• 66°

NSA scrapes out tourney, TCIS win

Andrew Giermak

CHESAPEAKE – Bryan Breedlove scattered eight hits and the Nansemond-Suffolk defense behind Breedlove made the big plays when the pressure was on Monday night as the Saints beat Cape Henry, 2-1, in the Hampton Roads Invitational Tournament at Oscar Smith.

The two Tidewater Conference schools were originally scheduled to play their conference contest Thursday, but decided to make this their TCIS game when it was learned they were placed in the same pool of the tournament.

Cape Henry mounted the first of their many threats in the top of the third, putting runners on first and second with one out.

Breedlove recovered though with a strikeout and then with a grounder which shortstop Matt Hamlet took care of for the third out.

NSA got their only two hits of the night in their half of the third, which was good enough to take the lead.

Isaac Ballou smashed a grounder directly over first base and down into the right field corner for a double and the next batter, Breedlove, drove him in with a single through the hole on the right side of the Dolphin infield as the second baseman was having to hold Ballou on second.

The Dolphins began the fourth with two consecutive hits, putting runners on second and third.

A popup on the infield to Hamlet and then a failed squeeze play gave NSA two outs and the Saints seemed to be ready to get out of the inning before a Cape Henry single tied the game, 1-1.

In the Dolphin fifth, Pat Chacoin’s one-out triple was left stranded as Breedlove got another key strikeout and then a nice play by Devin Jesz on a hard-hit grounder to third to retire the side.

NSA went down in order in the fifth and Cape Henry did the same in the top of the sixth.

Breedlove struck out to begin the NSA sixth and then Sam Howell, working the count and fouling off a couple two-strike pitches, drew a walk with one out.

Hamlet followed Howell’s example, getting another walk from another long at bat, and suddenly NSA had a rally without getting a hit.

The first pitch to Jesz was a wild pitch to the backstop and Howell and Hamlet each moved up a base.

The third pitch to Jesz was another short-hopper that went to the backstop, Howell raced in from third and scored with a headfirst dive, giving NSA a 2-1 lead.

Hamlet was left standing on third, but NSA had the lead with three outs to go.

As they had for most of the night, the Dolphins put together another serious threat in the seventh.

The inning started with a bloop single into left.

NSA got the next two outs, but a passed ball put the tying run on second.

Chacoin, who had ripped a triple to the right-centerfield fence in his last time up, was the batter with two out.

Breedlove walked Chacoin, bringing up Dolphin pitcher Robert Morey.

Despite pitching a two-hitter and still being on the hook for the loss, Morey had the ultimate opportunity to “help himself out.”

After watching ball one from Breedlove, Morey sent the second pitch on a line shot out to right.

Patrick Clark only had time to backpedal a few steps, dive over his left shoulder, and then reach up with his glove to show the umpire he had the ball.

NSA (5-4, 4-0) played Indian River Tuesday in their final group game of the Hampton Roads Invitational; the result was not available at press time.

The Saints play Saturday in the final round of the tournament at Oscar Smith.