Nansemond off to 3-0 start
The Post 88 Nansemond Indians slugged their way to their third straight victory to start the American Legion baseball season on Monday with a 9-1 win over Post 25 Newport News at Nansemond River High School.
With a 15-5 win Friday against visiting Post 49 Smithfield and an 8-1 win at Post 39 Williamsburg on Saturday, the Indians are pleasing their head coach Todd Eure. Monday’s win came over a talented group from Newport News which draws its players largely from Menchville High School’s junior varsity team. Menchville’s varsity team is in this week’s Group AAA state tournament with a 23-2 record and is currently ranked No. 5 in the nation by Baseball America.
“They’re playing spectacular,” said Eure. “(Post 25) was a top team in the district coming in, so this is a big win for us.
“Every game our hitting has been really consistent. We’re getting a lot of good power, but we also have unselfish players doing a lot of good things.”
On Monday evening, Zach Repko, in the seventh spot of Nansemond’s order, supplied a lot of the power.
Repko’s power went to the opposite field, as he, a lefty, drove a triple off the left-center field fence for two RBI as part of four Nansemond runs in the third inning which broke the game open.
In the Indian fifth, Repko sent a similar shot to left, but this one carried over the fence for a two-run homer, giving Nansemond an 8-1 lead.
The Indians mixed fundamental offense in as well on Monday.
In the second, Blake Eure started the frame with a double, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored thanks to a safety squeeze bunt put down by Zack Vann, making the score 1-1.
In Nansemond’s third inning, leadoff hitter D.J. Williams walked to lead off the inning, then hustled to beat a routine grounder and what should’ve been a force out at second on a chopper to second by Brandon Lowe.
Williams wound up scoring on a wild pitch and the Indians went up 3-1 with Josh Henderson’s sacrifice groundout plating Lowe.
Eure and Vann reached base to keep the inning going and Repko’s triple added to the rally.
Meanwhile, Travis Johnson allowed a Newport News run in the top of the first, but blanked them for the next five innings.
Repko completed his big night in the Nansemond fifth. Vann started the inning with a single. Repko fell behind in the count 0-2 before getting a chest-high fastball and driving a fly which looked like a routine fly out until 350 feet later Newport News’s outfielder backed into the fence and could only watch the ball drift over the fence.
Lowe and Vann both finished 2 for 3 with two runs scored. Henderson, in the clean-up spot, added two RBI. Johnson had seven strikeouts in his 6.0 innings. Josh Howard pitched a scoreless seventh for Nansemond.
Post 57 Suffolk, in the senior division of District 3, split its first two games of the season on Friday and Saturday. Suffolk defeated Post 48 Phoebus 7-5 at King’s Fork High School on Friday, but fell 16-12 at Post 49 Smithfield on Saturday.
In Friday’s game, Travis Cherry started on the mound and allowed one earned run in four innings. Taylor Edens pitched the last five innings, allowed two earned runs, and got the win. Joey Aranda and Cherry each drove in two RBI.
Post 57 Suffolk’s game on Monday versus Post 25 Newport News was postponed. Post 57 Suffolk plays Post 368 Denbigh at Denbigh High School on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Post 88 Nansemond hosts Post 368 Denbigh, in the junior division, on Friday at 7 p.m.