MAN — The Man High School baseball team’s struggles at the plate continued on Saturday as the Hillbillies lost 4-1 at home to Greater Beckley Christian at Man’s Dr. Juan Nordelo Field.
The defeat dropped the Hillbillies to 0-2 on the season.
Man batters struck out 12 times just like they did in the 8-0 season opening loss to Logan. The Billies only managed two hits — an infield single and a bloop single as Greater Beckley pitchers Brett Green and Cole Kipps held MHS in check.
The Crusaders got all the runs they would need in the top half of the first inning, scoring two and going up 2-0 off Man starter and loser Dylan Goodman.
Tanner Ray had an RBI double during the inning.
Man’s lone run came in the bottom of the third off Green as Kenny Jo Adkins walked, stole second base, went to third on a throwing error by the GBC catcher and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Cameron Simpson with two outs, cutting the deficit to 2-1.
The Billies had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth inning off relief pitcher Kipps. Simpson led off with a single and John Thomas Keffer then laid down perfect sac bunt to move Simpson into scoring position. However, Kipps then got Seth Chapman out on strikes and got Austin Gent to pop up to end the threat.
The Crusaders scored an insurance run in the top half of the sixth inning off John McCoy and Keffer.
Riffe got a single off McCoy and Tanner Ray then ripped a gapper in right center for a double, scoring Ray to make it 3-1. McCoy then walked Noah Miller to load the bases.
Man head coach Larry Vance then called on Keffer to the mound but he walked Green to force in a run, making it 4-1. Keffer then got a ground out and strikeout to end the inning.
Tyler Blair flew out for Man in the bottom of the seventh. Nick Collins reached on an error but was stranded as Kipps then fanned Jacob Trogden and Kyle Browning to end the game.
Simpson and Austin Gent had Man’s two hits. Ray led Greater Beckley as he was 3-for-4 with two doubles, a single and an RBI.
The Billies were scheduled to host Class AAA Lincoln County on Monday. Man plays at Van on Tuesday in a 7 p.m. game before going to Buffalo on Friday for a 1 p.m. contest.