Woodruff 2S; Bowser 2S; Cessna S; Merico 2S; Sylvestri 2S, D.
Post 10 plated at least one run in each of the first six innings, and Weirton ended up with 10 hits on the day, but it was not enough to get the job done against the boys from Georgia.
"We hit the ball," Magnone said. "We just had too many errors. We gave them too many easy runs."
Both teams used multiple pitchers and made multiple position changes throughout the game.
Mario Lomabrdi started the game on the mound for Weirton. Lombardi pitched into the fifth before being relieved in the inning by Will Boswer. Hockenberry replaced Bower in the seventh inning. The three pitchers struck out seven batters while walking 11.
The Georgia pitchers struck out eight and walked eight.
The Eagles ended up with eight hits on the day. Two batters had a multi-hit game. Seven of the eight hits were singles. One was a double.
Offensively for Post 10, Dom Sylvestri tallied two singles and a double, Kyle Woodruff, Vince Merico and Bowser all finished with two singles and Matt Cessna singled.
"You want to succeed in anything you play in," Magnone said. "What really counts at the end is the Area Tournament."
Post 10 plated a run in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead, but the Eagles plated three runs in the bottom half of the inning to build a 3-1 advantage.
The lead did not last long.
Weirton responded with five runs in the second to regain the lead at 6-3.
Post 10 tacked on another run in the third, and the Eagles also scored in their half of the inning leaving the score at 7-4 after three innings.
Weirton added a run in the fourth and one more in the fifth to build a 9-4 advantage.
"We sat back too much, and we let them get back into the game," Magnone said.
Post 10 made four errors, while the Eagles made three.
"It is nice to be successful in a tournament like this, but right now we are not fielding good enough to be successful," said Magnone.
Weirton dropped a 12-1 decision to Chartiers Valley in its second game of the afternoon.