Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

PREP BASEBALL - BUFFALO 9, GREATER BECKLEY CHRISTIAN 2 Whittington, Bison Thunder Past Crusaders

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

PREP BASEBALL - BUFFALO 9, GREATER BECKLEY CHRISTIAN 2 Whittington, Bison Thunder Past Crusaders

Article excerpt

BUFFALO - Nick Whittington weathered a rain delay better than his mound counterpart Friday evening, enabling Buffalo to storm off with another win over a state-ranked opponent. Whittington fashioned a four-hitter with six strikeouts and Ian O'Donnell drove in four runs as the Bison earned a 9-2 victory against visiting Greater Beckley Christian.

The game was halted for a little more than an hour to start the bottom of the fourth inning as a strong but brief thunderstorm rumbled through Putnam County.

At the time, Buffalo led 3-1, but Crusaders starter Tanner Ray had fanned six through his three innings and only one of the runs he allowed was earned.

However, that all changed following the delay as the Bison came to bat in the home half of the fourth against Greater Beckley (14- 5), the No. 5 team in the Gazette-Mail's Class A state ratings.

Ray walked Whittington, Buffalo's No. 8 hitter, and gave up a pop single to Isaac Casto. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch, and O'Donnell followed with a solid two-run single. The next batter, Hunter Whittington, stroked a ball that hit the wet grass and skipped past the left fielder all the way to the wall, scoring O'Donnell to make it 6-1. Ray was then lifted for reliever Brett Green.

"We set for a while, and just wasn't ready to go coming out of the rain delay," said Greater Beckley coach Chris Walls. "It's one of them things. We probably shouldn't have went with [Ray]; we probably should have went a different route, but I watched him in the bullpen before he came back out and he still looked good, good velocity and stuff. He just couldn't find it."

Ray and Green combined to strike out 12, seven by Ray.

The long delay, though, didn't affect Nick Whittington as much. He surrendered just one hit and one unearned run in his final three innings. He finished with two walks and both runs he permitted were unearned.

"Coach told me to make sure the ball was dry," Whittington said, "and stay on top of all my pitches. Our catcher did a good job staying down and keeping me down in the strike zone, and making sure I didn't rise up. And it also helped a lot that our offense was pretty well out there. …

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