Late night ends in eighth with NSA win
NORFOLK – Nansemond-Suffolk fought back from an early 4-0 deficit and through five different Norfolk Collegiate pitchers late, later than what went on a couple miles down the street at Harbor Park, into Friday night to come away with a 7-6, eight-inning, victory to keep their TCIS record a perfect through seven games.
Down 4-0 after two innings, the Saints began to get back into the game in the top of the third when Bryan Breedlove scored on Matt Hamlet’s two-out single.
The Saints were fully back in the top of the fourth, when with two outs and the bases loaded, Breedlove ripped a line drive over the head of the Oaks’ right fielder that went to the fence for a three-RBI triple, tying the score, 4-4.
Isaac Ballou, who came in for Brandon Whedbee, who lasted only one inning, kept the Oaks quiet in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
NSA took the lead in the top of the fifth as Matt Hamlet reached base on an error to start the frame, then stole second and stole third.
Whedbee brought Hamlet the last 90 feet with a sacrifice fly to center.
Ballou led off the NSA sixth with a smoked liner into left that at first looked as though was right at the Oak outfielder, but Ballou hit it so hard it sliced away from him and two-hopped the fence in left and Ballou raced around to third with a head-first dive.
The next two Saints made outs though, leaving Ballou on third, but Hamlet came through with a single into left to score Ballou, putting NSA up 6-4 with six outs to go.
The Oaks got to Ballou though in the sixth, getting a pair of singles and a walk, along with three stolen bases off Ballou, before NSA went to Breedlove to take over on the mound.
Breedlove got the last two outs, but NC had tied the game, 6-6.
NSA was held scoreless in the top of the seventh, and two nice plays by Hamlet at short helped Breedlove work a 1-2-3 NC seventh.
Ballou started the NSA eighth with a single, and Ballou took second on a wild pitch.
NC intentionally walked Breedlove and then unintentionally walked Shea Ahlsted, loading the bases with no outs.
Hamlet wasted no time, shooting a single into right field that scored Ballou and put NSA up, 7-6.
NC’s infield made back-to-back excellent plays to get force outs at the plate and then the final out on a roller to first, keeping NSA’s lead only a single run.
The Oaks mustered a pair of singles off Breedlove in the bottom of the eighth, but a grounder to Hamlet and a game-ending strikeout finished off the tense NSA victory.
NSA (12-4, 7-0) has eight wins in a row and finished up April with a 10-1 record in the month.
The last week of the Saints’ regular season starts with a visit to Bishop Sullivan Catholic on Tuesday.
NSA hosts the only other undefeated TCIS team, Greenbrier Christian, for their Senior Day Thursday; and the Saints go to Christchurch Friday afternoon.