Nansemond River PONY wins with 11-run inning

Published 10:15 pm Wednesday, July 15, 2009

CHESAPEAKE – Led by an 11-run onslaught in the fourth inning which turned the game completely around, Nansemond River PONY fought back from what was as much as a 10-2 deficit against Western Branch White for a 14-10 victory on Tuesday in the first round of the Mustang (9-10 year-olds) East Zone Sectional Tournament in Indian River.

Offensively, after being held fairly quiet through three innings, Nansemond River paraded 14 hitters to the plate in the bottom of the fourth.

RBI doubles from Matthew Holt, Jarret Henderson, Myles Geller, Brandon Majewski and Jon Joslin kept making the big rally even bigger as Nansemond River turned a 10-3 deficit heading into the frame into a 14-10 lead.

Defensively, Holt was the difference on the mound. Nansemond River had to go with three pitchers to fight through the first three Western Branch innings. With Holt taking over to start the fourth, he fired three innings of no-hit, shutout pitching totaling seven strikeouts in his nine outs.

Western Branch White took a 3-0 lead in its first at-bats. Nansemond River responded in the bottom of the first with a pair of runs. Joslin and Holt scored on a two-out single by Bennett Wyatt.

WB White seemingly took control of the game with a six-run rally in the second. The top three hitters in the WB order, Chandler Scott, Ethan Alexander and Myles Clark, strung together run-scoring hits, with Clark’s being a two-RBI double, supplying most of the offense.

After a 1-2-3 inning by Holt in the fourth was the first time Nansemond River had held WB in an inning, Nansemond River’s offense came from nowhere. Twelve of 13 NR hitters reached base to start the inning.

With one run in, one out and the bases loaded, Holt, NR’s third-place hitter, had the belt which permanently flipped the game’s momentum. Holt slashed a hard grounder past shortstop and it was so hard, it skipped past the WB leftfielder before he could take a few steps to his right to cut it off. The ball bounded to the fence and all three NR runners scored to bring NR within 10-7.

Henderson followed with a liner which one-hopped the leftfield fence for a double and another run. Henderson came in from third on a wild pitch and Wyatt, after reaching on a walk, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a wild pitch to tie the game.

Still with only one out, NR kept going. Geller, who started the NR fourth with a single, drove a double into centerfield for an RBI and an 11-10 NR lead. A double by Majewski and a double by Joslin made it 14-10.

From there, Holt’s fastball from the mound was enough. Holt walked back-to-back batters with one out in the fifth, but ended the threat with back-to-back strikeouts. Holt fanned the side in the final half-inning.

Nansemond River PONY played in the winner’s bracket of the double-elimination tournament on Wednesday evening at Indian River Middle School. With a win, NR would play again on Friday at 8 p.m. With a loss, NR would play Thursday at 6 p.m.