Warriors lose a close one

Published 9:47 pm Wednesday, April 4, 2012

By Tray Mason

Correspondent

Two errors and a lack of run support fueled a Nansemond River loss to top-ranked Western Branch (7-0) on Tuesday, 3-1.

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After the Warriors took a 1-0 lead in the top half of the first inning, the Bruins would answer with a run in the first inning, and again in the third and sixth innings to hold on for the win.

A pivotal moment in the game came in the bottom of the sixth inning.

After surrendering a hit to Kyle McPherson  on the previous at-bat, Warriors pitcher Tyler Brown was struck by the ball as catcher Zach Vann threw to second base in an attempt to throw out a stealing McPherson.

The ball ricocheted off of Brown to the fence near first base, allowing McPherson to advance to third base.

Brown would return to the mound, but allowed a hit in the next at-bat, advancing the runner and giving the Bruins a 3-1 lead.

Warriors head coach Mark Stuffel said Brown was fine and that the play didn’t affect Western Branch scoring.

“Tyler gets hit all the time,; he’s ok,” said Stuffel.

NR had many chances to tie and take the lead in the late innings.

Brown attempted to generate some run support for himself in the fifth inning with a double, but Vann would fly out on the first pitch of the following at-bat.

In the sixth inning Kyle Moore, who drove in the lone run for NR with a sacrifice fly in the first inning, hit a lined shot to centerfield for a single.

Blake Eure followed with a seven pitch at-bat, but was called out on a close play at first base.

In the final inning, Brandon Savage hit a liner to the Bruins shortstop, who was unable to field the ball, giving Savage the single.

Brandon Lowe would ground into a double play in the final at-bat of the game.

“Our defense let us down one time, and that put them in scoring position,” Stuffel said. “We just didn’t get the hits in the situations when we needed them.”

With the loss, the Warriors fell two games behind the Bruins in the Southeastern District standings. Early in the season it is shaping up to be a four-team race for the SED Title.

Undefeated Western Branch leads, followed by Hickory one game back, and Nansemond River and Great Bridge two games back.

The Warriors will be in action again Friday against Oscar Smith.