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Forbush beats Ashe in 11th

Originally published: May. 2, 2013
Last modified: May. 2, 2013

Steve Behr

EAST BEND — Ashe’s baseball team lived dangerously with Forbush for five innings. The sixth time proved to be too much to overcome.

Forbush, playing Ashe in the first round of the Mountain Valley Conference Tournament, had left the bases loaded in five of the 10 innings already played. In he 11th inning, the Falcons had runners on second and third. Unlike the previous innings when the Falcons threated to score, they managed to push a run across the plate and take an 8-7 victory against the visiting Huskies.

Austin Livengood’s ground ball that slipped between third base and shortstop drove in Barrett Hennings for the final run for the Falcons (13-8), who advanced into the semifinal round. Ashe’s season ended with a 5-12 record, and the Huskies won’t play in the state tournament.

“It was a marathon game tonight,” Ashe coach Ronnie Pruitt said. “Our kids competed hard and played hard. Both teams played their tails off tonight. They just had the breaks their way in the last inning.”

Ashe used three pitchers, starting with Cameron Guyton, who saw the Falcons load the bases in the seventh, but got out of the jam with a strikeout.

Guyton was relieved in the eighth inning by freshman Joe Lowder, who was brought up from the junior varsity to pitch. Forbush loaded the bases in the eighth, but Lowder turned a 3-0 count into a strikeout to end the inning.

Guyton struck out 10 and walked four in his seven innings of pitching. Three of the seven runs he allowed were earned.

Lowder struck out three, walked three, and gave up just one hit in three innings of work. Pruitt said Lowder was called in for duty after another Ashe pitcher sprained his ankle during practice and could not play.

Joe Richardson took over in the 10th inning and got out of a bases loaded jam when Forbush popped out for the third out. In the 11th, the Falcons opened with a double, which was followed by an intentional walk.

Both players advanced a base to on a wild pitch, which led to Livengood’s game-winning hit.

Ashe’s offense struggled against Forbush relief pitcher Carson Fulp, who entered the game in the fifth inning. The sophomore right-hander, who didn’t pitch at all last year, mixed a good curveball with his fastball to keep the Huskies off-balance all game.

“He’s a tough kid and he’s an athlete,” Forbush coach Denny Key said. “He has that mindset, that fortitude that if he’s going to lose, he’s going to put up a fight doing. I told him three innings before the game ended that, ‘This is yours, so don’t worry.’ I thought he did a tremendous job.”

Forbush held a 4-3 lead when a misty rain started to fall in the bottom of the fourth inning. Ashe took a 7-4 lead in the top of the fifth inning when the Huskies loaded the bases. Cameron Guyton laid down a squeeze bunt that scored a run to tie the game 4-4.

Forbush extended the play on an error trying to throw Guyton out at first base. Two more runs scored and Guyton ended up on second. He scored on an RBI single by Hunter Barnes to give the Huskies a 7-4 advantage.

Fulp took over from there. He set the Huskies down in order in the seventh, eighth and 10th innings. Fulp did not give up a hit until 11th inning when Bradley Carpenter singled.
Alex Laws and Bradley Richie each scored two runs for the Huskies.

“He threw six great innings right there,” Pruitt said. “He stepped up there and threw real well. I think he did get stronger as the game went on. He did a great job for them.”
For more information and stories, see Ashe Mountain Times.