Warriors take tourney on Sterling Scott’s 2-out single in 8th inning

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 2, 2005

Suffolk News-Herald

A game winning RBI single by Sterling Scott with two out in the bottom of the eighth inning pushed Nansemond River over Landstown, 4-3, giving the Warriors the championship of their invitational tournament on Thursday night.

After a holding Landstown in their half of the first, Chris Williams led off the Warrior first with a double into the right center field gap.

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Tyren Rivers executed a sacrifice bunt that moved Williams to third and Will Hirsch followed with an RBI double down the right field line.

Josh Cousins doubled the Warrior lead, scoring Hirsch with a sharp groundball into right field for a single.

Hirsch cruised through the first three innings on the mound, retiring nine of the first 10 Eagles he faced, striking out four of them.

But Landstown came to life in the top of the fourth, as four of five batters knocked singles.

Combined with a throwing error and a balk, the Eagles grabbed a 3-2 lead.

The lead held until one out in the bottom of the sixth when Tim Eure dramatically changed everything in one swing.

Eure turned on a fastball and drove it high and deep over the left field fence for a solo home run.

The blast was the first Warrior extra base hit since the first inning.

Eure said he knew it was gone the instant he hit it.

&uot;Oh yeah, definitely.

I knew it was there.&uot;

But the homer only tied the game, and when Landstown stranded two River base runners in the bottom of the seventh, extra innings, or at least an inning, was needed.

The Eagles loaded the bases off new hurler Noble Reeves in the top of the eighth, but David Mattei came in from the pen to get the third out on a fly out to Josh Harrell in left.

Landstown got two quick outs to begin the bottom half, but Mattei drew a walk, and then Justin Topping hit a grounder to short, and the Eagle shortstop threw high over his first baseman for an error.

Instead of the end of the inning, the Warriors had the winning run on third.

Scott saw one pitch, lining that first pitch to shallow right center field.

The Eagle centerfielder made a great diving effort, but the ball glanced off his glove and fell to the turf, allowing Mattei to score the game winner.

&uot;I went up there telling myself I was going to get a hit,&uot; said Scott, &uot;and they had been throwing me inside all night.&uot;

Mattei was also the winning pitcher, facing all of one batter to get that reward.

Hirsch threw seven solid innings, giving up just four hits and one walk, while striking out nine.

&uot;It was very good team baseball.&uot;

Said head coach Mark Stuffel about the successful tournament for the Warriors (8-0, 4-0).

&uot;The guys did a good job hitting in clutch situations and our pitching was strong throughout the tournament.&uot;

Williams, Rivers, Eure, and Zach Strong were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Williams hit .500 (8-for-16) for the week and collected four RBI.

Rivers was .571 at the plate (8-for-14), scored six runs, knocked in six RBI and had four stolen bases.

Eure hit .417 (5-for-12) to go along with his game-tying homer; and Strong was the winning pitcher in two of River’s four tournament victories.