Two close calls at NSA

Published 9:00 pm Thursday, March 17, 2011

Nansemond-Suffolk pitcher Taylor Edens threw a complete game as the Saints beat Nandua 5-4 Thursday at Nansemond-Suffolk. Anthony Waldner and Harrison Spalding hit RBI doubles in the bottom of the sixth to give the Saints the 5-4 lead.

Saints rally in sixth inning; Lady Saints fail to recover

One Nansemond-Suffolk diamond team pulled out a comeback victory at home Thursday afternoon. Another fell a run short in its attempt to rally.

The Saints edged Nandua on the baseball diamond with two runs in the home half of the sixth, turning a one-run deficit into a 5-4 NSA win behind junior Taylor Edens’ complete game on the mound.

For the second straight season, Nandua spoiled the home opener for the Saint softball squad. The Lady Saints scored a run in the sixth and a run in the seventh but wound up a run shy in a 4-3 Nandua win.


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It was the home opener but not the season opener for the Saints, who played two regular season contests during a Spring Break trip to Bucky Dent Baseball School in Daytona Beach, Fla., last week. The Saints dropped games to a Georgia school and a Florida school.

Facing their Eastern Shore opponent Thursday, the Saints put together the last rally in a back-and-forth game.

NSA got the first rally, really all in one swing in the second inning. With two out and Jake Grady on third, junior Zach Edwards slashed a two-strike, letter-high pitch over the right-center field fence, an opposite field homer for Edwards, for a 2-0 Saint lead.

Nandua answered NSA’s homer with two runs in the top of the third. NSA regained the lead with a run in the fourth. Nandua took its first lead with two runs in the top of the sixth, leaving the Saints only six outs to work with.

In the bottom of the sixth, Jacob Laine walked, followed by Ryan May reaching first on a fielder’s choice for one out.

Anthony Waldner, now a three-year varsity veteran for the Saints while still being a junior, doubled to bring May all the way around for the tying run.

Harrison Spalding followed with a double to score Waldner for the go-ahead run. Spalding played baseball as a sophomore, didn’t play last spring, but returned for his senior year. He played shortstop and hit third in the Saint home opener.

With a slim lead, there wasn’t much drama in the Nandua seventh with Edens getting a 1-2-3 inning.

“Taylor fought through a rough patch there and Nandua took the lead. He kept working and the team rallied back for him. Taylor and Tripp (Kretz, at catcher) worked well together today,” Curry said.

The Saints (1-2) hit the road again, though not as far as Florida, for a tournament Friday and Saturday at Virginia Episcopal in Lynchburg.

Nansemond-Suffolk senior Kelsey Smith sprints to the plate for a run in the bottom of the seventh inning against Nandua Thursday afternoon at NSA. Smith’s run made it 4-3 Nandua and the score ended that way as Nandua spoiled NSA’s season opener.

In the softball contest, the Lady Saints took the lead with their first at-bats of the season. With two out, clean-up hitter Kelsey Ritter hit a double off the fence in left-center field to bring in Macy Mears, who sent the first pitch of the game to deep center for a double.

Nandua nearly got on the board in the third. Two walks by NSA pitcher Morgan Daughtrey set up the threat. With runners on first and second and two outs, a hit into center looked as though it would tie the game until center fielder Devin Coyne fired home, with Mears on the catching and blocking end, for the out.

After Daughtrey fanned the first two Nandua hitters in the fourth, the visitors strung together four singles and a walk to plate three runs. Another Nandua run in the sixth made it 4-1.

NSA got one run back in the sixth with a double by Daughtrey followed by Nicole Turner driving her in with a single.

Kelsey Smith singled into right and got to take second on an errant throw back into the infield with one out in the NSA seventh.

Going to the top of NSA’s order, Mears hit a liner over shortstop. Smith scored on the single.

The possible tying run vaporized in a hurry, though, on a strange play. Brooke Starling flew out to right. Nandua’s right fielder tried doubling off Mears at first and overthrew the whole infield. Nandua’s catcher corralled the ball between the first-base dugout and the backstop and threw out Mears trying to get to second.

The Lady Saints (0-1) open with a busy start to their season. NSA plays at Bishop Sullivan Catholic Friday afternoon and has four games in five days next week.