PHILIPPI, W.Va. – Two big innings at the plate early; timely defense late.
That was the recipe, Tuesday night, for Philip Barbour.
The Colts scored seven of their nine total runs in the first two innings to take what felt like a commanding lead.
When visiting Lincoln drew close late in the game, defense saved the day for the Colts.
Jayden Herron took away extra bases with a diving stop at third base, and Albert Gonzales kept the Colts in front with an over-the-shoulder catch in center field in the sixth inning.
Gonzales also recorded the final out of the game: securing a fly ball in his glove for the third out, and a sectional title for the Colts along with it. Philip Barbour won, 9-7.
“I wouldn’t want any other kids than what we have right here. They may not be the most athletically gifted, or even do it the best, but they’ll fight you tooth and nail, and that’s all you can ask for,” said Philip Barbour manager, Jonathon Carpenter.
Lincoln’s lineup produced one more hit than the Colts’ lineup did. Levi Moore went 4-for-4 at the plate, and Payton Hawkins and Jeremiah Carpenter each collected two hits. Carpenter homered in the fifth to pull the Cougars within two runs at 7-5.
Outside of those three hitters, though, the rest of the Lincoln lineup produced just three hits. Brayden Arcuri did draw three walks, however.
Lincoln scored two runs in the fifth inning, which was started by Carpenter’s solo shot to lead off the frame. The Cougars got to within one run, but the Colts separated after that.
Braiden Short drove in the key insurance run in the bottom of the fifth for Philip Barbour. His RBI-single to right gave the Colts a 9-6 lead.
With the win, Philip Barbour advances to the regional round, and will host Herbert Hoover beginning on Monday. The Colts will have home field advantage in the best-of-three game series, which alternates home sites each game.