PLEASANT VALLEY, W.Va. — Down three runs in the fourth inning, East Fairmont never wavered in Monday’s Class AA Region I, Section 2 matchup with Oak Glen.
Instead, the second-seeded Bees immediately answered their deficit with a five-run frame that led to a 5-3 victory at the EFHS baseball complex.
The Bees, No. 8 in the MetroNews Class AA power rankings, will play Wednesday against the winner of Tuesday’s game between No. 1 Fairmont Senior/No. 5 North Marion. The Golden Bears take on No. 4 Weir in an elimination game Tuesday.
“We’re very proud of our guys,” Bees’ coach Joe Price said. “That’s a very gutsy win. They really rose to the occasion right there and I’m proud of them.”
Oak Glen, the No. 3 seed, jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the fourth. The Golden Bears (13-9) got an RBI double from Garrett Brewer, while Hunter Patterson’s infield single led to a throwing error that brought Brewer home for the second run.
Kaleb Dailey’s single to left scored Patterson for Oak Glen’s second two-out run of the inning.
While the Bees (17-9) struggled to hit Josh Cline and struck out eight times over the first three innings, things changed after they fell behind.
Cline hit Dom Postlewait and Chance Rundle with pitches in consecutive plate appearances with one out. After Peyton Sarsfield singled to load the bases, East Fairmont had the bags packed for the top of the lineup.
One inning after the Bees left them loaded, Garrett Wilkerson hit a two-run double to right and Brandon Corley followed with a two-run single to left, giving East its first lead at 4-3.
Cline was removed from the mound in favor of Brewer, but the damage wasn’t done as Corley scored on a wild pitch with two outs to give the Bees a two-run lead.
“We just had the one bad inning. We can’t give up a five spot,” Oak Glen coach T.J. Miller said. “We get three and have to put up a goose egg after that and keep the momentum — and we didn’t.”
Broderick Rohrbaugh, who allowed seven hits over the first four innings, settled in after his team took the lead.
Over the fifth and sixth innings, Rohrabugh retired six straight batters, including three via strikeouts.
“Brod’s a competitor and a workhorse,” Price said. “He goes out there and competes and our guys play good defense behind him. He has all the faith in them and they have all the faith in him.”
Rohrbaugh allowed a one-out single to Dailey and a two-out single to Cline in the seventh, but got cleanup hitter Jonathan Creese to pop out for the final out.
Although Oak Glen finished with nine hits compared to East Fairmont’s three, the Bees drew four walks and had four batters reach on hit by pitch.
“We did have three hits, but thirteen quality at bats and guys got on base so we could make something happen, putting pressure on the defense,” Price said.
Rohrbaugh struck out five and walked one in the complete game win.
Cline allowed five runs on three hits and three base-on-balls. He struck out eight over 3 2/3 innings in defeat.
“We left seven runners on and we can’t do that,” Miller said. “When they got runners over they scored them, and we didn’t. It’s something we’ve been working on all year, but haven’t been able to fix yet.”