MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Timothy Phillips’ diving catch of a sinking line drive saved the game for Buckhannon-Upshur as the Bucs held off a seventh-inning rally from University to win 7-6. The game was the season opener for both teams.
With two runs already across the plate in the inning, Evan Smith stepped up with the bases loaded and two out. Smith ripped a line drive to left field but Phillips dove to his right to make the game-saving catch on a do-or-die play. With the baserunners going on contact, the winning run certainly would have scored for UHS if Phillips were not able to make the play.
“I have faith in Timmy,” said Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Adam Squires. “You are up three (runs) going into the inning, they crawl back and you are on edge anyways on a lined shot like that. That’s a game-winner if it falls.”
University scored three runs in the third inning to take a 3-1 lead. BU would score at least one run in each of the next five innings. A Logan Whitehair RBI single in the sixth gave the Bucs a 5-4 lead and they would not trail again.
Casey Hamner picked up the win in relief for Buckhannon-Upshur, allowing three runs over the final four innings.
BU features a senior-dominated starting lineup and they expect to contend in a sectional that also includes UHS, Morgantown and Preston.
“We have twelve seniors so we better win the sectional. That is what you have to shoot for especially with an older group like this,” Squires said.