Warriors move into first place

Published 10:32 pm Friday, May 4, 2012

Nansemond River High School senior Kyle Moore watches his ball sail over the left field fence during a game against Western Branch High School on Friday. Moore’s homer led the scoring and started off a great Senior Day for his team. The Warriors’ eventual 5-1 win over the Bruins put them in sole possession of first place in the Southeastern District.

By Tray Mason
Correspondent

Nansemond River High School’s baseball team has through in the clutch numerous times this season.

With a number of come-from-behind wins and big hits late in games, the Warriors have seen no shortage of drama in their quest for a Southeastern District Championship.

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On Friday they took one step closer, as they defeated visiting Western Branch 5-1 on Senior Day and took sole possession of first place in the SED for the first time this season.

“It was a huge win for us to take sole position of first place and give ourselves some breathing room,” senior outfielder Kyle Moore said. “But this game doesn’t mean anything if we don’t win our next two.”

Moore gave his team some breathing room early in the second inning, hitting a home run over the left field wall on a 1-2 pitch. NR went up 1-0, and the team’s dugout and bleachers erupted in cheers.

“It felt great hitting a home run in my first at-bat on Senior Day,” said Moore, “I just tried to hit the ball hard somewhere and it so happens that it went out of here.”

The Bruins, ranked sixth in the state going through Friday, responded in the third inning.

NR pitcher Zach Rice worked himself into a jam, walking Garret Brooks and Shane Johnsonbaugh with just one out.

Brooks crossed home plate to tie the game after a failed double-play attempt from NR.

The game didn’t stay tied for long, though, as the Warriors responded with three runs in the bottom half of the inning.

Ryan O’Hara led off the third inning with a single, followed by another single from Trevor Riggs.

Tyler Brown brought O’Hara home from third base with a sacrifice fly to right field giving the Warriors a 2-1 lead.

Travis Johnson continued the big inning with an RBI double that scored Riggs and gave the Warriors a 3-1 advantage.

The dagger for the Bruins came in the form of a double from catcher Zach Vann. Johnson rounded third base to go home but was beaten by the throw.

At first glance, he appeared easily out, but Johnson was called safe as WB catcher Grant Maiorana missed the tag.

With the win, the Warriors moved into solo possession of first place in the SED with two games remaining.

NR simply has to win out to claim its first regular season SED championship. But doing so could turn out to be tougher than it sounds.

The Warriors close the season on the road, first taking on Oscar Smith Tuesday. Friday is a big showdown with defending state champion Great Bridge.

The Warriors are all to familiar with big games against the Wildcats. The two teams faced off in the finals of both the SED tournament final and the Eastern Regional tournament last season.