Warriors start ’14 with big winsPublished 10:08pm Tuesday, March 25, 2014
The Nansemond River High School baseball team made a statement to start the season this past weekend with a nine-inning, 4-3 victory against visiting Grassfield High School on Saturday and a 5-2 victory at Great Bridge High School on Friday.
“We expected to do well, so winning wasn’t a surprise, but to come out and beat two teams like that right off the bat is a good start to any season,” Warriors head coach Mark Stuffel said.
He noted that neither the Grizzlies nor the Wildcats are in a rebuilding year but are again fielding good teams this year.
“Both games were very well-played games … by all three teams, we just happened to come out on top in both of them,” Stuffel said.
He said the game against Grassfield was a showcase of strong defenses.
“The pitchers threw strikes, but the defense on both sides was very good,” he said. “We left 13 runners on, they left 11 runners on.”
Stuffel said Nansemond River managed to come up with the hit that neither team could get for most of the game. Junior Robert Fitzwater hit a walk-off single in the ninth inning that drove in sophomore Dion Jordan.
Jordan went 3-for-6 for the game.
“He’s been our lead-off hitter,” Stuffel said. “He’s done a good job of getting on base.”
The coach said all of his hitters have swung the bats fairly well so far.
Senior Trevor Riggs, senior Shane McCaw and freshman Jarred Johnson each went 2-for-4, and Riggs added a run batted in. Junior Kieton Rivers recorded a hit, two RBIs and a run scored, sophomore Wilbur Davis had a hit and a run scored, and sophomore Corey Fago also scored a run.
Sophomore Matt Holt pitched four innings, throwing four strikeouts and allowing nine hits and three earned runs. Junior Ethan Woodruff threw for two innings, producing one strikeout and allowing two hits. Fitzwater registered four strikeouts and allowed two hits in two and two-thirds innings.
But it was Riggs who earned the win on the mound in the ninth by helping produce a single out — Grassfield’s last — when a hit went to center field and Davis made the catch.
This followed up Riggs’ impressive offensive performance on Friday that helped put the game away against Great Bridge.
Due to the weather, Nansemond River (2-0, 0-0) will now visit Indian River High School on Thursday rather than Tuesday.