Warriors won as a team

Published 10:03 pm Monday, June 20, 2011

ansemond River junior Travis Johnson earned Southeastern District and Eastern Region postseason honors as the Warriors went 20-8 and reached the quarterfinals of the VHSL State Tournament for the first season of the 15 years NR’s been in VHSL Group AAA.

Every Nansemond River baseball game this season brought about a new MVP.

A clutch hit was just as likely to come thanks to Blake Eure hitting in the ninth spot as from Brandon Lowe hitting third.

Especially by the postseason, the Warriors could rely on an excellent pitching performance from sophomore Zach Rice along with co-aces Tyler Brown and Josh Howard.

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Lowe and Brown turning a double play or a diving catch by Dylan Roach in deep right were equally possible as the big defensive play of the night.

From the first game of the season though, when he slugged two homers in a win over Western Branch, Travis Johnson was the consistent leader for the Warriors’ great season. In earning district and region honors, Johnson hit .456 with 27 RBI. More than the stats though, Johnson seemingly turned in all 27 runs batted in huge situations in close games.

Lowe hit a team-high .493 average. Howard led NR with 33 RBI. Howard, Kyle Moore and Zach Vann hit five home runs each, yet Ryan O’Hara’s first and only homer of the year came was a go-ahead, two-out, two-strike homer in the last inning of the state tournament game.

First Baptist wasn’t eligible to play in a state tournament but had an 11-3 record with three wins over larger, more established programs from the Tidewater Conference.

The best all-around Crusader is Josh Henderson, who will be a senior next year. Henderson’s a fast, strong-armed, power-hitting centerfielder who’s equally talented for travel and American Legion teams as versus private school opponents.

According to Virginia preps.com, Henderson is well on the recruiting radar of ACC and SEC schools, with a year of high school to go.

2011 All-Suffolk News-Herald Baseball Team

Player of the Year — Travis Johnson, Nansemond River, 1B

  • Tyler Brown, Nansemond River, Utility
  • Travis Cherry, King’s Fork, P/SS
  • Taylor Edens, Nansemond-Suffolk, P/OF
  • Josh Henderson, First Baptist, CF
  • Josh Howard, Nansemond River, P/2B
  • Ben Joslin, First Baptist, P/SS
  • Jacob Laine, Nansemond-Suffolk, IF
  • Brandon Lowe, Nansemond River, SS
  • Kyle Moore, Nansemond River, LF
  • Zach Vann, Nansemond River, C
  • Anthony Waldner, Nansemond-Suffolk, IF
  • David Waterfield, Lakeland, P/SS