West All-Stars slip past in 11th

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 16, 2005

Brett Garner drove home Nick Belcher in the bottom of the 11th inning as the West came back from a two-run seventh-inning deficit to defeat the East 5-4 Thursday in the Virginia High School All-Star Game – made up of the top seniors from A, AA and AAA schools from all over the state – at Nansemond River High School.

&uot;I was really trying to get the job done,&uot; said Garner, a recent graduate of Lake Braddock High School in Burke and future student at James Madison University. &uot;I knew if I got up there, I’d get the job done.&uot;

The game began as a pitching duel, as the teams combined for 12 strikeouts in the first 4.5 innings and only two runners reached third. But with one out in the fifth, Tony Ingle (Battle High, Bristol) got an infield single, stole second and scored on another infield single by Shane Warren (Thomas Jefferson, Alexandria). One inning later, Luke Padgett (Rustburg, Rustburg) walked, stole second, went to third when Garner grounded out, and scored on a wild pitch.

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The East finally found some power in the seventh, as Jarrod Farley (Thomas Dale, Chester) and Kevin Lauranzon (Prince George, Prince George) led off with singles. Devin Branch (Hampton, Hampton) doubled Farley in, and Kevin Light (Hanover, Hanover County) and Dan Hudson (Princess Anne, Virginia Beach) drew walks to force home Lauranzon. Matt Edwards (Midlothian, Midlo-thian) dropped a double into deep left field to knock in Branch and Light, and the East had roared ahead.

Robert Mills (Cave Spring, Roanoke) singled home James Garroghty (Jefferson Forest, Forest) to cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning, but the West went down in order in the eighth.

Then Nick Belcher (Abin-gton, Abington) singled to start the ninth, and Garner doubled him home to tie things up. Two innings later, the two combined once again for the final run.

Edwards, who also pitched three innings, was selected as the East’s Most Valuable Player. Jimmy Saris (Langley, Mclean), who struck out seven in less than four innings, got the West honor.