Warriors make history

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 28, 2005

With one swing of the bat, Will Hirsch sent Nansemond River to Eastern Region competition for the first time since the Warriors entered AAA competition in 1997. With a full count and two outs in the top of the eighth inning, Hirsch smacked a double down the left field line to drive in Chris Williams for the deciding run in a 2-1 defeat of visiting Deep Creek in the semifinals of the Southeastern District Thursday afternoon.

After Hirsch held the Hornets to two hits in the first five innings on Wednesday before rain knocked the game back a day, Zach Strong (who joined Hirsch on the All-District pitching team) held Creek without a hit Thursday. With the game in extra innings, Josh Harrell struck out to start the eighth, but Williams dribbled a bunt to the right of the mound to get on.

He stole second, and moved to third on a wild pitch. But Tyren Rivers struck out, and it was up to Hirsch.

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Hirsch swung and missed at the first pitch, then let two balls go by. He fouled off another pitch and a ball went high, filling the count. Hirsch fouled off two more balls.

&uot;My mind was blank,&uot; he said. &uot;I was just thinking that if I didn’t put this ball in play, we’ll have to play another inning, which could take longer and we could make an error.&uot;

He smacked a hard chopper up the third base line, which rifled over the third baseman’s glove and landed just inside fair territory. Williams bolted home, and Hirsch charged to second.

With the Hornets up, Strong got the first batter to ground out to Rivers at short, then struck out the second. The third batter rapped another hard one at Rivers, who reached over to backhand it and fired to first to reach the next level.

&uot;I just wanted to make the play,&uot; Rivers said. &uot;I can’t say I was nervous, because we’d played good defense for both days.&uot;

In the district championship, the Warriors ran out of gas, falling 15-0 to Great Bridge. They’ll begin regional competition at Old Dominion.

Over at Oscar Smith, the Lady Warriors’ season ended with a 4-0 loss to Great Bridge in the first round of the district tournament.