Woodside beats Warriors in 11th

Published 8:27 pm Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Woodside outlasted Nansemond River and a big Warrior comeback on Monday evening at Nansemond River’s baseball diamond. Despite a Warrior rally from a 10-4 deficit going into the bottom of the sixth inning, Woodside prevailed 16-11 in an 11-inning, four-hour-long game.

The loss was the first for the Warriors (5-7) since opening the season with six straight setbacks. Walks from five different Warrior pitchers and errors by NR infielders allowed the Wolverines repeated chances to score.

A prime example was the first inning, in which Woodside plated three runs without the need of a hit. A walk and a catcher’s interference call put the first two Woodside hitters aboard. Two sacrifices scored one run, then another walk and a throwing error by freshman third baseman Brandon Lowe made it 3-0 Woodside.

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NR’s starting pitcher, Ryan O’Hara, another freshman, was replaced after walking the first Woodside hitter in the top of the second. In all though, NR pitchers walked 13 Wolverines and NR’s defense gave Woodside seven errors.

Korte Mitchell replaced O’Hara and allowed three runs before being relieved in the fourth inning by Daniel Archibald. Archibald pitched 3.0 innings, allowing three runs, and after the Woodside sixth the Wolverines led 10-4.

That’s when walks and errors turned in the Warriors’ favor. Woodside helped the Warriors out with three errors and three walks as NR put four runs on the board in the sixth.

An RBI single by Jordan Long, Long’s third hit of the game as part of a 4 for 5 game at the plate, was the only NR hit in the rally. O’Hara and Lowe reached on errors and came around to score. Ombri Rivers and Darryl Williams drew walks and scored in the inning.

Reid Hoffler pitched the seventh for NR, allowing an unearned run as errors by Rivers at shortstop and Williams at second base led to Woodside’s fifth unearned run of the game.

Down 11-8 with three outs to go, it didn’t take long for the Warriors to erase the margin and NR came close to pulling out a victory.

A single by Williams and a walk to Lowe gave NR runners on first and second with one out and its best slugger, Erickson Keeton, in the batter’s box.

Keeton roped a liner off the fence in right-center field for a two-run triple. Rivers followed Keeton, chopping a grounder to shortstop which probably was enough to score Keeton anyway, but a Woodside error also allowed Rivers to reach base.

Long got his fourth hit of the game, a double, and Woodside intentionally walked Johnny Pitt to set up a force at any bag with one out.

Blake Miller hit a grounder up the middle which led Woodside’s second baseman right to the bag for a do-or-die, second-to-first, double play which saved the Wolverines.

After seven innings with 22 runs combined, for the eighth, ninth and 10th innings, pitching and defense returned for both squads.

Freshman Travis Johnson pitched three scoreless innings for NR before Woodside got to him for five hits and a five-run rally in the top of the 11th.

The best chance for the Warriors to win during the extra innings came in the ninth. Rivers belted a two-out double, giving a chance for Long to drive him in. Long sent a fly to center for the only time in six plate appearances Woodside retired him.

Other offensive leaders for NR were Pitt (3 for 5, two RBI), Keeton (2 for 6, three RBI) and Lowe (2 for 5, three runs).