Knights clip Eagles for titlePublished 11:16pm Friday, May 16, 2014
The Suffolk Christian Academy and Summit Christian Academy baseball teams put on a show in Thursday’s conference tournament championship that was worthy of the college and pro standard nine innings.
With the squads locked in a 6-6 tie since the fourth inning, Knights senior Jeremy Blasiole hit a two-run double in the top of the ninth that led his team to an 8-6 victory at Christopher Newport University.
Suffolk Christian head coach Orel Schleeper said the title win, the Knights’ second in a row, was gratifying.
“It was very challenging,” he said. “The other team definitely was strong.”
Suffolk and Summit had traded wins in two prior games this season.
On Thursday, the Knights took a 5-0 lead after two innings, but the Eagles flew back with three runs apiece in the third and fourth, tying Suffolk, which had scored once in the top of the fourth.
Senior Noah Nickert pitched for four and two-third innings and then was relieved by Blasiole, who went on to throw the final four and one-third innings.
“He just had a ridiculous game,” Knights sophomore Shawn Moose said. “On the mound, he was just unhittable. They couldn’t touch him.”
Blasiole allowed no runs and threw eight strikeouts.
The Knights were unable to score either, but in the ninth, freshman Jon Joslin and Moose got on base, and Blasiole came up to bat.
“I came up knowing I was due for a hit,” he said, having struck the ball hard all game. Referring to the Summit pitcher, he said, “I knew he’d been throwing for a long time and just waited for a good pitch and hit it.”
Schleeper said the ball went over the centerfielder’s head to deep left field, scoring pinch runner freshman Nick Dehoust and Moose.
Blasiole was named the Hampton Roads Athletic Conference Tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
“I was just having so much fun playing, I was kind of disappointed to have it all over with, but it felt good to get the win and get the MVP,” he said.
Schleeper praised his seniors, Jared Lauver, Blasiole and Nickert.
“The three seniors left it all on the field,” he said. “They gave it everything they had. They pushed and kept the whole team up.”
Among the key statistics: Joslin went 3-for-4 at the plate with three runs scored, and Moose was 2-for-3, with a double and two runs batted in.
Suffolk had seven hits and two errors compared to the Eagles’ eight hits and four errors.
Schleeper said he had a lot of talent on the team this year, but it was difficult getting them to gel and play as a team early on. But halfway through the season, things started to click.
“We peaked at the right time,” he said.