After SC tied it in the fourth, both pitchers settled in. It appeared the Warriors would be the first team to blink when the Black Eagles had runners at second and third with one out in the sixth, but escaped the inning without any damage after Hall posted consecutive strikeouts against Santrock and Trevor Sampson.
"[Hall] showed tonight why he's one of the best in the state," Riverside coach Chris Hawkins said. "That situation there, later in the game when we [had to defend] runners on second and third, that's what he likes to pitch in."
Close games often come down to execution, and in the later stages Tuesday, Riverside was the team able to do that. The Warriors turned a Jonathan Pauley bunt attempt into a double play in the seventh, and when SC attempted to do the same to Hancock's bunt attempt in the eighth, Chestnut was ruled safe at second base. Chestnut scored what proved to be the winning run, with Hancock and Aaron Halstead also scoring later in the inning.
"To win sectionals, we went 10 innings to beat Ripley and to win this game we just went eight innings," Hawkins said.
The Warriors find themselves in another pressure situation today when they travel to play Woodrow Wilson for the right to represent Region 3 in the Class AAA state tournament next week at Appalachian Power Park.
Riverside makes its second consecutive appearance in the regional final, where it lost to eventual state champion Princeton in 2012. Woodrow defeated the Tigers 2-1 on Tuesday in the other Region 3 semifinal.
Reach Tom Bragg at tom.br...@wvgazette.com.