Conley fires no-hitter over Billies
by Paul Adkins
CHAPMANVILLE — Dustin Conley looked like his Tiger namesake pitcher Justin Verlander as the senior Chapmanville Regional High School hurler fired a no-hitter in Wednesday night’s 6-0 win over county rival Man at a chilly Ted Ellis Field in Chapmanville.
Conley, a right-hander, went the distance, as he struck out 13 and walked three while allowing no runs and no hits over seven full innings.
The Tigers didn’t get a hit themselves off Man pitcher Braden Griffin until the fifth inning but were able to piece together enough timely hits to beat the Hillbillies.
Chapmanville is now 6-2 on the season while Man dropped to 0-5. The Billies were coming off Tuesday night’s 6-2 loss at Belfry, Ky.
With the win, Chapmanville avenged last year’s 17-1 loss at home to the Billies. The teams are slated to meet again on April 24 in the rematch at Man.
Tigers’ coach Eric Ellis said he was impressed with Conley’s pitching.
“It was a real good performance,” Ellis said. “He was pretty much in command all night with his pitches — his fastball, curveball and occasionally with his splitter. He was throwing them all for strikes and he had good pop on his fastball. It was an outstanding performance and that’s what we’re expecting him to do this year as a senior.”
Both teams were scoreless and hitless heading into the bottom of the fifth inning. That’s when Austin Watts finally broke up Griffin’s bid for a no-hitter as he ripped a two-run double to the left centerfield fence to make it 2-0 Tigers.
“Both pitchers were throwing really well,” Ellis said of Conley and Griffin. “Griffin was on top of his game, too, and had a nice fastball. He’s a good left-hander and had a lot of movement on it. He ended up laboring more than Dustin as he got behind on the count and his pitch count was up. Dustin almost got to the point in his pitch count where we were ready to get him. We wanted to keep him right around the 100 mark and that’s about where he ended up.”
Griffin would then leave the game as he hurled four-plus innings and allowed two runs and one hit with eight strikeouts and nine walks. He was relieved by Noah Maynard.
Chapmanville then blew the game open in the bottom of the sixth, plating four runs to make it 6-0.
Senior pinch-hitter Josh Eldridge got it going with an RBI double down the third base line to put the Tigers ahead 3-0.
William Copley then had a bunt single and Scottie Thompson stepped up to deliver a two-run single to make it a 5-0 ballgame.
Tristan Thompson’s sacrifice fly then drove in another run to finish off the scoring.
Conley then mowed down the Billies in the seventh to preserve the no-hitter and shutout win.
The Tigers are scheduled to return to action with a Friday doubleheader at Mount View at 10 a.m. The game was moved up from the original 12 p.m. starting time due to Mount View’s prom, Ellis said. CRHS is then at Clay County on Saturday for a noon game before going to Scott next Monday for a 6:30 p.m. contest.
Chapmanville is then home on April 9 against Poca and April 12 and 13 with the Daffer tourney against Capital and Wayne.
The Hillbillies were slated to go to Valley Fayette on Thursday night. Man is set to host Lincoln County on Friday at 4 p.m. in the home opener. Man then plays at Midland Trail on Saturday at 1 p.m. before hosting 3A county rival Logan on April 10 at 7 p.m.
Belfry (Ky.) 6,
GOODY, Ky. – The Man baseball team lost 6-2 on Tuesday night at Belfry, Ky.
Man scored the game’s first run in the top of the first inning as Braden Griffin doubled and Cayce Mullins drove him home with an RBI single to left.
Belfry tied it in the bottom of the first with Zack Francisco’s RBI double.
The Pirates took a 2-1 lead in the third with Reed Williamson’s sacrifice fly. Belfry made it 3-1 with an RBI single to right by Austin Rollins, who was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double.
In the fifth, Belfry tacked on another run to make it 4-1.
Then in the sixth, Belfry added two more to up the margin to 6-1.
The Billies cut it to 6-2 in the top of the seventh as Mitchell Morris doubled to center and scored on a double to left by Griffin.
Zac Fields was the starting and winning pitcher for the Pirates.
Freshman John Thomas Keffer took the loss on the hill for the Hillbillies.
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