Warriors clinch first SED title

Published 10:12 pm Thursday, May 17, 2012

By Tray Mason

Correspondent

Nansemond River can finally celebrate.

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After the weather finally permitted them to play, the Warriors came out on top versus Western Branch, 7-3, and claimed the school’s first regular season Southeastern District Championship.

After blowing the opportunity to clinch the title in the regular season by winning their final two games, the Warriors finished in a tie atop the district with Western Branch.

The consequence — a playoff game with the Bruins for the SED title and an automatic bid to the Eastern Region Tournament.

After getting down early in the game, 3-2, NR scored the final four runs of the game.

“It’s awesome, it’s hard to take in right now,” said Warriors head coach Mark Stuffel. “It was a goal of ours when we set out and now we’ll see what we do going forward.”

The championship is a reward that NR had to wait for, literally.

The playoff game was scheduled for Tuesday, but was postponed Tuesday and Wednesday due to bad weather.

“I think it had an effect on both teams,” Stuffel said. “That can take a toll on kids.”

The Warriors offense stepped up where their defense did not.

They committed a season-high five errors but tallied eight hits as a team.

Seniors Kyle Moore and Zach Vann had two hits each.

NR used both of their aces in the game. Tyler Brown started and pitched five strong innings. Zach Rice recorded the save as he closed the final two innings.

With the win, the Warriors earn an automatic bid into the Eastern Region Tournament, where they lost in the championship game last season.

NR will begin their quest for a second straight SED Tournament Championship beginning next week.

They are already in the semifinals and await the winner of the first round matchup between Great Bridge and Indian River.