Saint seniors get easy win

Published 2:34 pm Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Nansemond-Suffolk’s baseball team took good care of its senior day with a 10-0 mercy-rule win over Tidewater Conference foe Bishop Sullivan Catholic on Tuesday.

NSA’s head coach, Michael Curry, admits he’ll have quite a rebuilding task on his hands come next season, as eight of his 12 players were playing their regular season home finale in the 10-0 win. Fortunately for Curry and the Saints, even though Tuesday was senior day, there’s still a lot to play for this spring as NSA sits in good position in the state rankings to reach the VIS (Virginia Independent Schools) State Tournament.

On Tuesday, the only underclassman in the Saints’ starting lineup was freshman shortstop Anthony Waldner.

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In the outfield, Jim Hassell, Isaac Ballou and Mike Bradshaw are seniors. Around the horn in the infield, Codi Oliver at third, Geoff Mason at second and Christian Upchurch at first are seniors; and the battery against the Crusaders, catcher Skylar White and pitcher Mike Coburn, are seniors.

Coburn tossed a one-hit complete game, allowing the Crusaders only one hitter over the minimum in five innings.

The Saints jumped in front with three runs in the home half of the first. Hassell, Waldner and Ballou each singled to load the bases with no outs. Hassell sprinted home on a wild pitch and Oliver, in the clean-up spot, singled sharply to left to bring in Waldner and Ballou.

With Coburn blanking the Crusaders, NSA put the game out of reach with a six-run rally in the fourth.

Again, a string of base hits got the inning going. Bradshaw, White and Upchurch each singled to open the inning. Upchurch’s hit brought in Bradshaw and a couple hitters later, a single by Coburn scored White for a 5-0 margin.

With two outs and the bases loaded, Ballou was hit with a pitch, as he “took one for the team” in the ribs while facing a 1-2 count, to bring in another run and keep the inning alive.

Oliver followed with a slicing liner deep down the right field line for a three-run double and a 9-0 NSA lead. Oliver finished 2 for 3 with five RBI. Coburn also had two hits along with two RBI.

NSA reached a 10-run, mercy-rule margin in the next inning with Upchurch scoring from third on a single by Coburn.

NSA (14-5, 6-2) is in third place in the Tidewater Conference standings with one game remaining. NSA travels to face first-place Greenbrier Christian on Thursday afternoon. The Gators defeated the Saints 12-3 in a non-conference game on Apr. 18.