Nathan Cash-Special to The Examiner
It was a close game to the end at Kiwanis Field on Thursday night as the New River Road Runners edged out the Roanoke rails late in a back and forth affair.
The Road Runners got the scoring started in the bottom of the first inning when second baseman Justin Bowler came around to score on a Brayden Morris RBI single. They would tack on two more in the third inning with the big blow coming on a home run by Road Runners left fielder Vinney Kuchenbuch.
The Rails answered back with four runs of their own in the top of the fifth in which they loaded the bases with none out. Two of the runs came on clutch two-out hits from designated hitter Nic Ratliff and right fielder Hunter Allen.
Pitching dominated the next two innings as both teams were held scoreless from then until the eighth inning when the Road Runners took the lead on a two-out two-RBI single by third baseman Ian Southcott which resulted in a close play at the plate. The lead did not last long however as the Rails right fielder Hunter Allen got on base to lead off the top of the ninth and capitalized on two fielding errors to work his way around the bases and score the tying run.
It was the Road Runners, however, that struck the final blow. After loading the bases with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, right fielder Carlos Diaz capitalized on a wild pitch to break for home and barely beat the tag, bringing an end to the closely contested game.