CLARKSBURG - Chance Price pitched out of trouble on several occasions Thursday, but helped his own cause with two hits and two runs batted in as Philip Barbour blanked Liberty 5-0 to take the sectional title.
Philip Barbour, 14-15, will play the winner of the Bridgeport-Lincoln game in the regional semifinal game at a site to be determined on May 21.
The Colts broke open what had been a pitchers' duel between Price and Liberty's Ty Noss by scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, all coming after two outs. But Saige Cline walked, and Bryant Martin singled him home. Martin scored on Price's single, and Al Martin, who had reached on a walk, scored on Doug Smith's single.
The Inter-Mountain photo by John Wickline
Philip Barbour second baseman Zach Howdershelt, right, looks for the call after tagging out Liberty’s Ty Noss trying to steal in the third inning of Thursday’s sectional championship baseball game.
"We found holes at the end," Philip Barbour coach Jonathon Carpenter said.
Carpenter noted that the double play turned by Liberty in that break-out inning could have been a big momentum swing, had it not been for the two-out rally.
"We have had a tendency all year to have one bad inning," he said. "I think that was in the back of our minds."
Smith's single chased Noss, who pitched 5 2/3 innings while nursing a tender elbow. He allowed 10 hits, struck out one and walked three. Noss smacked a single and a double, along with drawing two walks in his four trips to the plate.
"Ty pitched on guts," Liberty coach Russ Nutt said. "He showed what Ty Noss is all about. He battled and gave us a chance to win. But you have to score runs."
Price, in earning the win, pitched all seven innings, scattering six hits and four walks. He struck out four. Price pitched out of a jam in the fifth when Liberty had runners on second and third, but he fanned Bryan Van Norman to end the inning. He got out of another similar situation in the sixth inning by striking out Cody Huffman to end the threat.
"We couldn't hit with guys on base," Nutt said.
The Colts took the lead in the second inning when Tyler Schiefelbein singled to start the inning, then came around to score on an infield out. They added a second run in the fifth inning when Martin led off with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. He later scored on Price's single into right field.