Western baseball blows game open late to win Conference 29 title

Forget about trying to hold on.

Western Albemarle’s baseball team just decided to blow the game wide open.

Clinging to a one-run lead after five and a half innings, Western plated six runs in the sixth inning to help close out a 10-3 Conference 29 championship game victory.

The Warriors got patient at the plate, particularly late in the game, and drew 13 walks from four different Turner Ashby pitchers.

Eli Sumpter and Harrison Lund’s RBI walks in the sixth kickstarted the late surge that put away Turner Ashby, and Josh Casteen, Stevie Mangrum and John Mark Mastakas also had RBI walks in the inning. Along with a Dylan Weiss RBI single, Western poured in six runs to snuff out hope of a Turner Ashby comeback.

Eli Sumpter was strong on the mound in the final two innings, picking up a save after Sam Hearn threw five solid innings, giving up a pair of runs in his final frame against a potent Knights lineup that allowed Turner Ashby within a run.

Logan Ebanks had a pair of RBI and Jack Maynard also had two RBI in the winning effort.

The Warriors will host in the opening round of the Region 3A West tournament next week.