MONTEREY — Last Tuesday night, the Highland Rams beat the Bath County Chargers 8-1 in a Pioneer District tournament first-round match-up.
Both teams wanted to get the game in, as bad weather threatened most of the evening and the rain started to come down toward the middle of the game. Both teams had a good crowd contingent present, too.
Before the game started, the Rams recognized their seniors. Colton Williams, Michael Campbell, and Ethan Moore were honored and presented by coach J.D. Hiner with a framed picture portfolio of their careers at Highland along with a vial of dirt from Ed Crigler Field and a baseball.
The Chargers started the first inning with a double by Hunter.
John Wagner pitched for the Rams. In the home half of the first, the Rams got things started by scoring three runs with Wagner, Zach Armstrong and Colton Williams crossing the plate. Williams notched an RBI double, Evan Kimble had a sacrifice fly, and Patton Hull recorded an RBI single. The score after the first inning was 3-0 Rams.
Highland, in the bottom of the second inning, scored another run by Campbell, who had hit a single with Armstrong accounting for the RBI. Campbell also stole two bases in the inning. The score after two was 4-0 Rams.
The Chargers managed to get on the scoreboard in the top of the third with Wyatt Campbell scoring on a sacrifice RBI from Issac Ingram.
Ram Tristan Carpenter played some great defense in left field, making two catches. The score after three innings was 4-1 Rams.
Things were quiet as each team exhibited solid defense until the bottom of the fifth.
The Rams then pushed across another run, with Williams crossing the plate on an RBI single from Kimble.
The Rams scored three more runs in the bottom of the sixth with Campbell, Wagner and Williams crossing the plate. Williams hit a two-RBI single. Campbell added another stolen base to his season total of 37.
Wagner shut down the Chargers by striking out the side in the top of the seventh to seal the win for the Rams.
Wagner pitched a complete game, facing 28 batters, giving up one run, two walks and five hits, while striking out eight to earn the win.
The win not only clinched a spot in the semifinal round of the tournament against Parry McCluer last Thursday, but it also gave the Rams their first Region C berth since 2000.
The top four batters for Highland scored all their runs. Williams scored three times, Campbell and Wagner scored twice with Armstrong adding a run.
Campbell stole three bases with Williams adding two more. Williams had three RBI, Kimble added two more, with Hull and Armstrong getting one each. Williams led the way going 3-for-3 with a double. Campbell added two hits, including a double.
“The guys couldn’t play any better; every facet of the game offensively and defensively was just amazing,” said coach Hiner. “Though they haven’t had any practice due to other commitments, they played for the community – that was their motivation.”
Charger Issac Ingram pitched to two batters in bottom of sixth before giving way to Campbell, who finished out the game. Ingram was charged with seven runs, eight hits, four strikeouts and five walks. Campbell pitched one inning facing five batters, giving up a run, one hit, one strikeout and one walk.
Hunter Ryder, Campbell, Cooper Lowry, Hunter Waldeck and Ethan Persinger each had a hit for the Chargers with Ingram hitting a sacrifice RBI to knock in the lone run.
At the end of the game, the Rams made a special presentation to Jim and Jaime Collins, two fans who had followed them the whole season. The Collinses had watched all home and away games for the season and even provided refreshments to the team on some away games.
Last Tuesday’s Linescore
Bath County 001 000 0 - 1 5 1
Highland 310 013 x - 8 9 1
WP: John Wagner (4-2); LP: Issac Ingram (2-5)