Kasey Donaldson’s RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning was the difference as West Harrison beat Long Beach 1-0 on Friday.
With runners on first and second and no outs, Long Beach decided to walk Coleton Smith to load the bases. The Bearcats brought their infield in to defend against the bunt. Donaldson smacked a shot in deep centerfield for the game winner.
“They loaded the bases, and all we needed was a fly ball,” Hurricanes coach David Marsland said. “Anything out of the infield was good. It worked out. Their pitcher threw a great game; kept us off balance all night long.
“Our guy Cade (Simon) pitched equally well. You came to the ball park tonight, you got your money’s worth. It was a great game. I’m just glad we came out on top.”
West Harrison (16-5, 5-1 Region 8-5A) avenged its earlier 1-0 loss to Long Beach.
West Harrison got baserunners in scoring position early, but failed to score. They stranded three baserunners in the second inning, and two each in the third and sixth.
Long Beach rallied in the top of the sixth inning, moving baserunners to second and third on a pass ball at the plate. But the inning ended with a deep fly ball to right field.
“A very well pitched ball game by Austin Allen,” Long Beach coach Shane Rutledge said. “He’s really exploded on the scene for us as a district starter. We had hoped for him to be a guy who could maybe appear in two or three games a week as a reliever, but he has been so strong that we’ve been getting complete games out of him in district play all year. At the end he got behind in a few counts, but he got right back in and kept us in the ball game.”
Both starting pitchers pitched complete games. Simon picked up the win for West Harrison. Allen suffered the tough loss for the Bearcats.
“These have been two great games, and I can’t wait for game three,” Rutledge said. “ We expect this to be a battle down to the wire.”